Edinburgh Rock Moustache Lollipops

Introduction: Edinburgh Rock Moustache Lollipops

Edinburgh Rock is a rich, delicious candy made up from a simple boiled sugar solution. The recipe is easy and it's a good base for almost any flavor you desire. The Wikipedia article has some fun information about the folklore surrounding the treat, if you're interested.  The end result is a delicious candy with a highly compacted powdery texture. 

Traditionally, Edinburgh Rock is in a thick stick form, but WE'RE MAKING THEM INTO MOUSTACHES on a stick- because everyone needs an extra moustache or two! These are hand sculpted, but that means you don't need a mold! Not having a mold means your possibilities go beyond moustaches and into the endless infinity or YOUR IMAGINATION! We like moustaches because Edinburgh Rock is elegant and rich, and seems to enjoy looking like a handlebar moustache on a Circus Ringleader.

While these lollipops are really fun, this is NOT a kid-friendly process. The mixture is HOT and sticky and not for little hands. Kids will be happy enough with the moustaches.

Step 1: Stuff You Need

1 ¼ cups of water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon liquid glucose
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Flavoring and food coloring of your choice I chose cotton candy and pink, more traditional would be raspberry or rose water with pink
Oil of your choosing to oil your surface and tools

Marble slab or cookie sheet
Pan with a lid
Large bowl of ice water (large enough to place the bottom of your pot in)
Two Metal spatulas (We used a pie server and a cake spatula instead)
Candy thermometer
Wooden spoon
Parchment paper
Scissors (If you want traditional stick form, we found them helpful to have handy either way)
Lollipop sticks (any stick really works, dowels, bamboo skewers, etc, but we went the easy route and bought some)
A second set of hands (Another person is almost a must here. It certainly makes things go a billion times easier & faster.)

You should be able to get everything but the liquid glucose and cream of tartar at a traditional grocery store. Those two will be found at a specialty bake/pastry shop. Call ahead to make sure they've got what you need. In Austin, we go to All In One Bake Shop . Bake shops will also have a much larger selection of food coloring and flavoring. We chose Cotton Candy flavoring and pink food coloring!

Step 2: Prepare Your Tools & Surface

Edinburgh Rock is very sticky in the early process, so we’re going to prepare our surface ahead of time. You can do this while you wait for the sugar to boil during the next step, but it might be best to do it ahead of time your first run-through.

1) Oil your tools: Pour a small amount of oil in the middle of your slab or baking sheet and use a paper towel to spread it thinly around the surface. Then use the oiled paper towel to spread a thin later of oil on your metal spatulas and scissors. Make sure to leave the oil available for your hands, you'll need it later on.
     a) Marble Slab or Baking Sheet
     b) Metal spatulas
     c) Scissors
     d) Leave the oil available for your hands as you go on.
2) Place out Parchment Paper on your surface

Step 3: Mix Ingredients and Boil Sugar

Put your sugar, glucose, and water in the saucepan. Turn your stove up to low to medium heat and gently heat the mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns milky-clear.

Add the cream of tartar and bring to a boil on high heat. Once it has boiled, cover with the lid and allow to boil another 3 minutes. 

Uncover and boil. Add the thermometer and allow the temperature to reach 275*F. (This is known as the “soft crack stage” in candy-making.) Once you’ve gotten really good at candy making, you’ll learn techniques to see when the sugar is the right temperature, but we’re using the candy thermometer just to make sure. It is going to take about 20 minutes for the water to boil out and for the sugar to reach 275*F. (If you’re doing this for the second or third time, this is when I’d do the step labeled “Prepare Your Tools and Surface.”)

Remove from heat at 275*F and place the bottom of the pan in the bowl of ice water so it cools rapidly. Quickly stir in flavor*** and color*** and pour onto your oiled marble slab or baking sheet. 

***Note about flavor and color amounts: The flavor I used is very concentrated. My first batch I used about half of the .125 oz bottle I had and the second batch I used about a quarter of it. Both times it had a strong flavor, but the 2nd batch was a little more reasonable. Every flavor will vary as some are stronger than others. You’ll use color in a similar way, depending on the strength you want and the brand you have.

Step 4: Folding the Edinburgh Rock

Allow the edges to cool for 5 minutes, then lift them up using an oiled metal spatula or other scraping tool. As you lift the mixture, fold into the center. The mixture will begin to pool out again, just keep lifting the edges and folding it into the center in a pile. You'll notice that, as the mixture cools, it becomes more and more like a soft solid and less like a liquid.

Every once in a while, put your hand over the top to feel the temperature. If that doesn't feel too hot, touch the mixture briefly to check the temperature. You're going to be molding this with your hands in the next step, so oil your hands and make sure that the temperature is reasonably comfortable to HOLD, not just to touch. The oil will intensify the heat and it will be difficult to put down once it is in your hands. When I could leave my hand there for 20-30 seconds, I felt comfortable enough to pick it up.

Pick up the mixture and pull it into a long, thin, rope. Then fold it in half and pull again. It's sticky, so you'll want to let gravity help you stretch it in the right way. You'll do this for 15-20 minutes while it cools and becomes more manageable, continuing to oil your hands when it starts sticking to your skin again.

Continue folding the candy until it gets to a point where you can roll it into a tube.

This step is really difficult to describe, so we've included a couple short videos to let you see the process. (The second video is too big for Instructables, so we've placed it here on YouTube .) You will notice the color turn paler and more opaque as it cools.

Step 5: Shaping the Edinburgh Rock

Once you've gotten it cool enough to where it will roll into a tube, QUICKLY start stretching off thinner lengths. Normally, these lengths are left as small tubes and are cut with oiled scissors, but we sculpted ours into moustaches. (Check out the World Beard and Moustache Championships' website for inspiration.)

Take a length and lay it on the parchment paper and start to pinch and shape it to your choosing. Take a stick and insert it with candy on all sides and then pinch and smooth around the stick so it adheres solidly. While a revolving moustache might sound fun it quickly loses its delight when it drops on the floor. Some moustaches, like the Fu Manchu, work better if you sculpt it directly on top of a stick.

AGAIN, MOVE QUICKLY. Edinburgh Rock will go from stretchy and pliable to hard, crumbly and impossible to sculpt without warning. If you wait too long, you'll have a pile of candy in a rock shape instead of a candy moustache. Fortunately, Edinburgh Rock in rock shape is still exceptionally tasty.

Once you have your shapes laid out on your parchment allow them to remain in a warm place overnight to 24 hours.
Store in an airtight container with wax paper in between layers or wrap each in cellophane or wax paper.

While my 2nd attempt was better than my first I still had candy that went unshaped. You'll certainly want a couple of assistant to help you shape moustaches before to Edinburgh Rock cools.

Step 6: Wear Your Moustache

Wear your moustache! When you've tired of carrying it, or you need to make a quick costume change to avoid the authorities after committing some dastardly deed- EAT IT.

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    6 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    that's just brilliant! - i vote your you!
    hahaha - still laughin ;)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the support! I really liked your Cadbury Egg Instructable!