By Engi, 28 November 2015
This particular post is one that I’ve been wanting to do since I started Smorgasdork. I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad, binging the entire show a week before the finale. The story of a family man turned drug kingpin was a fascinating story of change. We often see the metamorphosis of a character in stories, but they’re hardly as drastic or violent. Often the main character learns lessons, but stays roughly in their natural alignment. Not Walter White. He went from Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil in 5 seasons. All for the love of meth and being in control.
Now we’re going to create a candy version of the signature meth from the show, Blue Sky, the hallmark of Walter and Jesse’s drug empire and started the downward spiral into madness. Fun fact, during the tapings, all the meth was hard candy that was sour blueberry flavor. Aaron Paul would sneak some off set. True story … if Youtube is to believed. You get bonus points and taste if you play this song while cooking.
- 2 Cup Sugar
- 1 Light Corn Syrup
- 2/3 Water
- 1 Tsp Blueberry Extract
- Candy Thermometer
No setting the oven to any temperature today. Instead we’re going to conquer the art of stove top candy creation. To make Blue Sky, we’re going to need methylamine … no wait that’s corn syrup, sugar, and water. Those are the base components for making most hard and soft candies. What you add after determines the flavor, and how long you cook it determines the physical properties. Because breaking bad is a show about change and chemistry (also because I’m a chemical engineer by training), let’s dive into the science real quick before we make some Blue Sky.
The white sugar we use for this recipe is a compound with the chemical formula C12H22O11. If you just heat up sugar, you lose the oxygen atoms to oxidation and the leftover black stuff, the burnt sugar, is mostly carbon. The reason that this doesn’t happen in candy making is that we’ll have the sugar in solution with water. We’re losing oxygen and hydrogen atoms still, but from the water. When we stop boiling a pot of sugar solution, it’s now at a state of super saturation because there’s more sugar than water, causing it to either form crystals (hard candy) or a amorphous solid (chewy candy).
Now that we got the science out of the way, let’s get into the cooking. Before turning on the heat, mix your corn syrup, water, and sugar all together in a medium sauce pan or bowl and stir until it’s relatively uniform. There will be sugars in suspension, but we’ll deal with that soon. Turn the heat on the stove to medium to medium high (should not boil), and stir until all the sugar granules are in solution. At this point you can bump up the heat to high to get the sugar solution to boil to make that super saturated mix we were talking about. You also do not want to stir anymore. Don’t walk away from the pot, as it’s very easy to burn the sugar in this process. Alternate the heat as need be, and use a candy thermometer to eye the temperature. For our needs, we want the temperature to be 300˚F (150˚C) for a hard crack rock candy.
When the solution reaches temp, pull it off the burner and add the extract and stir in the flavor. You also add in the blue food coloring at this point to get that Blue Sky coloration. Stir in the flavor, coloring, and then quickly pour the sugar into a cookie sheet lined with either butter or foil. Set to cool and crack the sheet of candy after 30 minutes of cooling. And that’s how we cook, Jesse.