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How to make your own barley sugars

New Zealand Woman’s Weekly logo New Zealand Woman’s Weekly 2/06/2017 Wendyl Nissen

© Provided by Bauer Media Group (NZ) LP Barley sugars are an old-fashioned boiled sweet that uses barley more for the flavour than for any health reasons.

I made these up a few years ago when I first shared this recipe after a very ragged piece of paper fell out of an old recipe book I was thumbing through. 

I could see that it had been well used to make barley sugars time and time again, so I had to try it out.

© Provided by Bauer Media Group (NZ) LP

Barley Sugars

- 90g pearl barley

- Rind of ½ lemon

- 1.2 litres cold water

- 700g sugar

- Juice of 1 lemon

1 Put the barley, lemon rind and water in a pot. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for two hours. Set aside to cool.

2 Tip the mixture into a sieve lined with some muslin or fine cloth. Measure out 600ml of the strained liquid and put it into another saucepan.

3 Add sugar to the barley liquid and put on low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil but do not stir.

4 When it starts to boil, add the lemon juice and boil the syrup until it reaches what is called the “soft crack” stage. (This means that when you drop some of the syrup into cold water, it will solidify into threads, which you can still bend when you remove them before breaking. If they crack, you have gone too far and have made brittle toffee, which is still really nice – just pour into a pan, then crack with a hammer when it

is set).

5 Pour the syrup into a well-greased sponge tin and, when cool enough to handle, oil some kitchen scissors and use these to cut the mixture into strips about 5cm long. Hold each strip by the ends and twist to form spirals. Work quickly as you will only be able to do this before the barley sugar sets. Place on a piece of baking paper to set completely. Enjoy!

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