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Holiday Candy Chemistry - Peanut Brittle

Publish alex On 2016-03-02

The purpose of candy is for celebration and to?provide a bit of?happiness, and what better time of year to spread a little joy? Candy making can be seen as technically too difficult, or as something only made by generations past. Peanut brittle with its crisp texture, combination of sweet and salty flavors, and rich mouth-feel is actually one of the easiest candies to?make! Don’t let this candy’s simplicity?fool you, there’s some serious chemistry?going on right under your nose.
Applying heat to sugar causes inversion (splitting sucrose into fructose and glucose in liquid form), as the temperature increases acid accumulates, the color darkens, and flavors and aromas become more complex.
There are many different stages as the temperature of a sugar solution rises, and for your recipe to be successful, the final temperature must be measured accurately. Some use the cold water test with sugar cooking by taking?a small amount of cooked sugar, dropping it into cold water to test its consistency when set up. Problem is, while you’re testing the little drop of sugar, the temperature of the sugar in the pan is still rising. Even if you remove it from the heat, carryover cooking will continue to increase?the temperature. As the amount of water in the solution decreases, the temperature will begin increasing at a faster pace.