Creating Nerdy, Unique and Custom Cupcakes for All
Rock Candy Gems and Crystals for Dwarves and Wizards Cupcakes
Because the recipe doesn’t halve well, and the prepared candy can be stored for some time, it takes the least hassle and mess to make both the gems and the crystals toppers in one go.
Having said that, you’ll still probably want help to coordinate and there will be a lot of dishes.
1 Cup Water
3 3/4 Cups Sugar
1 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 - 1 Tsp. Flavor Oil (optional) (Note: for the Wizard crystals if you use flavor oil you will need to use a colorless one. For the gems, if you use a colored flavor oil, use a corresponding color with the food color you are going to add- ie, red for rubies gets cherry, pomegranate, etc., green for emeralds gets mint, apple, etc.)
Red, Blue and Green Food Coloring
Liberally (and I mean liberally) spray four small baking dishes with cooking spray.
Mix together water, sugar and corn syrup and divide evenly into four separate saucepans.
This is where it can get tricky, and I recommend doing one color batch at a time (four total), or having help and then still only doing two batches at a time (for two rounds total).
Over medium-high heat, cook until all of the sugar crystals have dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 300 on a candy thermometer. To check without a candy thermometer, drop a bit of the mixture into a cup of cold water. When the drop hardens completely, it is at hard candy stage and the temperature is correct. Don’t turn your back on these while cooking- as especially at the end, it’s easy to go too far and burn the batch. SEE BELOW FOR HOW TO HANDLE A BURNT BATCH.
PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN WORKING WITH HOT SUGAR. IT CAN AND WILL BURN VERY BADLY (3RD DEGREE EASY) IF IT TOUCHES SKIN.
Remove cooked sugar mixture from heat and stir in food color (gems only; add a couple of drops at a time until the desired color is reached) and flavor oil (if using). Pour mixture into the prepared pan and set aside to cool completely. This can take up to 1 hour.
Repeat three more times, with the two remaining colors, leaving the final batch clear for the Wizard crystals.
Once the candy has hardened, use a rubber mallet to break into pieces.
For the gems, you want smaller pieces, as you’re going to have multiple in different colors on top of each cupcake.
For the crystals, you want larger pieces, as you will have only one per cupcake.
If you have trouble getting the candy out of the pan, microwave it for 20 – 30 seconds and then try again. THE CANDY CAN GET HOT DOING THIS AND SO ONCE AGAIN BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN WORKING WITH HOT CANDY/SUGAR.
Garnish the tops of the respective cupcakes as described in the Dwarven Cupcakes or Wizard Cupcakes posts
If you do burn any of the batches follow these instructions:
Turn off heat immediately. Turn on the over-oven fan to pull out the steam/smoke/smell. Fill the sink with COLD water. Slowly pour the scalded mixture into the water bath (it will steam and make angry noises; pour in little bits at a time. Soak the pan in HOT water to clean it out. You can remove the chunks of burnt sugar in a few minutes with your hands- they will be cool to the touch.
To clean your pans normally, also use hot water to dissolve any hardened sugar.