Good Question: Miniature Candied Apples and Sugar Syrup

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Inspired by these candied apples, Sarah had a charming idea: miniature candied apple bites. But she ran into a problem, and needs some help. She writes:

So all the talk of candied apples had me excited to put my own spin on them. I cater baked goods for businesses here in Kansas City, and I wanted to add something seasonally hip and fun. So I chose to try a mini-candied apple. I used a melon baller and cut balls out of each apple.

Click through for more pictures of her mini-apples, her dilemma, and our thoughts…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Then I made the yummy candied part and dipped and shook and finally ended up with them to cool on my Silpat. It was way cute… And then my heart sank. Apparently the candied sugar wasn’t sticking to the apple. It stuck to the stick and stuck to the apple skin that was on the bottom of each piece…but not to the cut sides of the apple.

Before coating the apples in candy I had rolled them in lemon juice so they didn’t brown up, but I also patted them dry… so they shouldn’t have been wet.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Does anyone have a suggestion to help remedy my problem? I would really like them to work out! I had thought about possibly rolling them in powdered sugar or cornstarch before hand, I don’t know enough about sugar properties to take a step in the right direction on this one!

Here is the <a href="<br/>%E2%80%9C>flickr%20set</a>%20with%20some%20documentation%20of%20what%20happened.%20I%20guess%20either%20way%20my%20kitchen%20was%20sporting%20some%20fall%20color.%20Any%20help%20would%20be%20great%20thanks!%20</p>%20%0A<p>Dear%20Sarah,%20<br>Even%20with%20the%20sugar%20syrup%20rolling%20off%20the%20apple,%20we%20still%20think%20your%20project%20is%20ultra-cute.%20Here%20are%20a%20few%20thoughts.</p>%20%0A<p>%E2%80%A2%20Are%20you%20quite%20sure%20the%20syrup%20made%20it%20to%20the%20hard-crack%20stage?%20Make%20sure%20your%20sugar%20is%20hot%20enough;%20it%20should%20harden%20immediately%20and%20impermeably%20around%20anything%20at%20that%20point.%20Use%20a%20candy%20thermometer%20to%20make%20sure%20the%20sugar%20gets%20to%20310%C2%BAF.%20Check%20out%20this%20<a%20href=" http:>Sugar Candy Chart for more information.

• You also want to make sure your sugar is at the right concentration. For making a shell like this you really need to start with almost 100% sugar – no added water or liquids. If you’ve heated sugar to the hard crack stage that means almost all water has evaporated out, but if you add food coloring or flavorings at this point it could dilute the syrup.

• Also, lemon juice is an acid and it is used in early stages of candy-making to prevent crystallization. It may have interfered with the sugar setting as well.

• And finally, yes, moisture can also interfere. We would suggest patting the apple balls very dry, and even putting them in the oven on low heat to dry out for ten minutes or so. This will make them less juicy, but no less crunchy.

• One other expert suggestion we received was to store the apples after and before with a desiccant – silica gel or something else that will dry them out. Silica gel, however, is not edible, so it can be in the same box but not eaten or allowed to touch the apples at all.

Edited to add: Sarah also tried caramel but it slid off even worse than the candy.

• And one more idea: If you haven’t tried this already, try double-dipping. Dip, let cool slightly, then dip again.

Any other thoughts for Sarah and her project?