When I was a kid, Chupa Chups lollipops were like crack for me (and I’m not saying a child on crack is the best thing, or actually legal but I’m just saying..). The banana chocolate combo was a little sickly but I totally heart-ed it. And the strawberry ones were always so satisfying. Then in high school, it was suddenly really cool and fashionable to have a lollipop in the mouth about 24/7. You didn’t really need to suck on it. Just have it there. Have it exist in your mouth = instant popularity. It doesn’t quite work that way now unfortunately. But lollipops sure do bring me lots of joy just looking at it or giving them away.
I meant to make lollipops along with champagne jam for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle but totally missed the deadline having had to deal with life and some lollipop failure last week. Meeta celebrated her 609th post (congratulations!) and 4 successful years of her blog with the very elegant and regal queen of wines – champagne. I was so psyched for this! When I saw her MM tweet, my online shopping for candy making stuff began and it was all quick quick chop chop efficiency. Sadly enough, I haven’t been that efficient in meeting the deadline.
Thankfully, Meeta’s been too kind to wait for my entry and so here’s my contribution. It also Easter break and time for Easter sweeties. All the more reason to try again in hopes that I can spread some sugary joy to others. My lollies weren’t perfect but they were lollipops nonetheless and still a great improvement from the ones before. Only one was quite as it was meant to be from the butterfly mold but I was elated enough that they were unmolding fine from having greased the molds very generously. Of course, simply greasing a baking parchment to form round lollipops is and would’ve been dead easy if I’d done that last week right from that start. Now why didn’t I do that last week to save me all the post-candymaking failure depression? Well, we live and learn. That seems to be my motto of late!
I couldn’t decide at first between my champagne jam or champagne lollipops since the latter is sorta a cheat, using champagne oil instead of the real bubbly to flavour the hard candy. I finally opted for the latter. The jam can wait when juicier summer berries start hitting the shops. She says. Let’s hope I stay true to my word and don’t get carried away by something else. I’m just too fickle.
Well, that’s it for now. I’m gonna sit back, relax, and nurse my sorethroat. In the meantime, these lollies are gonna make nice little Easter gifts! Happy Easter folks.
Red Champagne Lollipops
Recipe adapted from She Simmers’ recipe here
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 dram champagne oil
- couple of drops red food colouring
- lollipop sticks
- sunflower oil, for greasing molds
- baking parchment (optional – if not using molds)
Generously grease with sunflower oil lollipop molds. If making round lollipops without molds, prepare baking parchment across flat surface or cookie tray, secure it down and grease with oil.
Combine sugar, light corn syrup and water in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil without stirring. Secure candy thermometer to the saucepan, making sure that the bulb of the thermometer doesn’t touch the base of the saucepan but is somewhere between the bottom of the saucepan and surface of the candy mixture so that temperature recorded is accurate.
Allow mixture to boil until it reaches 250-260d F. When it does so, carefully add a couple of drops of red food colouring. Gently swirl the saucepan to mix the colouring into the candy mixture. Do not use anything to mix it as the boiling action will allow for the colouring to mix through.
Continue to cook until mixture reaches 300d F.
Remove saucepan from heat and once the boiling action stops, add the champagne oil or any other flavour oils you are using and carefully stir through.
Pour syrup into prepared molds. The syrup will start to harden almost immediately so work quickly. Place lollipop sticks in the centre, pressing it into the middle of the hardening syrup. I add a little more candy syrup over it so that its securely fastened into the candy.
Leave to cool for 8-10mins. The lollipops should be ready to unmold by then. Allow to cool completely left standing in a glass, or put the sticks through a colander so that the candy does not touch any surfaces.
Under running tap water, rinse off excess grease and continue to let it dry off. Don’t attempt to wipe the surfaces with cloth or paper as that will leave unsightly marks.
Wrap lollipops with plastic wrappers, tie with ribbons and send them away as Easter gifts!