Homemade gift - Lollipops
Like the idea of homemade Christmas gifts but figure the diary is already too full? Think again.
Photo: Eddie Jim
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- Sunflower oil, for greasing
- 300g granulated sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- ½ rounded tsp cream of tartar
- 2 tsp peppermint or lemon extract
- 2 contrasting food colouring pastes
Use food-colouring pastes — from cake decoration shops — to tint the lollies whatever shade you desire. The colours are stronger, more varied, and each little pot seems to last forever. If you can't get hold of a lolly mould, try setting the lollies in very well greased round cutters or crumpet rings placed on a sheet of baking paper. Remove the rings just before the lollies set solid, and firmly press a lolly stick into each one. Or you could try making them free-form for a more homemade look.
Grease a six-hole lolly mould with sunflower oil and line the bottom of each with a heart shape of greased baking paper.
Tip the sugar and syrup into a small pan. Add the cream of tartar and 175ml of water. Set the pan over a gentle heat and warm slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a steady boil and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, until it reaches the "hard crack" stage, 154C on a sugar thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and add the peppermint or lemon extract, swirling the pan to mix in evenly.
Pour roughly three-quarters of the mixture into a small warmed bowl and the rest into another. Add one of the food colourings to the larger quantity and the other to the smaller amount. Stir quickly until each mixture is evenly coloured.
Spoon the first mixture into the greased lolly moulds. Drizzle with the second mixture and lightly swirl the two together using a wooden skewer. Place a lolly stick into each lolly and leave to set until solid and completely cold before removing from the moulds.
Wrap individually in cellophane.
Gift immediately; the lollipops are best eaten within a day or two of making.