My Attempt at Making Carbonated Hard Candy




Introduction: My Attempt at Making Carbonated Hard Candy

About: Christian, MECE student, amateur guitarist, occasional pipe smoker, human, probably not dead. yep.

well, it's the thought that counts.

I recently obtained some citric acid. I originally bought it for making effervescent energy drink tablets, but I was looking to expand into other areas. I was putzing around my kitchen when the lightbulb went on - some sort of pop rocks type candy. I thought, "how hard can they be to make?" so I began experimenting. this did not end well, however - but I will include some tips at the end that I think could turn this into a viable method for creating DIY carbonated candies.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

here's what you'll need:
corn syrup
kool-aid (or some other flavoring)
citric acid
baking soda

as for the hardware:
parchment paper
candy thermometer

Step 2: Make Candy Base

I did a little research and followed a guide for making simple hard candy. basically, you just combine

1.25 cups sugar
.5 cups corn syrup
1/3 cup water

in a saucepan, put it on medium heat until it boils, then leave it to boil until it reaches 300 F. I actually added my flavoring here too (dumb - must read more carefully), so mine ended up all burnt tasting. fun. for this particular iteration, you'll want to add

1.25 tsp citric acid

to the mix.

Step 3: Wait.

it takes a while to reach 300 F.

while you're waiting, take time to prep the landing spot for your... whatever it turns out to be. it's pretty simple, I just lined a pan with parchment paper.

Step 4: Add Flavoring and Baking Soda

alright, the moment of truth: the addition of baking soda.

wait: first, put in 1/4 tsp kool aid (or whatever flavoring you're using).

alright, remember those old records where the record would tell you when to turn the page in the book? this is going to be a bit like that, but you're going to want to advance the photos on the cue.

view first photo.

here we go, adding the baking soda. just a little tap.

view second photo.

ooh, already fizzing a bit.

view third photo.

man, fizzing a lot. hope this doesn't go bad...

view fourth photo.

please stop expanding.

view fifth photo.

crap, it's leaving the container. crap crap crap crap

view sixth photo.

well that went exactly the opposite of how I had planned.

Step 5: Make the Best of It

I already made all this stuff, so I guess I'll try to finish it out.

just pour it onto the parchment paper and put it in the freezer. that's really it. when it's out, break or cut it (whichever you can manage) into edible pieces.

you may have noticed that my stuff turned orange. this is because the flavoring burnt - I should've added it at the end.

actually, what I came up with was kind of interesting - it formed a sort of chemically-pulled taffy, which could be nice for someone who wants to make taffy but doesn't want to do the sticky manual labor. but that wasn't what I was going for.

Step 6: How to Improve It

alright, here's how I think it should be done.

first, add the flavoring at the end, not the beginning. you'll burn the flavoring like I did and it will taste nasty.

second, wait a long time to add the baking soda. like, put it in a pan, let it cool until it's warm to the touch and workable, then knead in the baking soda. the acid and the baking soda will have a much slower interaction, allowing it to cool before they react.

I'm going to try this method later, but I don't have time to do it again right now. I'll revisit this, I promise!

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    1) Very cool icon/image :)
    2) Will you do an "instructable" on your cool sounding effervesing drink tablets, I am just wondering as I have seen something before on thinkgeek, but they do NOT fix and they taste utterly revolting, apparently.
    P.S I hope you win, as I do love candy, especially the fizzy sort :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    the only reason I haven't made an instructable on that is because I don't have the recipe down yet. well, that and the fact that the tablet press that I've got going is kind of sketchy (it's powered by a clamp, if that tells you anything).


    9 years ago on Step 6

    So, besides the nasty flavor, was the candy actually fizzy or poppy?


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 6

    it wound up being mainly fizzy. I tried again right after I made the instructable, but I didn't measure anything (I was winging it, it was like 10:00 at night) and actually managed to make a sort of fizzy airhead kind of candy. it was pleasant.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 6

    maybe I'll make a new instructable detailing that. fizzy airheads are actually pretty cool now that I think about it.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    "Real" pop rocks are actually made under high pressure in sheets. When the pressure is released the larger bubbles 'explode' the candy into it's rock form while the small bubbles are trapped within the candy and only release their pressure when the candy starts to dissolve.

    Anything you make by just adding fizzing ingredients and not any pressure is just going to be the candy equivalent of yeast risen bread. There won't be any 'pop' to them since the candy expanded to accommodate the pressure of the gas being generated BEFORE it cooled.

    You might have better luck letting it cool, but I have a feeling if you want to really make something out of this you'll need to investigate pressure cooking.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    you're right. I wasn't really trying to replicate them exactly. in fact, I think I might change the title. it's a little misleading.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You need a high pressure chamber and CO2 to do it right.

    from Wikipedia:


    The candy is made by mixing its ingredients and heating them until they melt into a syrup, then exposing the mixture to pressurized carbon dioxide gas (about 600 pounds per square inch; approx. 41.37 Bar) and allowing it to cool. The process causes tiny high-pressure bubbles to be trapped inside the candy. When placed in the mouth, coming into contact with saliva the candy breaks and dissolves, releasing the carbon dioxide from the tiny atmosphere bubbles, resulting in a popping and sizzling sound and leaving a slight tingling sensation.
    The bubbles in the candy pieces can be viewed when aided by a microscope.

    And with making "fizzy" candy, you do it dryly as a hardened pressed piece or added as a center to hard candy cooled to the soft/hard ball stage (where it can be molded/manipulated/formed by hand)