I have been trying to learn the art of sugar casting for awhile now and I've come to two questions that books and research haven't really answered for me.
First, everyone seems to have varying opinions on the best process to create the longest shelf life of casting sugar. I've heard cooking at higher temps, using tartaric acid, etc. Has anyone out there attempted to test the limits of "shelf life" to see how long a cast will stay before it begins to degrade? If so, would you mind sharing how long you were able to keep yours and what doctoring agents you used, etc?
Second, (this may be the dumb question) while I keep playing with various processes to cook and cast the sugar, I've been wanting to figure out if there is a way to cook large batches at once. I've been too afraid to wing it and risk wasting the material, but was hoping there is a trick to cooking larger quantities. Most recipes I come across are only using a few cups of sugar at a time and I would like to figure out the easiest way to make big batches. Is it safe to scale up and if so, to what limit? I wasn't sure if the process would change when I started doing larger batches.
I've read both of Bo's books and recently got my hands on Notter's newest book... I've even looked into That's Sugar but didn't want to pay the high prices people ask. Beyond answering my two questions, if there is a book out there you suggest, please suggest it.