Temperature & stages of Making Sugar Syrup for Candy making

Making candy at home can be a fun and even a special event. You can personalize candy, making it special for someone special! In addition, making your own gumdrops, lollipops, fudges, truffles or taffy can lead to tasty candies that taste better than "store bought".

Some tips for Candy Making:

1) Cool and Dry day is best for making candy.
2) Always use a reliable candy thermometer, checking your candy thermometer for accuracy.
3) Always dissolve sugar completely over a low heat to prevent crystallization
4) Always use the recommended size saucepan.
5) If you don't have a thermometer, use the cold water test. Using a clean spoon, drop small amount of cooking mixture into a cupful of very cold water. Test hardness with fingers

Temperature & stages of Making Sugar Syrup

Syrup Boiling Point


Cold water Taste

Stir until Dissolve

Imbibing (absorbing) cake Layers

Simple Sugar Syrup

212 o F


Boils at 212 o F at sea level.

Thread Stage

215° F–235° F
108° C–118° C
sugar concentration: 80%

Syrup, fruit liqueur and some icings

This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. If the syrup drips from a spoon and forms thin threads in cold water, thread stage has been reached.

220° F - 222° F

Jelly, Candy, Fruit Liqueur making and icing

The thread formed by pulling the liquid sugar may be stretched. When a cool metal spoon is dipped into the syrup and then raised, the syrup runs off in drops, which merge to form a sheet.

230° F - 235° F

Delicate Sugar Candy and syrup

Boiling sugar creates small bubbles resembling snowflakes. The syrup spins a 2-inch thread when dropped from a spoon.

Soft Ball Stage

235° F–240° F
/118° C–120° C
sugar concentration: 85%

Fondant, pralines,

Italian meringue, peppermint creams and classic butter creams

Softball: A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens like a pancake after a few moments in your hand.

Firm-Ball Stage
245° F–250° F
/123° C–125° C
sugar concentration: 87%

Caramel candies

Firm ball: Forms a firm ball that will not flatten when removed from water, but remains malleable and will flatten when squeezed

Hard-Ball Stage
250° F–265° F
/125° C–133° C
sugar concentration: 92% Nougat, .

marshmallows, gummies, divinity, and rock candy

Hard ball: At this stage, the syrup will form thick. Syrup dropped into ice water may be formed into a hard ball, which holds its shape on removal. The ball will be hard, but you can still change its shape by squashing it.

soft-Crack Stage
270° F–290° F
/135° C–145° C
sugar concentration: 95%


Soft Crack: As the syrup reached soft-crack stage, the bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker, and closer together. At this stage, the moisture content is low. Syrup dropped into ice water separates into hard but pliable threads. They will bend slightly before breaking.

Hard-Crack Stage
300° F–310° F
/150° C–155° C
sugar concentration: 99%

Butterscotch, brittles

Hard Crack: The hard-crack stage is the highest temperature you are likely to see specified in a candy recipe. At these temperatures, there is almost no water left in the syrup. Syrup dropped into ice water separates into hard, brittle threads that break when bent.

Hard-Crack Stage
320° F–335° F
/160° C–168° C

Hard candies, toffee


If you heat a sugar syrup to temperatures higher than any of the candy stages, you will be on your way to creating caramelized sugar (the brown liquid stage)—a rich addition to many desserts.

330 - 360° F
Above 330° F, the sugar syrup is more than 99% sucrose.

From flan to caramel cages, etc.

Caramel: Syrup goes from clear to brown as its temperature rises. It no longer boils, but begins to break down and caramelize.

340° F
/170° C

Light caramel for syrups, color and flavor

Caramel - Light Brown: The liquefied sugar turns brown. Now the liquefied sugar turns brown in color due to carmelization. The sugar is beginning to break down and form many complex compounds that contribute to a richer flavor.
Caramelized sugar is used for dessert decorations and can also be used to give a candy coating to nuts.

355 - 360° F
/178–180° C

Spun sugar, sugar cages

Caramel - Medium Brown: The liquefied sugar darkens.

375 - 380° F
/188–190° C

Coloring agent for sauces.

Caramel - Dark Brown: The liquefied sugar darkens further.

410° F
/205° C


Black Jack: The liquefied sugar turns black and then decomposes.

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