Finally I decided to make Invert Sugar Syrup. Wait! But what is Invert Sugar?
HOW TO MAKE INVERT SUGAR SYRUP ?
A lot of recipes such Homemade Marshmallows, Candies, Caramels, Peppermint Patties use corn syrup. I wanted to try and use something that is not so heavily processed. But yielding the same results. I’ve heard of invert sugar but I thought it was too complicated to make so I never looked it up. Not until recently.
I was surprised to find out that Invert Sugar Syrup is actually super simple to make. It’s derived from table sugar (sucrose). And to make it you only need 3 ingredients (table sugar, water, acid) and a candy thermometer.
WHAT IS INVERT SUGAR?
Invert Sugar is a popular sweetener among pastry chefs. It can inhibit or slow down crystallization in candies, toffee, ice cream fudge, icing, ganache, fondant, etc. It is also hygroscopic and can help with keeping baked goods fresher for longer. Also, invert sugar is easier to use to sweeten cold drinks rather than table sugar. And it’s simple enough to make at home using table sugar (sucrose), water and acid (cream of tartar, citric acid or lemon juice).
WHY DO I NEED TO ADD ACID?
I had the same question when I first read the recipe. So here is a simple explanation. Basically, table sugar is disaccharide. It’s made of 2 sugar molecules called glucose and fructose. These 2 bond together. And to break up the bond between them a hydrolysis is used (a chemical reaction where water is used). Addition of acid helps to split sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose.
- Candy Thermometer – to measure correct temperature of syrup
- Pastry Brush – use to brush down the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals
- Table Sugar
- Acid – you can use cream of tartar or citric acid. Lemon juice can also be used but I haven’t tried it.
Cream of Tartar is a powder and Citric Acid is granulated.
Into a non-reactive pan (I used 3qt/3liter stainless steel pan) add water, cream of tartar or citric acid and granulated sugar.
Stir well to combine. Heat the mixture on low heat until all of the sugar is dissolved. You can check wooded spoon for traces of crystals or rub the mixture between your fingers. If you feel grainy texture cook for a little longer to dissolve all of the sugar. To dissolve this amount of sugar can take 10 minutes or so at low heat.
Once all of the sugar is dissolved, increase the heat to medium and stop stirring. Bring mixture to boil.
At this stage there will most likely be sugar crystals on the sides of the pot. You need to wash these down with a pastry brush dipped in water. Or alternatively cover the pan with a lid for 2 minutes and let the steam and condensation to wash them down.
Attach a candy thermometer onto the pan and continue cooking syrup. Again if you notice any sugar crystals on the sides brush it with the pastry brush dipped in water. It’s important to dissolved any sugar crystals. If left behind will later it will cause a chain reaction and crystallization will occur.
Cook sugar syrup till it reaches a Soft Ball Stage (236-240F). It took about 60 minutes to make the invert sugar syrup from start to finish.
Remove pan with syrup from the heat. And cover pan with a lid and let cool to room temperature.
HOW TO STORE INVERT SUGAR SYRUP
This recipe makes about 4 cups of invert sugar syrup. I pour the cooled syrup into 2-pint jars. Then I placed a food wrap to seal the top. And I closed the jar with a lid. Store the invert sugar in the refrigerator. It keeps for at least six months. The syrup will thicken in the fridge. It will harden in the fridge, so you must microwave it to make it pourable.
USING INVERT SUGAR SYRUP IN RECIPES
Invert syrup thickens as it cools and even more once refrigerated. As a matter of fact don’t be surprised to find it solid hard when you take it out of the fridge. When I first took it out of the fridge I could barely make a dent in it with a spoon. Solution? You can either let it sit at room temperature until it softens or I actually microwaved it in 10 second intervals until it was somewhat pourable.
CAN I USE INVERT SUGAR IN PLACE OF CORN SYRUP ?
Yes. Invert Sugar and Corn Syrup are very similar. They are both sweet and very smooth. Both also work as crystallization inhibitors. And they can help prevent or slow down crystallization in candies, toffee, ice cream fudge etc. I’ve used it to make Thick Caramel and Homemade Marshmallows with no issues. You can also use it in cakes and cookies to prolong their shelf life.
Even though Invert Sugar and Corn Syrup are very similar there is a considerable difference in sweetness. Invert Sugar is sweeter than Corn Syrup. So small adjustments have to be made to the recipe or your finished product can be overly sweet.
MORE ABOUT INVERT SUGAR SYRUP
MORE DELICIOUS CANDY RECIPES
TO MAKE INVERT SUGAR YOU NEED
Invert Sugar Syrup
Invert Sugar Syrup (imperial)
- 4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or citric acid
Invert Sugar Syrup (metric)
- 1 kg granulated sugar
- 480 ml water
- 1 gram cream of tartar or citric acid
Invert Sugar Syrup
- Into a non-reactive pan pour water (2cup/480ml), add granulated sugar (4cups+6tbsp/1kg) and cream of tartar or citric acid (1/4tsp/1gram). Stir well.
- Heat the mixture on low heat until all of the sugar is dissolved. You can check if sugar is dissolved by rubbing the mixture between your fingers. Or stir with a wooden spoon and check for any sugar crystals on the spoon. If they are still sugar crystals, continue cooking until dissolved.
- Once sugar is dissolved, STOP STIRRING and increase the heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil. On the sides of the pan, you'll notice some of the sugar crystals stuck to the sides. This is normal. Brush the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water. Don't dip the brush in the syrup. Alternatively, you can cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes and let the condensation wash away any residual sugar crystals on the sides.
- While boiling, attach a candy thermometer and cook until the thermometer reaches Soft Ball Stage (236F/114C). Once it reaches this temperature, remove the pan from the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let cool completely.
- Invert Syrup thickens as it cools. Pour it into a glass jar or other container that you can seal well. I used 2 pint canning jars. Then cover the top with a food wrap and close with a lid. Store in the fridge. It keeps at least 6 months.
- HOW TO USE INVERT SUGAR SYRUP? The syrup becomes firm in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before using. I’ve been microwaving it in 10-second intervals until pourable.
- HOW TO MEASURE INVERT SYRUP? – 1/4 cup of inverted syrup is approximately 85 grams. I use a digital scale it.
- WHAT DOES INVERT SUGAR TASTE LIKE? – Invert sugar is sweet , it has a very smooth texture and it’s sweeter than corn syrup.
- CAN INVERT SUGAR BE USED IN PLACE OF CORN SYRUP? –Yes. Invert Sugar and Corn Syrup are very similar. They are both sweet and very smooth. Both also work as crystallization inhibitors. Invert Sugar and Corn Syrup help prevent or slow down crystallization in candies, toffee, ice cream fudge, etc. I’ve used it to make Thick Caramel and Homemade Marshmallows with no issues. However, there is a considerable difference in sweetness. Invert Sugar is sweeter than Corn Syrup. So minor adjustments have to be made, or final product will be too sweet.
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