I recently overcooked a sugar batch. Usually I watch the cooking thermometer carefully and take it off the heat right away, but this time I got distracted and let it cook too long.
Recall: sugar paste is basically sugar water, plus an acid, with just the right amount of water boiled out. Too little, and it doesn’t hold together. Too much, and it’s too hard to spread.
Anyway, this batch was a touch too hard. I microwaved it for 10 seconds to start, but once it cooled to room temperature, it was just so stiff. It was really difficult to spread; once spread it had to sit there for a few seconds till it melted enough to stick — I honestly thought of shaving.
But don’t! These batches can be saved. Here’s what you do:
Rescuing too-hard paste
1. Add maybe 1-2 tablespoons of water to your sugar paste. (Sorry — I just eyeballed it this time, so I can’t give you exact measurements. Add more water if your batch is really hard; less if not.) It will just puddle on the top, sadly. That’s okay.
2. Microwave it for a good 30 seconds — until it’s liquidy like syrup.
3. Stir that water in! Stir it!
4. Let it cool back down to room temperature the normal way.
After I did this, my batch turned out spreadable and so easy to use! I may actually start cooking mine less to start with.