Strawberry Popping Lollipops
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons strawberry essence
Makes about 20
1: Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Attach a sugar thermometer to the saucepan. Increase the heat to medium–high and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Using a small pastry brush dipped in water, wash down the sides of the saucepan to prevent crystals from forming.
Boil the mixture for 5–7 minutes until it reaches 155C (hard-crack stage) on the thermometer. Immediately transfer the saucepan to the bowl of iced water, carefully submerging the sides but make sure no water seeps into it. Swirl the pan for 10–15 seconds to help the mixture cool, then remove the pan from the iced water. Carefully swirl the strawberry essence into the mixture immediately after you remove the pan from the ice.
2: Working quickly, pour the syrup onto the lined sheets to form circles (as big or as small as you like), immediately press in lollipop sticks and sprinkle over the popping candy – it will pop but that’s OK. Leave to cool completely and harden, then carefully peel the lollipops off the baking sheet.
These are perfect for any occasion and will guarantee you a popping good time.
Notes: I can’t believe It took me so long to make candy – it is so much fun! You do need a sugar thermometer though, as it is too difficult to gauge the temperature otherwise. If the temperature isn't right it will be too chewy and not hard like candy. Trust me; I tried it and the result was a massive fail! You will also need lollipop sticks.
You can add food colouring to the candy and other sprinkles for a different effect. I also found that edible flowers add interest and beauty.