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Barley Sugar
Sweets and Toffee

Boiled sugar, usually coloured orange or yellow, formed into small strips, c3ins long by ½in wide, and twisted as they set, or moulded in imitation of this. Known at least since Moxon 1764.

Barley sugar does not now contain barley, and the name is assumed to refer to the shape which is vaguely like a barley-ear. But the Moxon receipt here suggests that it once was made with barley.


Original Receipt in 'English Housewifry' by Elizabeth Moxon, 1764 (Moxon 1764)

419. To make BARLEY-SUGAR.
Boil barley in water, strain it through a hair-sieve, then put the decoction into clarified sugar brought to a candy height, or the last degree of boiling, then take it off the fire, and let the boiling settle, then pour it upon a marble stone rubb'd with the oil of olives, when it cools and begins to grow hard, cut it into pieces, and rub it into lengths as you please.



Just a few years later, the barley had disappeared...


Original Receipt in Nutt 1789;

No. 96. Barley Sugar,
TAKE a small stewpan, put some syrup into it and boil it till it comes to carimel; rub a little butter on a marble stone just to greese it that it may not stick; then take your saucepan by the handle and let the syrup run out of the spout along the stone in long sticks; twist it (while it is hot) at each end and let it stand till cold.




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