Old Fashioned Raspberry Drops

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By Team Studio Kitchen

In the wonderful world of confectionery, few treats evoke the nostalgia and charm of old-fashioned raspberry drops. These timeless sweets, with their vibrant colour and tangy-sweet flavour, have been a beloved indulgence for generations. To truly appreciate these candies, it's essential to understand the rich history of boiled and pulled sweets, a confectionery tradition that dates back centuries.

Boiled sweets, also known as hard candies, have their origins in ancient civilizations. The art of candy-making was practiced by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, who would boil sugar with water and flavourings to create delightful treats. However, it wasn't until the medieval period in Europe that sugar became more widely available, allowing for a greater variety of sweets to be produced.

The process of making boiled sweets involves heating sugar to high temperatures until it reaches the hard crack stage. This method not only preserves the sugar but also transforms it into a glossy, brittle candy. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the refinement of sugar and the development of sugar boiling techniques led to an explosion of sweet creations. Confectioners began experimenting with various flavours and colours, resulting in a plethora of hard candies that delighted both children and adults.

Pulled sweets, on the other hand, are a subcategory of boiled sweets that require an additional step of aeration. After the sugar mixture is boiled, it is pulled and folded repeatedly to incorporate air, creating a lighter, opaque candy with a distinctive texture. This technique was particularly popular in the Victorian era, when candy-making became a cherished pastime in many households. Pulling the sugar not only added visual appeal but also enhanced the candy's texture, making it more enjoyable to eat.

Raspberry drops, became a classic among these confections. The natural tartness of raspberries balanced perfectly with the sweetness of the boiled sugar, making them an instant favourite. These candies were often handmade, with each batch reflecting the skill and artistry of the confectioner. Darren has modernised his version with the addition of freeze-dried raspberry powder adding a delicious raspberry intensity.

See:     Raspberry Shaped Silicone Mat

Citric Acid

Time

1

hour

30

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Pro Chef

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1

Portions

105
pieces

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Ingredients

Servings

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500g white sugar
120g water
75g glucose syrup
 q.s. water soluble red food colour
10 drops lemon juice
10g citric acid
30g freeze dried raspberry powder
30g cornflour
30g icing sugar
1

For the sugar… take a large and spotlessly clean saucepan and add the water followed by the sugar. Ensure the water goes into the pan first to prevent the sugar from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Place the pan onto a stove. I prefer induction for this as there are no flames which may tinge the sugar before it is ready. Heat the syrup without stirring to a boil. Have a clean pastry brush ready with a little water to brush down the sides of the pan if the sugar looks to be crystallising.

 

2

Add the glucose… once the syrup is boiling add the glucose to the pan and continue to boil. Use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature of the syrup. Once the sugar has boiled to a temperature of 135C add in the drops of food colour and continue to cook.

 

3

Add the lemon juice… at a temperature of around 150C add in the drops of lemon juice and continue to cook to a temperature of 155C. Remove from the heat and pour the sugar onto a silicone mat.

 

4

Flavour the sugar… sprinkle the citric acid and 20 g of the raspberry powder onto the hot sugar. As the sugar starts to cool fold the edges towards the centre. Be careful this is hot, use the silicone mat to help you fold the sugar over repeatedly to try and mix in the flavour. When cool enough to just handle, pull and fold the sugar until it has a nice grain and shine.

 

5

Cut the sugar… Pull a thin strand of sugar and use scissors to cut small pieces. These pieces should be bite size and if the sugar starts to cool to quickly (making it hard to work with) you can heat it gently on a mat in a warm oven or put a warm tray underneath the mat to make the sugar pliable.

 

6

Shape the sugar… if you have a fancy raspberry shaped silicone mat* like ours then, lightly spray the mat and push the cut pieces of sugar into the cavities. If you do not have a silicone mat skip to step 8.

* We use a 35 cavity silicone mat in the shape of individual raspberries – see more here. You could use a silicone dome mould or something similar just ensure it is a mould with bite size cavities.

 

7

Put the mat into an oven… set to 120C and melt to shape, this should take around 10 minutes. Once the sugar has levelled off in the moulds remove the mat from the oven and leave to cool fully before demoulding the sweets.

 

8

Mix the cornflour, icing sugar… and remaining 10 g of raspberry powder together and dust a work bench or add to a bowl. Coat the sweets (either shaped or just cut with scissors) with the powder and use a dry brush to remove excess.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

For the sugar… take a large and spotlessly clean saucepan and add the water followed by the sugar. Ensure the water goes into the pan first to prevent the sugar from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Place the pan onto a stove. I prefer induction for this as there are no flames which may tinge the sugar before it is ready. Heat the syrup without stirring to a boil. Have a clean pastry brush ready with a little water to brush down the sides of the pan if the sugar looks to be crystallising.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

Add the glucose… once the syrup is boiling add the glucose to the pan and continue to boil. Use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature of the syrup. Once the sugar has boiled to a temperature of 135C add in the drops of food colour and continue to cook.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

Add the lemon juice… at a temperature of around 150C add in the drops of lemon juice and continue to cook to a temperature of 155C. Remove from the heat and pour the sugar onto a silicone mat.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

Flavour the sugar… sprinkle the citric acid and 20 g of the raspberry powder onto the hot sugar. As the sugar starts to cool fold the edges towards the centre. Be careful this is hot, use the silicone mat to help you fold the sugar over repeatedly to try and mix in the flavour. When cool enough to just handle, pull and fold the sugar until it has a nice grain and shine.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

Cut the sugar… Pull a thin strand of sugar and use scissors to cut small pieces. These pieces should be bite size and if the sugar starts to cool to quickly (making it hard to work with) you can heat it gently on a mat in a warm oven or put a warm tray underneath the mat to make the sugar pliable.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

Shape the sugar… if you have a fancy raspberry shaped silicone mat* like ours then, lightly spray the mat and push the cut pieces of sugar into the cavities. If you do not have a silicone mat skip to step 8.

* We use a 35 cavity silicone mat in the shape of individual raspberries – see more here. You could use a silicone dome mould or something similar just ensure it is a mould with bite size cavities.

7
0 hours 0 minutes

Put the mat into an oven… set to 120C and melt to shape, this should take around 10 minutes. Once the sugar has levelled off in the moulds remove the mat from the oven and leave to cool fully before demoulding the sweets.

8
0 hours 0 minutes

Mix the cornflour, icing sugar… and remaining 10 g of raspberry powder together and dust a work bench or add to a bowl. Coat the sweets (either shaped or just cut with scissors) with the powder and use a dry brush to remove excess.