There are 2 medieval candies that I am itching to try. One sounds like it is a candy at the soft ball state and the other sounds like it is at the hard crack state. Now I realize that they have know idea about what heat was chemically doing to their sugars, but they do have a clear indication of what it looked like when it was stretched or added to water. And it is this appearance that gives us a clue as to what they were doing.
Payne Ragoun and Cryfpes appear to be softer candies and pynade appears to be a hard candy.
Take hony and sugur cipre and clarifie it togydre, and boile it withesy fyre, and kepe it wel fro brennyng. And wha it hath yboiled a while, take up a drope perof wip py fyngur and do in a litel water, and loke it if hong togydre; and take it fro the fyre and do perto pynes the thriddendele & powdour gyngever, and stere it togyder til it bygynne to thik, and cast it on a wete table; lesh it and serve forth with fryed mete, on flessh dayes or on fyssshe dayes.
There is a clear indication of checking for sugar state. I think I am going to try the Firm ball state. 245° F–250° F sugar concentration: 87%. Drop a little of this syrup in cold water and it will form a firm ball, one that won’t flatten when you take it out of the water, but remains malleable and will flatten when squeezed. Most likely a mediaval caramel type thing.
Pynade. Take Hony & gode pouder Gyngere, & Galyngale, & Canelle, Pouder pepir, & graynys of parys, & boyle y-fere; than take kyrnelys of Pynotys & caste ther-to; & take chyconys y-sothe, & hew hem in grece, & caste ther-to, & lat sethe y-fere; & then lat droppe ther-of on a knyf; & if it cleuyth & wexyth hard, it ys y-now; & then putte it on a chargere tyl it be cold, & mace lechys, & serue with other metys; & if thou wolt make it in spycery, then putte non chykonys ther-to.
Also an indication of checking state. I am going to try Hard-Crack Stage 300° F–310° F Sugar concentration: 99%. The hard-crack stage is the highest temperature you are likely to see specified in a candy recipe. At these temperatures, there is almost no water left in the syrup. Drop a little of the molten syrup in cold water and it will form hard, brittle threads that break when bent.