Saturday, February 7, 2009

Culinary Napalm

That's what do-it-yourself lollipops involve. They are yummy though. Last year I was inspired by the so-crafty Amy at Angry Chicken to make some of my own.

Sweet Creations will set you up with most of the supplies you'll need, namely the molds, sticks, flavorings, and colorings. Contemplating the various color, flavor, and mold-shape combinations they offer may make your head explode. I limited myself to two of each. Such restraint did not come easily. I pored over the options for a couple of days before I settled on the flavors I bought. (Pink lemonade and kiwi-strawberry were the winners.)

The package of lollipop molds came with a recipe. I altered it only a little: I used less water than called for (it was just going to boil away anyway), and I added quite a lot of citric acid. We wanted the end result to be on the sour side. I recommend making small batches, and using a small pan. I mean, a really small pan unless you want to make 100 lollipops of all the same flavor and color.

Another tip: Be cautious. Melted sugar not only burns like crazy; it'll stick to your flesh and keep burning like crazy.

My first attempt resulted in a burnt, sticky mess. I had to throw it out. The temperature had climbed unexpectedly fast toward the end of the process--too fast to avoid disaster! For subsequent batches I removed the pan from the heat at about 5-degrees cooler than the target temperature and carry-over heat got the goo to the final temperature beautifully.

There aren't many ingredients:

sugar, corn syrup, flavor, coloring and the optional citric acid and sprinkles

It's more about equipment. Note how small this pan is. I found that the smallest pan is best for getting the stuff to temperature without burning it.

Adding the acid here.

Preparing the molds. You don't need a marble slab to make these--a cookie sheet would work. I used Reynolds Release foil, which worked great.

Carefully pour the napalm syrup into the molds. This was the lemonade batch.

Wait for them to cool, then release from the molds. I added sprinkles while they were cooling.

Enjoy. This was a kiwi-strawberry one.

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