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Tuesday 4 September 2012

Sluttishly Sweet: Grow Your Own Brighton Rock

I've been stupidly excited all week because I've had edible science growing in my kitchen! Every morning I've been heading downstairs, bypassing the coffee (whaaat?) and going straight to see how my little rock babies have been coming along.

What started as me looking for recipes about how to make that rock that you buy at the seaside with a name written in the middle, led me to the quite brilliant website and his Make Your Own Rock Candy Experiment, ah-haa, MUCH more fun! Me being an inveterate recipe meddler I decided to change it slightly for a more exciting version by adding some flavour and they still worked, phew!

This takes about 5 days to get a decent stick going that begs to be used in Nick's Rum Swizzle cocktail. I've felt like a kid again making these, in fact I'm going to make some cress heads next with half an egg shell, some cotton wool and some cress seeds.
After just 3 days

You'll need:
  • 1 mug water
  • 3 mugs sugar (roughly)
  • 2 capfuls food colouring- I used red but next time I'm definitely using black
  • 2 capfuls vanilla extract (or peppermint/lemon, whatever extract you fancy)
  • wooden skewers
  • clothes pegs
  • tall shot glasses/thin jars
Make it!
  1. Wash your glasses and dry thoroughly. This is really important. I didn't and lots of the sugar crystals formed on tiny specks of dust that were in the bottom of the glasses (obviously I need to drink more shots as they had been in the cupboard for too long, fear not I will put that right immediately).
  2. Put your water, vanilla extract and one mug of sugar in a saucepan and heat gently whilst stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Keep adding more sugar bit by bit whilst stirring until no more sugar will dissolve and you see bits of sugar floating in the water. This takes about 15 minutes. Basically you want the water to be completely saturated with sugar but you don't want to have any undissolved sugar floating about.
  3. I wanted to have different coloured rock so I divided the sugar solution between 3 mixing bowls and added food colouring to 2 of them, one got lots to give a dark red, the other got a bit for a pink solution and I kept the third one plain. Leave to cool for about 20 minutes.
  4. To kickstart the crystallisation dip the ends of each skewer into the cooled sugar solution and then into a bit of regular sugar, just to give the crystals something to form on, then gently lower them into the shot glasses and secure with a peg. You don't want the skewer to touch the glass at all, keep it nice and straight and about 15mm off the bottom. Leave somewhere safe for a few days where they wont be disturbed and preferably somewhere where dust wont fall into them. You will see your magic crystals growing the following morning and after about 5 days they are ready to eat/use as a cocktail swizzle stick (my personal favourite)/pop in your cup of tea (maybe don't do this with the coloured ones though as it will probably look rather vile!) or just to stare at, they are really pretty and sparkle in the sunlight. Pretty science that you can eat and stick in cocktails, hurrah!


  1. A-mazing! I am totally going to make these with my little sisters.

  2. I've done this with salt before, why have I not done sugar ones?! On it now!


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