Food Stuff

How not to make your own lollipops

I thought about trying something new. Ever thought of making your own lollipops? I hadn’t. Then I came across a beautiful recipe for flower lollipops. Aren’t they gorgeous? The answer is yes. Gorgeous. A quick check of the recipe told me that I already had most of the supplies, and that they would be quick enough to make that I could get a few tries in before the big day in case I didn’t nail it the first time. Always make room to screw up! I decided to skip the flowers for my first few tries, narrowing the margin for error a bit. And after a fruitless search for suitable molds, I also decided to try creating a mold out of corn starch, which widened aforementioned margin right back up. This video demonstrates the magic that I attempted. I picked my colour (blue) and flavour (champagne) on a lark and went for it.

Boiling sugar
The prettiest, angriest part of making lollipops.

I try to follow recipes carefully on my first try, but this time I got carried away and added the colouring and flavouring right from the start, despite the clear directions to add those at the end. Although I haven’t quite achieved perfect lollipops, I don’t think this was the problem. I think my mistakes were made later. My favourite part of the lollipop-making process is watching the sugar change as it boils. It’s about 86% frightening, and 24% distracting. That equals 110%, which is how much attention you need to pay to your candy thermometer at this point. Not boiling the sugar/water/corn syrup mixture will result in weird pockets of sticky, delicious gel, and boiling for too long can alter the colour as it approaches the caramel stage. I allowed both of these things to happen (yay)!

Freshly-poured lollipops
The greenish hue of the final product really shows here. Green is just blue with a bonus colour!

The first time, I misread my thermometer and poured out my lollies too early. They looked lovely, unless you had the audacity to touch them. On my second attempt, I ran upstairs to charge my iPad, like a double dummy. When I got back to the stove, the hard crack stage was history, and we were fast approaching blue carmel. I poured it anyway, and a few minutes later I had a tasty, edible lollipop! They came out greener than I was expecting, and the corn starch side of the lollies took on a weird crinkly texture. I’m assuming both are due to the overboiling until I can determine otherwise. I can’t wait to make these again, but I’ve learned my lesson: Never, ever go upstairs when making lollipops.