I'm making my first batch of hard candy tonight - can (and when/how) I cut out freehand shapes? Also, do I have to use "candy" colors specifically?
Also: How long does it last once it's made? Does it lose it's shape?
Thanks- give as much info as you'd like... I would appreciate it.
You would have to cut any shapes immediately after you pour it as it sets up really quickly. Most people make forms to pour the candy into rather than messing with cutting it.. that will result in much cursing and possible burns.. candy is HOT HOT HOT. What are you trying to do with it?
As for coloring.. powdered colors will work nicely. Candy colors are more for coloring chocolate as they are oil based and won't cause it to sieze on you.
Hard candy (if made correctly) will last a good while if kept out of the humidity. However.. if it isn't made right it can get very sticky on you. Have you ever workied with it before? I'd give a trial run just incase you don't get the result you are going for the first time.
thanks for the tip, and for responding so quickly...
I don't have a mold, so I need to cut freeform pieces. I have some aluminum, so I may whip up a make-shift cutter. (the candy is more for decoration than consumption). I've never made candy before (except fudge), so I'll give a trial run tonight.
** How long until I can handle it - to harden completely where I can move the pieces?
I don't have powdered color, can I use paste? I don't need much.
** OR, can I paint the candy once it has hardened?
(Sorry for playing 20 questions... this "self-school of decorating" is tricky at times...)
I feel your pain.. the first time I tried to make hard candy I was ready to jump off a bridge at the end. Cutting it is going to take some precise timing. It sets up FAST. It might be a better idea to make up some forms out of alluminum than to cut it. You will have a limited time to manipulate it (unless you have a way to warm it a little while you are playing with it). What exactly are you planning to do with it?
Perhaps you could get your hands on some isomalt?? That is easier to work with than sugar.. but still has a learning curve.