LEARNING FROM THE BEST: CHEF ALAIN ROBY'S CANDY CANE RECIPE
Sugar for pulling/blowing
1lb 10 oz. sugar
4 oz. water
11 oz. corn syrup
Place sugar and water into a clean pot. Stir over low heat to dissolve sugar. Skim foam from the surface using a tea strainer or ladle (these are natural impurities that will cause the pulled sugar to be dull and streaky). Bring to a boil, then add corn syrup. DO NOT STIR. Wash down pan sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization (keeping a lid on the pot as it comes to a boil will minimize crystallization). Repeat the skimming/washing 3-4 times until the sugar is nice and clear. place candy thermometer into syrup. Turn up heat to high. If desired, add food color at 280F (138C). Boil until the syrup reaches 305-315F (150-157C).
Preparing to pull
Pour syrup onto Silpat(s) or lightly oiled marble. As it cools, fold the outside edges toward the center. If desired, divide the sugar into portions and add some paste color and/or candy flavoring and continue folding it to ensure even cooling. Continue folding until the sugar is cool enough to handle but still warm. Start pulling the sugar by holding it down with one hand and stretching it until it begins taking on a glossy, shiny satin texture. You will need to pull and fold the sugar approximately 10-20 times to achieve the proper appearance. The satin look is created by the crystallization of the sugar. Do not pull the sugar more than necessary, as it will crystallize too much and lose its shine. Place the sugar in the warming box.