So: Edinburgh Rock. It's not easy to describe, but I know I need to try. Some of you might think it looks like this:
And in the right circumstances, it can. But the stuff we are after today looks like this:
It's kind of hard; but strangely soft. It melts in the mouth and dares you to reach for another piece. It is one of the sweetest, sugariest treats ever invented. And now I know how to make my own! Go on, give it a go. Usual dental health warnings apply.
You will need 2 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Heat the sugar and water until the mixture is about to boil.
Add the cream of tartar and boil without stirring until it reaches "hard ball" stage (130C or 250F)
Take it off the heat and add some food colouring if you wish. The colour fades as the mixture cools so you can be a bit generous here.
Pour it onto a buttered baking sheet or the kind of cold surface you would use for making pastry.
Now, here comes the technical bit. Turn the edges into the centre a couple of times but don't try stirring it. When it is cool enough to touch, dust it with icing sugar and begin to pull it as you would with taffy. Don't be tempted to twist it, but keep pulling until it becomes "dull" to look at. Now pull it into strips and cut off into chunks.
You've done the technical bit. Now you have to do the hard bit. Leave it for at least 24 hours. The longer you can stand it, the softer your rock will become. And it is soft and powdery you are aiming for. That's the authentic taste! Store (if you can bear it) in an airtight tin.
And that's Edinburgh Rock. If you try it, I'd love to know how it turns out. It's a quick make for a Sunday afternoon..and if you like you can bring some to munch when you join me on the Blog Train tomorrow. Everyone welcome! We're going back in time..