Although maple syrup is great just the way it is, maple candy is wonderful on a whole new level. Taking a bite and feeling those little maple syrup crystals melting on your tongue is something you must experience for yourself. It doesn’t require much, just a large pot, a thermometer, a candy mold or a silicone mold, some maple syrup, a little coconut oil, and a little vegetable oil.
Before doing any thing else, locate, wash and dry your molds and have them ready (you will have to move fast getting the crystallized syrup into the molds at the end, so you want to be ready). I don’t yet have the cute little maple candy molds, so I use silicone mini muffin cups, they work great. They are flexible, which is important when you’re trying to get your hard candy out at the end.
Next you will have to determine the boiling point of water for your area if you haven’t already done this, it is simple. Place a candy thermometer into a pot of water and watching the thermometer, bring the water to a boil. When it boils, check the temperature in Fahrenheit and write it down (you will add this number + 34 degrees to determine the temperature you will need to reach to make maple candy).
Prepare your pot by rubbing coconut oil around the top inside rim of a large pot. If the syrup starts to boil up rapidly and overflow it will hit this rim of oil and this will keep it from boiling over. Boiling over is dangerous as this syrup will become a hot sticky mess, that could severely burn you, so do be careful, and remember this part is not for children.
Place the desired amount of maple syrup in your pot (making sure it only fills half of your pot, because it will expand as it boils). Here we are using 1 liter of maple syrup, in our pot.
Keep a bottle of oil handy, so that if at any time it starts to look like it’s going to boil over you can just drop a couple drops in the syrup to prevent this.
Place the pot of syrup on the stove and bring it to a boil. You will want to stick close to the stove to keep an eye on things, but you don’t need to stir it.
Place a candy thermometer into the pot and heat the maple syrup to 32 -34 degrees Fahrenheit above the boiling point of water (for us this range is 241 F-243 F).
When it is ready it will look like this, you can see the difference in the bubbles.
Carefully without disturbing it, let it cool down for a few minutes, until it has cooled down approximately 40 degrees (for us this temperature range is 201 F-203 F) before stirring.
Now stir, stir, stir, this is the part the boys get tired of, but it is a necessary means to an enjoyable end. The syrup will start to crystallize and change from a dark color to a lighter creamier color.
At this point pour it into your molds, you need to hurry or it will start to harden in the pot. Don’t worry if you over fill or spill a little, you can break off these parts later (and feed them to the helpers), and after all it’s home made it doesn’t have to be perfect, right?
Next time we’ll learn how to turn these delicious maple candies into maple sugar, and…. coming up I have a wonderful waffle recipe in which you are going to need some maple candy, so get ready, you’re not going to want to miss it.