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Understanding Sugar Temperatures

March 29, 2019

 

I have been wanting to write this post since Chrismtas but something or the other made the delay. Sugar is something that all of us work with every day than anything else, so as a baker it’s very important to understand the numbers that play with sugar. This is not a recipe post, this will be hand book for sugars, recipes are ample but I always believe learning the science will make you more strong and knowledgeable. So here we go.

 

Understanding Sugar at different Temperatures for perfect Confections

 

For Meringue/Macarons/Caramel/Sugar Candy/Fruit Compote/Praline/Toffee/Marshmallows/Nougats & many more

 

Sugar Water Ratio for Caramels,
100g Castor Sugar
3tbsp Water

 

You can use regular sugar too, but not homemade powdered sugar as the size of each granule is different, bringing in difference in melting time
Mix together, pour into a sauce pan
Thermometer In, Low flame, No Stirring!

 

Dos & Donts:
1. Always use a sauce pan while working with sugar, It will help you eject off heat immediately
2. Wear gloves, Keep the work station clean. Hot sugar can give you second degree burns so its advisable to work in a free & clear workstation.
3. Do not stir the mixture unless its necessary
4. Use low heat, ensure the sides of your sauce pan does not have sugars that splattered, this will crystallize your syrup
6. Sides of the pan has to be always clean

 

Look for the below 14 stages as per the application, Voila 😊

🔥 Temperature Testing
An accurate candy or digital thermometer is the most reliable way to determine when sugar has been cooked to the correct temperature. Investing in a good thermometer is necessary when you are in the sugar business! Make sure your thermometer is faster & very accurate, reduces you job to half. Most type of Immersion thermometers work better than laser versions, although they are a slightly slow. Make sure your thermometer touches the sugar. All below temperatures are in Celsius

 

🤚🏽 Physical Testing
Dropping a little sugar into a bowl of cold water and then pressing gently between the thumb and forefinger

 

➡️Stage 1: Boiling 
Usage: Simple Syrup 
Temperature Test: 100
Manual Test: Large bubbles rise from the bottom of the pan and break to the surface

 

➡️Stage2: Thread (to Pearl to Blow)
Used for: Fruit Syrups/Compote/Fruit Liqueur
Temperature Test: 106-112
Manual Test: Drizzle over a cold surface, between the fingers forms loose thin threads, after few degrees forms pearls in water
Sugar: 80%

 

➡️Stage3: Soft Ball 
Usage: Fudge/Italian Meringue/Blown Sugar
Temperature Test: 112-116
Manual Test: Drop a little in cold water, forms a small soft ball that doesn’t hold shape when pressed
Sugar: 85%

 

➡️Stage4: Firm Ball 
Usage: Caramel Candy/Praline/Soft Toffee
Temperature Test: 118-120
Manual Test: Drop a little in cold water, forms a ball, holds shape but is very sticky
Sugar: 87%

 

➡️Stage5:Hard Ball
Usage: Marshmallow/Gummy Candy/Rock Candy
Temperature Test: 121-130
Manual Test: Drop a little in cold water, forms a ball, holds shape but is very pliable
Sugar: 92%

 

➡️Stage6: Soft Crack
Usage: Nougats/Butterscotch/Toffee
Temperature Test: 132-143
Manual Test: Drop a little in cold water, when stretched between fingers forms hard threads 
Sugar: 95%

 

➡️Stage7: Hard Crack
Usage: Nut Brittle/Spun Sugar/Caramel Decorations/Sugar Glass/Lollipops
Temperature Test: 146-154
Manual Test: Drop a little in cold water, when stretched between fingers forms hard brittle threads
Sugar:99%

 

➡️Stage8: Clear Liquid
Temperature Test: 160
Manual Test: Water is completely boiled away, this is pure liquid 
Sugar: 100%

 

➡️Stage9: Light Caramel/Light Amber
Usage: Brittle, Caramel Shards, Hard Candy, Toffee
Temperature Test: 165
Manual Test: Colour changes from clear to brown, tastes light and sweet

 

➡️Stage10: Medium Caramel/Medium Amber
Usage: Caramel Custard/Flan/Glaze
Temperature Test: 171
Manual Test: Colour is medium brown, rich & sweet

 

➡️Stage11: Dark Caramel
Usage: Flavoring & Coloring agent
Temperature Test: 177
Manual Test: Colour is Dark & Intense

 

➡️Stage12: Very Dark Caramel
Usage: Coloring agent for sauces, breads, cakes, Icecreams
Temperature Test: 180
Manual Test: Colour is dark brown & bitter

 

➡️Stage 13: Nearly Burnt Caramel
Temperature Test: 190
Usage: Dark Caramel Sauce
Manual Test: Is very acidic & needs heavy fat dairy to balance out

 

➡️Stage14: Black Jack
Temperature Test: 204
Usage: Throwaway and start over
Manual Test: Sugar turns black & decomposes, not usable

 

I hope this article has helped you a bit, I love writing and i love science & numbers, I believe this makes you as a better baker.

 

 

 

 

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