Homemade image candy (cut rock candy) | No special equipment or ingredients needed

From Adam Ragusea.

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If you’re looking to buy some candy online instead of making it, I recommend Candylabs in Montreal: https://candylabs.ca/

***RECIPE***

1 cup (237mL) lemon/lime juice
3 cups (600g) sugar
1 cup (237mL, 312g) corn syrup (or any invert syrup)
1 cup (237mL) water
gel-style food coloring

Reduce the citrus juice down to a syrup in a wide pan at the lowest heat possible — the lower the heat, the better the flavor.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring it to a boil on high heat. Boil most of the water out, until the temperature is about 310ºF/154ºC. Be careful — syrup this hot is very dangerous if it gets on you.

Take it off the heat and let the syrup cool down in the sauce pan, stirring occasionally. Eventually the syrup will start solidifying along the sides and you’ll need to scrape it off and into the center where it can re-liquify.

When it’s barely loose enough to stir anymore, stir in the citrus syrup — again, the flavor will be better if you protect it from very high temperatures. When the syrup has cooled to the point where you won’t be able to get it all out of the pot, it’s probably ready to work.

Pour as much of it as you can out onto a heat-safe work surface, and quickly push it around with your spoon before it sticks to the surface (it is also sure to stick if it’s too hot). VERY CAREFULLY, start touching the molten candy mass with your hands, for just a second at a time before it burns you.

(If it’s way too hot, it’ll stick to your hands and badly burn you — it’s only ready to handle when it’s a semi-solid mass. You can wear food-grade latex gloves so that if you get hot syrup stuck on you, you can tear them off. And/or, you can have a bowl of cold water nearby that you can plunge into if you get hot syrup stuck to you. Either way, you are going to burn yourself. This is a dangerous thing to do, and if you are not experienced working with hot things, I don’t think you should do it.)

Fold the candy mass around to bring the cooler exterior into the hot interior and equilibrate the temperature. I work it for a second at a time before dropping it back down on my stone counter again before it burns me. Once the whole mass cools to the point where you can start stretching, start stretching — pull the candy out into a long rope, fold it over on itself, repeat. The goal is to work air into the candy.

Keep stretching until the candy is white and satiny. Use scissors to cut it up into as many different chunks as you plan to color individually for your design. To color the first lump, warm it back up to working temperature in microwave — nuke it 2-3 seconds at a time, flip it, repeat. (If you microwave it for too long, it will melt onto the floor of the microwave and you will burn yourself trying to lift it out.)

You’ll have to fold and stretch the candy a few times to bring the whole lump back to thermal equilibrium. Once it’s at a workable texture, make a little well in the lump and pour in your gel-style food coloring. Fold and stretch the candy to work the coloring through, re-heating as necessary.

Slowly assemble your design thusly. If you need more details, consult someone else — I’m terrible at this. Roll the finished candy into the thinest ropes possible and let cool before cutting. I put a storage bin in the sink, suspend the candy over the edge of the counter and cut with my knife, letting the candy fall into the bin. Once cut, keep it in an airtight container or it’ll get sticky.