Do-It-Yourself Dragon's Beard Candy

Picture of Do-It-Yourself Dragon's Beard Candy
As I was poking around my regular blogs I stumbled upon this YouTube video here http://youtu.be/auRNHI2nkIU which has inspired me and my sister to try the recipe out and to share what we've learned.

The recipe for the candy is in fact dead easy make, it is the technique to magically change a solid puck of sugar into a cotton candy like consistency that is really the tricky bit.

Now where I live it is more likely known as Dragon's Beard candy, but in essence it is a type of pulled candy like taffy. It can also be described as a hand-pulled cotton candy.

Bare in mind that we're amateurs at making this, so the end result is not pretty and if this is your first time making this do not expect it to turn out perfectly until you have made it a few times. 

You can find other names for this candy here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon%27s_beard_candy for educational purposes.

Now onwards to the next step...

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

Picture of Ingredients and Tools
For a basic Dragon's Beard you need,

Ingredients (Syrup):-
* 1000g / 2.2lb of sugar
* 100g / 3.5oz of light corn syrup or maltose
* 1 tsp of white vinegar (careful here, too much or too little might mess up the final product)
* 500ml or 2 cups of water

Ingredients (Dusting):-
* 3 to 4 cups of corn starch or rice flour

Ingredients (Filling):-
* 2 to 3 cups of peanuts

* a saucepan that will comfortably fit the ingredients
* a candy thermometer
* a pastry brush
* round disposable plastic containers or preferably silicone doughnut baking molds
* your hands

Note: We highly HIGHLY recommend you use silicone doughnut baking molds or just silicone baking molds in general. We will cover why a steps down.
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CathoHolic4 years ago
just wanna drop by because this reminds me of one of my favorite korean snacks I purchase from the vendors on the streets of Korea

It's called Kkul Tarae a traditional Korean snack for Royalty (back in the ol' days of course)

here's some videos on how to pull them better and to use different ingredients (?)
they taste better too than that sugar concoction

Korean Vendors... where they know how to sell with their performances and multi-language knowledge and humor

First video will show a method to stretch and it's humorous to listen
Second video shows a better show on how to properly wrap them into little individual packets while also giving another humorous video :D

Personally I like the Korean Dragon's beard over the Chinese Dragon's Beard due to use of different base solid.
zidthekid (author)  CathoHolic4 years ago
Thank you for the education, it's always nice to learn something new from someone. I did not know that's what it's called in Korea and I think I hurt my tongue trying to say the name :D

I have only ever known the Chinese style of making it because I am from Malaysia and the Chinese make up a major part of the population.

I was aware that there was a Korean version of the recipe but didn't know it used honey and malt for the base. That sounds tasty and will experiment with that next time I make Dragon's Beard again. Admittedly my the recipe I am using is very sugary.

I have seen videos on how to do it but lack the experience to do it as smoothly and precisely as they do in the videos you shared. But that would obviously change as one keeps making the candy, I did mention that me and my sister are amateurs at making it.

Thanks for leaving a comment :)

“Kkul Tarae (honey skein) is a court cake made of ripened honey and malt which was once presented to the king and valuable guests. It is brewed with artisan spirit to make 16,000 strand suggesting the prayer for longevity, health, god fortune and wish-fulfillment. It is not much sweet, not sticky to teeth, but enjoyable with various tastes according to garnishings. It can taste better with teas as it is cold and frozen.”

HELLO THERE!! I am looking for recipe for ginger chew can anybody help me? I want them taste like chimes or gin gin

MZ212 months ago

just want to know why the candy I made is like rock, even I use the candy while warm the middle is warm enough to pull but the surface still hard and it breaks.

are u able to assist

MZ212 months ago

just want to know why the candy I made is like rock, even I use the candy while warm the middle is warm enough to pull but the surface still hard and it breaks.

are u able to assist

babu371 year ago
Loved the tip on using those silicone molds, definitely made it easier. I mixed the recipe up a bit, and used these ratios to make it easier to get a good 'puck':
50g Maltose
500g Sugar
250g Water
1/2 tsp White Vinegar
100g Corn Syrup
My only question is do you think I could freeze them? I don't want to make them all and then have them go to waste. If not I know some office people and friends are going to get spoiled!
zidthekid (author)  babu371 year ago
Hi :)

Never occurred to me to freeze them before, the "hairs" are just sugar which preserves itself. The rice or corn flour and the chosen filling would be an issue..... I have seen them last about a week in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Unfortunately your guess is as good as mine.... I suppose try freeze a small amount in maybe a ziplock bag with the air sucked out as much as possible to lessen the chance of frost and when you want to eat them just let them get back up to room temperature on their own.

