5.3 Amorphous Candies


  • To observe the proportion of ingredients, heating, and handling of amorphous candy mixtures.
  • To relate ingredients and endpoint temperature to candy characteristics.

Laboratory Problems:

  • Prepare amorphous candies.
  • Evaluate candies, immediately and after storage.


  • Amorphous/Non-Crystalline Candies–these candies have many interfering agents and are cooked at very high temperatures to prevent crystallization.
  • Amorphous/Non-Crystalline Candies: Peanut Brittle, Caramels, Hard Candy, English Toffee, Butterscotch
  • Crystallization– Ice Crystals vs Sugar Crystals determines the texture smooth or grainy
  • Interfering Agents-Prevent Crystallization Examples: Butter, Corn Syrup, milk, brown sugar, 1/2 & 1/2

General Directions

  1. Calibrate thermometer.  Hold thermometer in 2.5 inches of boiling water for 2 minutes.  If thermometer does not read 100oC (212oF), make the appropriate adjustment up or down on subsequent readings.  Thermometers inaccurate by > 1oC (3oF) should not be used.
  2. Prepare amorphous candies according to the recipes below.
  3. Determine end point temperature with calibrated thermometer and with cold water test.  Completely immerse thermometer bulb in syrup to attain accurate measurement.
  4. Reserve a portion of each candy for observation in the following lab period.

Cold Water Test

Pour a small amount of syrup into cold water and observe behavior.

Stage Syrup Description Temperature
Soft Ball Forms a ball – loses its shape when removed 112-115°C (234-240°F)
Firm Ball Forms a ball – maintains its shape when removed 118-120°C (244-248°F)
Soft Crack Separates upon contact with cold water into threads that crack when touched 132-143°C (270-290°F)
Hard Crack Separates upon contact with cold water into fine, brittle threads 149-154°C (300-310°F)


English Toffee

¼  cup blanched slivered almonds 2 tbsp. water
¾ cup sugar ¼ cup semisweet chocolate, melted
½ cup butter (not margarine) double boiler

Butter cookie sheet. Spread almonds on baking sheet and bake at 300oF until light brown (approx. 8 min.); chop.  In a small saucepan, cook sugar in butter and water to 137oC (280°F), the soft crack stage.  Add the almonds and cook to 152oC (305°F), the hard crack stage.  Pour onto a buttered baking sheet.  When cold, spread with chocolate that has been melted in double boiler.  When chocolate has set, break into pieces.



½ cup half and half ¼  cup butter
½ cup sugar ¼  tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup dark corn syrup

Butter 6×6 pan. Scald half-and-half (heat to 92ºC for 1 min.).  Place sugar, corn syrup, butter, and ¼ cup half-and-half in heavy saucepan.  Bring to boiling over low heat, stirring constantly.  Slowly add remaining ¼  cup half and half.  Cook over medium-low heat to firm ball stage (118ºC or 245ºF), stirring near the end of the cooking period to keep mixture from scorching.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Pour into buttered 6″x6″ pan.  Mark into squares when cool; cut when cold.



1 cup brown sugar 3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. light corn syrup dash salt
½ cup water

Butter 6×6 pan. Combine ingredients in heavy saucepan.  Cook and stir until candy reaches soft crack stage (142°C or 288°F).  Immediately pour into buttered 6×6 pan and cool.  Crack into pieces.


Peanut Brittle

1 cup sugar 1 cup unroasted Spanish Peanuts
½ cup light corn syrup ¼  tsp. salt
½ cup water 1 tbsp. butter
½ tsp. baking soda

Grease cookie sheet with butter. Heat and stir together sugar, corn syrup, and water until sugar dissolves.  Cook to soft ball stage (112°C or 234°F).  Add peanuts and salt.  Cook to hard crack stage (154°C or 309°F), stirring constantly.  Stir in butter and soda just enough to mix (mixture  will bubble).  Pour onto buttered cookie sheet.  Lift edges with spatula to partially cool and keep from sticking.  While warm, stretch to desired thinness.  When cool, break into irregular shaped pieces.


Hard Candy

1 cup sugar 2-3 drops oil flavoring: anise, cinnamon, wintergreen, fruits, etc.
¼  cup light corn syrup ¼  cup water
dash salt few drops appropriate food coloring

Butter cookie sheet. Combine sugar, syrup, water, and salt; bring to boil.  Cook to 144°C or 290°F.  Stir in food coloring and flavoring.  Pour onto buttered baking sheet to cool.  When cool, break into pieces.



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