Sugar, in the home, is generally known in its natural state, or at least in the latest phase of the preparation of crispy browned, and the caramel brown on the bottom of some of certain creams and puddings.
Rather there are a number of “states” and of stocks of sugar in direct relationship to the degree of heat that reaches the various cooking, heat can be determined with a special thermometer (hydrometer). It is clear that in these cooking states, sugar is added to a quantity of water for the initial formation of the “syrup.” The water should be 1 / 4 the weight of sugar or a little more, from 2 ½ to 3 per each kilogram. There should be used for it’s manufacture, containers and semi-spherical shaped copper tin, or enamel containers, since sugar affect the iron.
First move quickly this syrup to a boil, making sure sugar is dissolved completely before forming the first bubbles. The pastry chefs take various measures for the success of the operation. When the sugar bubbles, they add a few drops of acetic acid (exchangeable with two teaspoons of lemon juice) and a certain amount of glucose (250 g per kg) powder (available today, even in supermarkets) dissolved in the first few spoonfuls of warm water, or add it when moistened sugar begins to boil, forming bubbles, to prevent from ‘browning’.
Soon we reach the phase of ‘fog’, that is when, in passing a skimmer on the boiling syrup, this will be covered with a thin layer composed of low density.
Phase of the small wire (103 °). The second phase called “thread” is when, hold in your thumb and forefinger a drop of syrup and wet your fingers a little further away with each other, will form a thread, at which time the sugar has a temperature of about 103 ° .
SOUFFLE (106 °). When you plunge back into the syrup and a skimmer you blow against it, you’ll get like soap bubbles. Then sugar has a temperature of 106 ° and the phase of the “feather” the French call “soufflé” because of blown trial.
In 1110 they repeated the test as the “wire” and you will get a longer cord and durable. After, the sugar takes on a cloudy, opaque, and white granite.
Raising a bit the sugar at about 115 °, with a wooden spoon and dipping it in water, you will get a pellet still elastic and transparent phase is called “small ball.”
At 120 ° the same transaction will give a ball of more consistency. In this phase, French cuisine is divided into four stages: “boulé mou” at 114.5 ° – “boulé moyen” at 115.5 ° -“boulé assez dur” at118 ° – “boulé dur” at 121°.
Boiling again, the sugar will turn slightly in a blue-gray color, the temperature at that time is 145 °, and if the glucose is added in substantial quantity, can reach even higher temperatures.
CARAMEL PHASE (129 ° -168 °). Lifted from the cooking vessel, cooled quickly and slammed onto a hard surface, the sugar will break like glass. This phase is called caramel. A few minutes of boiling and sugar will be colored straw that will increasingly lead to intense gold. The French call these phases “casse”, with a gradation of heat ranging from 129 ° to 168 °. This phase is divided in “casse léger”, “casse moyen”, “casse dur”, “casse extra dur”. Beyond these temperatures, the sugar turns brown and takes a slightly bitter taste. The different phases have a clear distinction between them, so we must be careful to identify what you want to achieve, taking into account that the time varies in proportion to the amount of glucose added, which has a very convenient retardant feature. For the best success of the cooking, the sugar must be stirred constantly with a spatula from the moment you put on the fire until the moment of complete fusion.
The photos show the details of the cooking.