Barley sugar is an ancient sweet originally made from hot sugar syrup and coloured with an extract of barley. In appearance it is similar to a boiled sweet and usually amber in colour. Should you feel the desire to make your own, old-style barley sugar, you will need:
Barley - 250g (9 oz), hulled
Water - 5 litres (9 pints)
Sugar - 1 kg (2¼ lb), warmed
- Gently cook the barley in the water for 5 hours.
- Strain the jelly-like liquid and return it to the pan. Add the sugar, stir over a gentle heat until dissolved.
- Boil the mixture until it just reaches the hard crack stage, 150°C (300°F). Pour the mixture over an oiled marble slab.
- As soon as the mixture begins to cool, cut it into long strips and twist them.
Nowadays, barley sugar tends to be made with saffron
, sugar and water, flavoured with oil of citron
, orange, or lemon.