Most of my baking friends are freaked at the prospect of at-home candy making, purporting that it’s too dangerous and difficult for most to tackle. I get it, but trust me, I call bollocks! While it is a bit nerve-racking to work with boiling-hot syrup, there is a trick here – Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]). It means putting in place, or set-up.
Throw yourself into the recipe and read through the directions (at least a few times). Remind yourself “you’re totally gonna rock this”.
Being prepped in this case should literally mean laying everything out on the table. That way, when you you’re ready to handle the piping hot liquid, everything goes according to plan. Creating lollipops can be split into two major steps: heating the sugar mixture and the finishing (adding flavor to the hot liquid and pouring into the molds).
First step with these Pear Mango Saffron Lollipops is to pulse the saffron threads, vanilla bean, and sugar in a food processor. Then, pour the sugar mixture in a saucepan with water, corn syrup, and a secure thermometer. Be sure your liquid covers all the sugar base, avoiding contact with the sides (to prevent crystallization). Then, crank up on high and (patiently) wait for the temperature to climb to 300F. If you need to wipe down saucepan sides, use a brush with water.
Once ready, pour into a heatproof glass and work super fast. I used Wilton lollipop sticks and bought my candy molds from Surfas Culinary District Los Angeles. You can also find many shapes and forms of candy molds at Michaels.
Remember, you got this!
Add flavorings and then pouring into the molds (pre-sprayed with Pam or Vegalene). Then, finish off with saffron threads and mango chunks. Wait until the lollipops completely cool, and then pop them out of molds. Enjoy – you’ve earned this! You can wipe the sweat off your brow. Didn’t I tell you that you had this?
Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography