Veganbaking.net - The Hows and Whys of Vegan Baking
Veganbaking.net - The Hows and Whys of Vegan Baking
  
  

Candy Making Temperature Chart - Sugar Caramelization Stages

Candy Making Temperature Chart - Sugar Caramelization Stages

Candy consists of foods made with large amounts of sugar. This includes lollipops, brittle, taffy, nougat, some chocolatesfudge, toffee, licorice and jelly beans. Candy is made by combining water and sugar and exposing it to various temperature stages so it caramelizes. Eventually the heat causes the sugar crystals to melt and darken and the water to evaporate. The water evaporation causes the mixture to increase in density. The extent to which this happens is what makes the difference between caramel syrup, chewy taffy or hard rock candy. This is because the heat is one of the most important factors that determine how these sugar crystals reform when the mixture cools. 

Keep in mind that humid days (over 60%) and some rainy days can affect how your candy making turns out because the candy absorbs more moisture from the air. Some people increase their candy making temperatures by a degree or two higher than indicated on the recipe but it's still a gamble. We recommend waiting until a less humid day if you're interested in consistent results.

Before making candy, test your candy thermometer for accuracy by putting the probe in a pot of boiling water. The thermometer should read 212F (100C).

Use the candy making chart below in conjunction with a candy thermometer to determine which temperatures are optimal for your desired type of candy.

Sugar Caramelization Temperatures and Stages

Temperature
Sugar StageDescription and Uses
400F
(204C)
Burned CaramelToo bitter- You've gone too far
375F
(191C)
Very Dark CaramelDark and bittersweet
350F
(177C)
Dark CaramelDark and intense. Glazes
345F
(174C)
Amber CaramelRich and sweet. Glazes
325F
(163C)
Light CaramelSugars start to break down and form more complex flavors. Brittle, Spun Sugar, Lollipop, Glaze
320F
(160C)
  
285F-315F
(141C-157C)
Hard CrackBecomes Brittle. Caramel stage begins at 310F (155C).
275F-280F
(135C-138C)
Crack 
270F-275F
(132C-135C)
Soft CrackSeparates into bendable threads. Taffy, Butterscotch
260F-265F
(127C-129C)
Hard BallNougat, Divinity
245F-255F
(118C-124C)
Firm BallFirmer Caramel
240F-245F
(116C-118C)
Soft BallFudge, Fondant, Soft Caramel, Pralines
230F-235F
(110C-113C)
ThreadMakes a long thread when dropped in cold water. Syrup, Italian Meringue
225F
(107C)
ClearSyrup, Delicate sugar candy
213F-223F
(101C-106C)
ClearSyrup, Jelly, Some icings
212F
(100C)
Boiling 


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