Hi, My biggest problem is that my mix gets to hard. I tried not making it to hot or make it hotter. Bolth result in a hard as a rock mix. Therefore i cannot do anything with it:( I dont understand why... And it really sucks hahaha. I have to keep cleaning up...
timbit19852 years ago
The phase change is called latent heat of fusion, and is a PHYSICAL process not a chemical. A general rule of thumb, is that chemical changes are not easily reversible where as physical changes are. If you were to cool liquid sugar, it would form a solid again :) Nice instructable.
gengelmann3 years ago
I got a version of this in Korea when I was younger and I've always wondered how to make it.

I live in Colorado, so the altitude is extremely high.. When I tried making this candy, I had it at a medium heat and set the timer for 25 minutes. It got up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit before it stopped moving, and it stopped moving for about five minutes. I let it sit for a while longer before turning up the heat a little bit, and it still didn't move for another five minutes. At this point, it's been about 30 minutes and it still hadn't moved from 200. Finally, I turned up the heat a bit more and it reached 269 and I killed the heat and took it off. It had probably been cooking about 40 minutes.

When it cooled down, it was hard as a rock, white, and crusty. Is that because I let it cook too long? Should I start with a higher heat so it stays within the 20-25 minute range, or will the candy just not work period because I'm at a high (and very dry) altitude?
When any candy recipe *claims* that they want you to cook a sugar/water mix until it reaches some specific temperature, what they *actually* want you to do is to cook it until it reaches some particular ratio of sugar to water.

At sea level, for any desired sugar/water ratio, one can start with a dilute mix of sugar in water, then cook until it reaches some particular temperature -- the higher the ratio of sugar to water, the higher the temperature.

At high altitudes, water boils at lower temperatures. Also, sugar/water mixtures boil at lower temperatures.

Thus, to achieve the proper sugar/water ratio that the recipe actually wants, you need to decrease the temperature to which you cook the candy.

If, at high altitude, you cook your candy to the same temperature called for in a recipe meant to sea level, the results will be very overcooked.

There's probably a formula you can use for adapting candy recipes for high altitudes... I would suggest doing a google search for "high altitude candy making" (without quotes).

mybrowning3 years ago
Love this tutorial! Thanks!
Does anyone know the recipe for Kukul Tarae that uses HONEY? I understand that they main ingredients are honey and some sort of liquid malt. I'd love to use honey instead of sugar/corn syrup. Any help appreciated!
How much will this make exactly?
zidthekid (author)  Cinder Dragon4 years ago
Hm... depends on how small or fine you can make the hairs. I got about..... 12 of those clear plastic disposeable containers in the first or third picture.

Should get a little more than me since I made mistakes with one or two pucks and I know for sure I experimented with one of the pucks to see what happens if I just kept on going pulling it. Comes out tasting like cotton candy but with a nougat texture.
neanderthal4 years ago
Turkish "pişmaniye" :)

Oil, flour, sugar, lemon juice made from one type of halva is synonymous with our provinces and Izmit. Although originally from Izmit to a sweet way to ask why everyone falls in with a gift that can be counted, is much loved by the fans, like those Not that I hate where our country has a distinctive flavor.

Time to one of the gyro, the sultan's daughter also had a very nice ... This gyro without seeing the sultan's daughter fell in love ... The sultan had heard this angry and wanted to rest a gyro ... gyro, the sultan's presence, even love, afraid to tell absence, the sultan her daughter's hair, the wire than a thin sweet it can forgive him going, even her marriage would, but fails to kill him said, gyro working for a time after the Pişmaniye you have done ... The hair was thinner than she really wires and the sultan's daughter who agreed to give the gyro ... gyro Sultan's daughter saw the wedding day ... The poor girl was nearly 150 pounds ... gyro, so I have created a sweet regret not to forget that Pişmaniye also wanted to be...

pismaniye :D
where are you from
zidthekid (author)  spankeerrrrrrr4 years ago
I'm from Malaysia. Hope you've heard of it before :D
Aegian24244 years ago
could you use homemade "corn syrup" for that? a corn syrup substitube used for making homemade marshmellows.
or could you use rice syrup?
zidthekid (author)  Aegian24244 years ago
I don't see why not, as long as you are able to get that hair-like consistency in the end it should be ok. From my limited understanding of the recipe, it is a pretty robust recipe.

I have never used nor made homemade "corn syrup" or rice syrup. Corn syrup substitute ought to work but I've never tried. Though technically I substituted maltose for corn syrup cause at the time I couldn't find it and wasn't sure if it was kosher.

