The Candy Man!

[Note: Videos might not work yet. Be warned, the videos are of seriously crappy quality. I used my phone! But still, better than nothing ;D]

After uni on Friday I went with my friends to Circular Quay (Sydney Harbour basically) and we danced around and had heaps of fun. Here's a panorama-ish shot I took of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge with my phone's cool panorama function. I think it looks quite pretty:

After that we went to Sticky! The world's COOLEST CANDY SHOP!! They make THE most awesome lollies ever. They look so cool and taste oh so good. And the best part is that everything is hand-made, and they make it in front of your face! I stood there for an hour watching the guy make them. And now I can share it with you! YAY. Looky-look!

They are so pretty. Little designs of sugar. I was thinking, "HOW THE HELL DO THEY DO THIS?" and then the guy (his name is David) popped out and was like, "I'll give you a demonstration in 10 minutes." Cool! We danced around and talked to the people for a while (David used to be a lawyer but dumped it to be a candy man. LOL!) and then it finally started.

First he got out a humongous vat of super hot BOILING sugar syrup at 160 degrees celsius and poured it on to a metal bench in front of him (turns out it was a water-cooled metal thing). His assistant (Lily; she has cool hair) helped him get all the bits out:

Then Lily got out some colours and added them into the sugar and started mixing. Normally, I'm not much of an anti-artificial-stuff kinda person, like I'm ok with food colouring and stuff, but some of these colours freaked me out a bit! For example, to make the sugar syrup white (like opaque white) he added this weird white stuff. I asked David what it was and he said it was titanium dioxide. I WAS LIKE LOL WTF? He told me it was biologically inert and I was like, "Umm. Oh ok. Fair enough!" but still slightly creeped out. Anyway, here's a pic of the blue:

Here's a video!

It was cool how David worked on one side and Lily on the other side. You could tell they were a really good team. Here's the creepy titanium dioxide stuff. Didn't stop me from eating it though:

The just-a-moment-ago boiling sugar cooled pretty quick because the table was cool (LOL PUN!) and so then they slid off the metal guiding things, leaving a funky weird pliable sugar mass to work with. They started cutting it into sections (to separate the colours) and then kneaded it:

Here's a video of them folding the sugar around:

After some kneading (using heavy insulating gloves, of course) this is what we were left with on Lily's side of the cool-table. A blue blob!

Unfortunately, old titanium-white had to be a bit weird, and so kneading it was not enough! To make it really pretty and have a nice sheen, the white sugar mass had to be pulled. Literally! The point of it is to incorporate air. Kinda like a meringue. Anyway, David used a hook and some cool technique to do it:

Pull, pull, PULL!!

Magically, a creamy looking mass remained:

Then we were left with 3 blobs of cool sugar syrup:

Now the three blobs of sugar are ready to be worked with. They were making a candy that spelt "AUSTRALIA". David had to slowly make all the letters in a long 3D kinda way so that when u cut it the cross-section spelt "Australia". Pretty cool, eh? Here's Lily fixing them up:

It's then rolled into a big giant cylinder and wrapped in another layer of sugar for decorative purposes. And extra flavour, I think. Video:

NOW FOR THE AMAZING PART! The huge barrel-looking sugar mass is then stretched out into a skinny tube, which is then sliced up into the lollies! Isn't that SO amazing?? You end up with miniature versions of the big thing!! AWESOME.

Stretching it....

And then chopping them up!

I think Lily does most of the chopping. She's really pro. She uses a tool that's kinda like that teppenyaki sort of thing. She's make an awesome teppenyaki chef!! She puts the candy rods on a mini anvil and then chops away, packs them into jars, and sells them for a ridiculous profit!!