If you have a taffy recipe and its a good recipe, once you get it up to temp 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) what if there is still too much moisture in it? I know cook it some more. Really what im asking is if there is somehow too much water in it from the start do you cook it more once it reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) or will it not even reach 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) with too much water in it?
Candy (Taffy) Qusstion?
Probably the most important lesson I learned in medicine is to keep an eye on the patient.
Disasters can be hidden by the "normal appearance" of the exterior organism.
Same so for candy.
A good friend told me a few weeks ago that thermometers are not to be trusted as the only indicator of "done".
Use your eyes and gut and rarely will you fail.
Thank you for your replies. I have not cooked as a pro in years and don't even have a thermometer. I just started trying to make candy a year or two ago & tried taffy for the first time a few days ago. I made a batch without a thermometer, the texture seemed ok but i was smart enough not to watch it close enough & it cooked too long (it was too hard when tested). I added more water, boiled it & watched it closely but when it was done it was kinda burnt/ burnt tasting. I'm going to get a thermometer today & try again.
I definitely agree with the above, you shouldn't be totally reliant on the thermometer. As you get further into sugar boiling, you'll see there are other indicators as to when the contents of the pot is ready. Still, though, a thermometer is a good guide. If you havent already gotton yet, I'd suggest a probe thermometer. When using the thermometer you'll be able to consistently make the taffy the same way over and over again.
You can easily make a brittle or pulled sugar candies without a thermometer because your bringing the items to 300+ degree f, but from my experience, taffy can be a very finicky thing, very difficult to eyeball. It also depends on what your using it for. I could easily eyeball when to take it off, pull it, and serve it immediately to the neighborhood kids and everyones happy. But on the other hand, if I was making the taffy for an event, such as a wedding, I wouldnt eyeball it. And the reason is because I would make the taffy a few weeks ahead of time, and if I just eyeball the temp, everything could be perfectly fine while it gets poured out, cooled down, and pulled. But after wrapping, if it was cooked to too low of a temperature, the candy will exhibit excessive cold flow, making it possible to ooze out of the wrapper over the next few days, something you cant immediately see or wont be apparent when your doing your water test. When your making caramels the water test is great, because that will show you the final texture of the caramel that's bubbling away on the pot, but taffy is a little different. Unless you've made taffy alot, its going to be difficult to determine the texture based on the water test. You'll be able to see the texture of the unpulled taffy fine, but after you pull it, the texture softens greatly, and after it gets wrapped and sits for a day or so, the texture sort of mellows out, firming up slightly.
Anywho, sorry for the rant. If your experienced in sugar boiling, you'll be able to get a feel for the candy by using the water test, but I guarantee if your just starting out and never use a thermometer with taffy, you'll get a scale of textures (remember too that the amount you pull has an effect on the texture, whether you pull too much or too little).
As for your question on your first post, dont worry at all about extra water. The temperature of the sugar is an indication of the water content. Extra water, such as if you added too much in the very beginning will just boil off, it will take a little longer to reach your target temp, but otherwise it will turn out the same. And the same goes for extra water added while your washing down the sides of your pot, it just boils off all the same.