Monday, 12 March 2012

Delicious home-made Lollipops

Takes: About an hour, not including wrapping up time

It is extremely difficult to show you care with gifts when you have no money. 
Therefore, you must substitute cost for hours of your time and potential danger. Lollipops are ideal, as they take a while, are a cutesy home-made version of a commercial thing, and the sugar could potentially leave you horrifically disfigured if it spills on you. Thus, the females in your life will go crazy for them.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup corn syrup (though I used golden syrup as an alternative)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 tsp orange flavouring
- A few drops red and yellow colouring
- 2 teaspoons

-Cup measure (come on people, we're dealing with boiling sugar here, are you sure you want to take the risk of just using your coffee mug?)
- Jam thermometer (I understand not everyone has these, but many mothers do. You're looking for a rural (if possible) middle-class, middle-aged woman. She or a friend of hers will have one and will be willing to lend)
- Saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Baking tray
- 30-40 cocktail sticks with the pointy ends cut off (use scissors)

 1. Grease two baking trays and space out your makeshift lolly sticks on them

2. Heat all the things except the colouring and flavouring in a saucepan on a high heat- stir until the sugar dissolves
3. Stop stirring. Put on the highest possible heat until the mixture reaches 320 degrees Fahrenheit on your jam thermometer (about 10-15 minutes). Be aware that at this point, the boiling sugar harbours a deep hatred of you, your clothing and your skin, and will only maim you if you attempt to stir it. Also, that sugar burns like napalm. Fill the sink with a few inches of cold water

4. Once it's reached 320 degrees, take it off the heat and put it into the water to stop it from cooking and cool it down a little. Add 2 teaspoons of orange extract and whatever colouring suits your taste- Remember that Scarlet Red food colouring is in league with Boiling Sugar and will therefore stain your clothes, hair and work-surfaces irrecoverably
5. Put on a cooking rack or upturned pan on the work-surface (the sugar pan will probably melt your work-surface, it is still incredibly hot) near your baking tray
6. Using two teaspoons, plop a bit of mix on each lollystick, and give the stick a twist to make sure it doesn't just fall off when you pick it up. Use about half the mix.
NB: If the mixture is hot, it will suffer from middle-aged spread like a school secretary after Christmas and your lollies will be terrible. Wait for it to solidify slightly. If it gets too cold to use, just shove it back on the heat for a minute and start again

7. When cool (about 15 minutes), flip the lollies over and do the same on the other side so they're not disappointingly flat on the back
8. After a further 15 minutes, they're ready to eat. Wrap in greaseproof paper and string and stick in the fridge overnight to harden them up totally

Note: A Word on Wrapping
When presenting gifts of baking to women, always wrap in greaseproof paper and string. Not only is it inexpensive, it straddles the line between twee hipster and homely traditional, and is therefore suitable for a lass of any age or inclination.

I will add that while this is also appropriate for men, as it strikes of ruggedness and practicality, in my experience men are more concerned with the quantity of the food than how it is wrapped.

For the purposes of these lollies, the point is to stop them from sticking together, and also to use something that won't absorb the grease from the baking tray and make them look gross. Use baking paper, shiny side towards the lolly

 "Individually wrapped for extra daintiness"
Again, this adds towards showing the object of your affection that, despite having no money, you are prepared to go to ridiculous lengths to make their present utterly charming

These are takeaway trays that have been put in the dishwasher. Try to avoid giving gifts that require the awkward return of tupperware- it's not classy, nor does it feel special


  1. Superb! ... and I particularly enjoy your style of writing, it is almost more fun than the food.

  2. #6 'wiggle it, just a little bit'?

  3. This is quite excellent. None of the candy-making posts I have read thus far have been quite so amusing or informative.

    Maybe once I've more effectively converted my boyfriend to liking sweets, I shall woo him with lollipops...

    1. Food is definitely the way to a man's heart. I am considering letting my best beau guest-post soon (he has been badgering) in order to show another side to my cooking.

      Boyfriend's eternal Protip: Fry it in dripping.