Question: How To Measure Sugar Temperature Without A Thermometer

December 30, 2009


Anonymous's picture

The most common process to find the temperature of sugar without a termometer is to boil the sugar in water that is 1:1 ratio (i glass of sugar with 1 glass of water) . As the syrup boils, water is driven off as steam, the sugar concentration increases and the temperature of the syrup rises to well beyond the boiling point of water. and at final it will start to get thicker when it has cooled down. now for testing the sugar temperature all you need for the test is a teaspoon and a small container of iced water. A bowl, dish, or jug, which will hold about a litre and which you can easily get both hands into is ideal. A small amount of the syrup - about a teaspoonful - is dropped into the water and how it behaves indicates its temperature. Some finger manipulation of the syrup is necessary, so be aware that the temperatures we're dealing with here are well above that of boiling water, and sugar syrup is very, very sticky. Stages (at Sea Level) Cold water test Temperature (�F)1 Description Type of sweet made Thread 220-230 When dropped into cold water the syrup makes a thread which will not ball up Syrup for fruit sauces Pearl 231-239 The thread begins to form a ball Turkish delight and fruit jellies Soft ball 240-243 The syrup forms a ball which will not hold its shape Fondant creams Firm ball 244-249 The syrup forms a ball which yields to slight pressure Mint cake Hard ball 250-260 The ball is much firmer Nougat Soft (small) crack 270-284 The syrup forms hard strands which will bend but not break Toffee Hard crack 285-299 The syrup forms strands which are hard and brittle Rock, boiled sweets Caramel 300-320 The syrup takes on a light straw colour in the cooking vessel Butterscotch, honeycomb As you can see, each stage falls within a range of temperatures, giving you some leeway over how hard or soft you can make each type of sweet. This is another advantage of the cold water test over a thermometer - you can feel with your fingers exactly how firm your syrup has become and make allowance for having miscalculated the measures for any of the ingredients.

Cheryl 's picture

Dear Colin Saunders

Thank you so much I have wanted to aquire candy temperature information for ever as I never had/have money for temprature gauge and rely on pure luck You have explained all the different types of effects to identify the assortment of results in a clear concise way

Yours thankfully
Cheryl Ryan