Le Cuisson du Sucre.
Le Petit Lissé.
Dip the forefinger into iced water, and then into the boiling sugar, and instantly again into the iced water to prevent burning the finger. Then pinch between the index finger and thumb. If a small thread forms, which breaks when the attempt is made to pull apart through the fingers, the proper degree is reached.
Le Grand Lissé.
Boil the sugar a little longer, and then try as before; if a thread forms that can be pulled two inches without breaking, this degree is reached. This is the best degree for preserves, etc.
La Grande et la Petite Perle.
Let the sugar boil a little longer. If you find that on drawing it out to a thread it snaps quickly, and also that while boiling the sugar presents the form of large pearls or globules on its surface, it will then have reached the small pearl degree. When the pearls become closely connected on the surface of the sugar, it will have reached the large pearl degree.
Continue boiling, and after a few minutes dip the skimmer in the boiling sugar. Strike it on the edge of the boiler. Blow through the holes, and you will find that, if the sugar is of the right degree, it will form into small globules or air bubbles on the other side. This is the best degree for creams, and also gives a rich flavor to Preserves.
Boil up the sugar a little longer, dip the skimmer in it, and on finding that it shivers into a thready fringe from the edge, it will have reached the degree called the "Feather". If large and elevated, the degree is the "Large Feather" or "La Grande Plume." In a few minutes more they become small and flaky, and the next degree, the "Small Feather," or "La Petite Plume," is reached.
Le Petit Boulet.
Le Grand Boulet.
© Randolph Healy