Making Blyton’s Food: Barley Sugar


It’s been a while since I gave you a recipe, from my ever expanding Blyton cook book, and unfortunately I can’t offer you a recipe for simply smashing ices or cooling ginger beer. However this recipe for barley sugar is great as a home made sweet – possibly better for the winter month and presents. Surprisingly easy to make and soon you too can be sucking on a home made sweet as good as Joanna’s!

And don’t worry, peppermints are on my list of cooking- to-dos!

This recipe is  taken and adapted from the Radiation New World Cookery Book. A rather old book which is certainly my mother’s, possibly even my grandmother’s. It’s held together with parcel tape but has some smashing recipes in. The sweets section is very interesting, and even comes with little instructions on how to do all the tricky techniques. For around a fiver you can purchase your own copy from Amazon.

You will need:

1 lb of loaf of granulated sugar – I used loose granulated sugar, and that is fine. Whatever you do, it has to be GRANULATED sugar because the mixture has to be brought to the right temperature and it can only get there with granulated sugar.
3/4 of a pint of water
Pinch of cream of tartar or 1 tablespoonful of glucose – I used the glucose, which worked fine. It is just something to bind the mixture together really.
A few drops of lemon juice
A few drops of vanilla essence – I actually used vanilla extract

Method: 

  • Soak the sugar and water in a pan for 1 hour (Catherine and I only soaked the sugar for 10 minutes which seemed to work just as well.)
  • Then stir over a low flame until the sugar has dissolved (without bringing it to boiling point!)
  • Add the glucose (or cream of tartar if that’s your choice) and bring sugar to boiling point.
  • Using a [sugar] thermometer, boil until the temperature reaches 245Farenheit (F).
  • Add lemon juice and boil to 312F.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat at once.
  • Add a few drops of vanilla essence (or extract) and allow to stand  until the all the bubbles have disappeared.
  • Pour into an greased tin or onto a greased slab.
  • While the barley sugar is cooling, mark it into squares or cut into strips with a greased knife  and twist with damp hands.
  • When quite cool, pack into airtight jars or tins.

I would suggest having clear counters and an afternoon to give this a go. It does take a while for the sugar to dissolve and then for the mixture to cool enough to cut and twist (if you’re adventurous like that). However, once it has hardened it makes a very nice sweet, perfect for sharing!

So give it a go and let us know how you get on! And don’t forget to suggest any recipes for us to try!

I’ll leave you with the pictures I took of making the sweets!

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