A list of important temperature points for candy-making

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Select altitude or pressure

Boiling points and adjustments

The boiling point of water decreases by 1°F for every ~550ft above sea level. Candy stages are also affected by changes in altitude, i.e. the hard crack stage is 300°F and 296°C at 2000ft elevation. This list accounts for these changes.

Decomposition of sucrose

Sucrose, or table sugar, does not melt. It decomposes at 367°F (186°C), breaking down into caramel (not the candy kind). Its behaviour at high temperatures is affected by the rate at which it is heated, see this article.

Tempering chocolate

The fats in cocoa butter can crystallize in six different forms. This is known in materials science as polymorphous crystallization. Form V is the most desirable for food, as it has a pleasing texture and appearance, and a high melting point. The process of forcing the chocolate to assume this form is called tempering. A brief description of tempering: The chocolate is raised to 113°F to melt all crystals, cooled to 81°F to allow crystals of form IV and V to form, stirred to form many seed crystals, and then heated to 88°F to eliminate type IV crystals, leaving only type V.


Can the Thermodynamic Melting Temperature of Sucrose, Glucose, and Fructose Be Measured Using Rapid-Scanning Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)?, Lee, Thomas, & Schmidt
The Materials Science of Chocolate, Fryer & Pinschower
Modelling Of The Phase Change Kinetics Of Cocoa Butter In Chocolate And Application To Confectionery Manufacturing, Le Révérend
Chocolate, en.wikipedia.org
Water Vapor Pressure and Boiling Point Equations Formulas Calculator
Tempering Chocolate: Basic Tempering Principles, Wilbur Chocolate
Tempering Chocolate: Hand Tempering Methods, Wilbur Chocolate
Tempering Chocolate, Blommer Chocolate Company
Polymorphic behavior of cocoa butter. Influence on chocolate tempering conditions, intercovamex.com
Modeling temperature in chocolate mass to predict tempering quality, Bettens, Kegelaers, Haut, Halloin & Debaste
Contribution to the modelling of chocolate tempering process, Debaste, Kegelaers, Hamor & Halloin