Do tell me how it turns out so that everyone reading the comments can be informed if homemade substitutes work. Thanks in advance :)
I used barley malt syrup (something like maltose syrup) but that just bubbled over the sides of the sauce pan even at the lovest temperature so I ended that...
This is AWESOME! I've seen street vendors make it and I always thought it would be impossible to do myself. You give me hope. Very cool!
eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
My candy string dried up and got crumbly. The pucks are fine, though. What could be wrong? They were only out (In a plastic bag and on the counter) for about 2 hours.
zidthekid (author)  eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
Hi :)

Sorry to hear that your candy dried up :(

I generally don't have that issue because my country is very humid and have to use desiccant packets to keep it from being sticky when I store it. But the candy drying up is to be expected but not in that short of a time span.

I suppose you could try going a little easy on the cornstarch and see if that helps.

I'll try to find a solution to your problem.
Okay. Good thing I still have two pucks!
finfan74 years ago
If you use the peanut powder in place of or in combination with the cornstarch, you'll get the flavour through the whole thing without the extra step.
zidthekid (author)  finfan74 years ago
That sounds like a good idea, thanks :)

huang966324 years ago
Nice share!

Actually, we in Indonesia have exactly the same kind of candy but unfortunately I don't know the name of the candy. The last time I ate that candy is when I was 8 years old!. The maker can make it with no mess at all. I envy him :D
corey114 years ago
HELP!!!! I used a muffin mold, and the pucks wont come out!!! i even oiled the molds too! Its metal, and they wont come out!!! How do i get them out?????????
zidthekid (author)  corey114 years ago
oh dear.... this is why I said to use silicone muffin molds or disposable plastic containers.

Let's see if I can help..... you could try running hot water on the underside of the muffin mold. That might soften the bottom and sides of the puck enough for you to pull it out.

You could also try boiling it in water if you have a large enough pot. That ought to dissolve the pucks back into syrup. Steaming might work as well.

Baking and/or microwaving is a not recommended, it might turn the pucks from soft candy into hard candy.

I hope this helps, let me know if these ideas work.

Phew, that was a close one. I got them out, i took a cleaned nail and poked it into one side at a time and pried up, and eventually i got all the pucks out like this, Im glad i oiled the pan, otherwise, i might no have been so fortunate. (Sorry if some spelling is off, i accidentally stuck my finger in a vaccuum motor while it was running. Im lucky i didnt lose it)
Cirdan4 years ago
What an excellent instructable, Zid! Many thanks for sharing. I've watched videos on Youtube of how the old masters made the candy, and now you've given me a recipe to start with. I can't wait to start making it!
zidthekid (author)  Cirdan4 years ago
Thank you so much for those kind words and hope that you will enjoy making these :)
That's really interesting.

Now, I know that some sweets are made on an industrial scale by pressing male molds into a tray of cornstarch, the sugary sweet mixture is then pored into the resulting female mold just in the cornstarch, (I think this is for the "gummy" type sweets). I wonder if this technique might work for making the original "puck" if one doesn't have silicone doughnut molds.
zidthekid (author)  Dream Dragon4 years ago
It's worth a try, I was just lucky I managed to find those silicone molds. I am assuming you mean putting a layer of cornstarch on the mold before pouring in the syrup so that it's easier to take out once it's cooled down and turned into the "puck". There is the risk of the cornstarch being burned or incorporated back into the syrup and make it stick to the mold just the same, you could try veggie oil.

The first time I tried it I used cheap disposable plastic containers that I could break or cut off the puck, then I had to punch a hole manually through the "puck". The use of silicone baking molds was a recent idea that turned out great.
No, what they mean is like making a pile of cornstarch on the table (or whatever) and pressing a doughnut shaped item into it to make a sort of mold. It is what they use to make things like jelly beans and gummi bears. I haven't tried making this yet but I would assume it would work. Like the rest of the process it would likely just take trial and error to get it to work right. Like on http://www.instructables.com/id/Corn-Starch-Candy-Mold-Lessons-learned/step4/New-mold-type-Lego/

I hope this helps :D
That's EXACTLY what I had in mind. Thank you for posting that, and for your own fascinating exploration of this tricky topic.
I discussed this with my mom, who has made this type of candy before, and she said no, this won't work. The cornstarch would draw out way too much moisture from the candy. It was an awesome idea though, i thought it would work.
zidthekid (author)  Dream Dragon4 years ago
Thanks Rayney, I did not quite understand Dream Dragon's question and your explanation clears it up.
Just made some. This stuff ranks very high on the "sticks to your fillings" scale.

Make sure you keep the thickness even all the time, and lengthen the donut by squeezing rather than stretching.
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