How to make your very own Rock Candy at Home
Rock candy (also known as rock sugar) is a simple confection that is made of supersaturated solution of sugar and water that is crystalized onto a surface, preferably a skewer or thread. Rock candy traces its origin from India and Iran but has since made more popular today. Making rock candy not only provides you with a delicious treat, but also a good way to enjoy the wonder of science, while having fun on the making. This relatively easy project takes about four or five days or up to a week to complete. Making rock candy especially by young children should be watched closely with adult supervision, as this project requires the use of fire and hot kitchen materials.
In making your own rock candy, you’ll need the following:
· 2 cups of water
· 4 cups of granulated sugar
· 1tsp of flavoring extract
· Food coloring
· Flavor extract (optional)
· Glass jar (with wide opening)
· Skewer or thread
1. Prepare the materials; make sure that the glass jar is thoroughly cleaned. You wouldn’t' want your rock candy to rest on a non sterile container.
Now, you can make your rock candy attached either on a skewer, or a thread. If on one hand you choose to use a skewer, see to it that the shaft of the skewer is smooth to get rid of sharp fibers which are potentially dangerous. You can use a pair of clean clothespin to hold the skewer in place. However, on the other hand if you opt to use a thread, tie a paper clip on one end to weigh the thread down. Use a pencil to tie and hold the thread from the lid of the glass jar, preferably the one with a hexagonal shaft to prevent the pencil from rolling over. Coat the skewer or thread with granulated sugar.
2. Meanwhile, bring to boil the 2 cups of water on a pot or a saucepan. While the water is boiling, add the sugar, one cup at a time. Stir the solution on every addition of the sugar. Repeat the process until all the sugars are added. While continually stirring the sweet concoction, notice that the sugar is all dissolved and the viscous solution is now smooth. At this point, remove the pot from the heat and add the food coloring and the flavor extract, about a few drops of food coloring and a tablespoon of the flavor extract. Stir the solution until the color and flavor is evenly distributed throughout the concoction. Set aside the solution for approximately 10 minutes to cool down.
3. After all the ingredients are added and the viscous solution has cooled down, pour the solution onto the glass jar using a funnel to minimize wastage. Carefully lower the thread or skewer onto the jar with about one inch of clearance from the bottom- this will prevent the sugar crystals from growing at the bottom of the jar while it is still attached to the tread or skewer.
4. Place the jar on a cool dry place away from direct sources of heat where it can rest undisturbed. Cover the jar with a loose cloth or paper towel. Within 24 hours; you can now see the sugar crystals beginning to grow. The accumulated sugar crystals will now be your rock candy. Keep the solution at rest until you arrive at the desired size of the candy.
Making your rock candy is a worthwhile experience. With patience, you can have your very own delicious sugary treat.