Recipe: Rose lollipops and strawberry sherbet

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

Thursday, July 20th was National Lollipop Day in the US – and it got me to thinking. So many of my memories of childhood sweets are of lollipops, from the soft and chewy Drumsticks to the reds, yellows and greens of the traffic light lollipops that our local newsagent sold at their pick and mix counter.

And talking of pick and mix, I’m still miffed that you can no longer go into a shop and buy a “quarter of” sweets – it’s all now metric…

Anyway, I digress.

I was challenged to come up with a “creative way to showcase lollipops” to my readers…and I wanted to make something that reminded me of my childhood, but with more modern flavours.

What could be better than trying to recreate Dip Dabs? Remember those? A yellow sachet packed full of tangy white sherbet, with a strawberry-flavoured lolly for sucking, dipping and repeating. Looks like you can still buy them today, as well…

As it’s supposedly summer, I wanted to feature summery flavours with some similarity to the original, but with a bit of a modern twist. I quickly decided on strawberry and rose – two flavours that work perfectly together, and two flavours that I love. So, it was off to the shop to buy everything I needed – with most of the ingredients found in Asda’s baking aisle.

 

Lollipops - Asda baking aisle

 

The sherbet, though, called for citric acid…not something that’s available in Asda, but something that I managed to grab in Wilko, in their brewing section.

 

Lollipops - Wilko citric acid

 

And so, it was time to begin. I started with the ingredients for the sherbet – the easy part! It’s just caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda, citric acid, red food colouring and strawberry flavouring, all blitzed up in a blender until it became a fine powder and was fully mixed – and here’s the finished result.

 

Sherbet

 

The lollipops themselves were a bit more of a challenge. Why? Because I don’t own a sugar thermometer…but I was convinced that I could do it anyway.

The first batch was a disaster. So, for the second, I decided to use the ice water method to check when my mixture had reached the hard crack stage, and bingo, it worked.

The lollipops were simply a combination of golden granulated sugar, golden syrup, water, cream of tartar, pink food colouring and rose water – plus a few sugar sprinkles on the front for decoration. After heating the mixture to a ridiculous temperature, I poured spoonfuls onto trays lined with greaseproof paper, added the sticks and decorated, before leaving to set.

 

Lollipops setting

 

And there you have it: rose lollipops, and strawberry sherbet! A taste of summery nostalgia, but with two of my favourite flavours. Delicious – and satisfying to make, too: they’d make fantastic gifts, wedding favours…you name it!

 

Recipe: Rose lollipops with strawberry sherbet

Makes 6-8 lollipops (depending on size), and a LOT of sherbet

 

Ingredients:

For the lollipops:

  • 150g golden granulated sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 70g golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 tsp rose water
  • a few drops of pink food colouring
  • Decorations of your choice
  • Lollipop sticks

 

For the sherbet:

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp citric acid
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.5 tsp strawberry flavouring
  • 1 tsp red food colouring

 

Method

  1. For the sherbet, place the caster sugar, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda in a food processor and whizz until you have a fine powder.
  2. With the food processor still running, pour in the food colouring and strawberry flavouring, and keep blending until fully mixed through.
  3. Remove from the blender, and place in a sealed jar (this will keep for up to a month).
  4. For the lollipops, mix the sugar, water, golden syrup and cream of tartar in a heavy, deep pan over a medium heat. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring regularly. BE CAREFUL – hot sugar syrup is painful if it touches your skin!
  5. While the sugar is dissolving, line two flat trays with greaseproof paper, and get your lollipop sticks ready.
  6. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil, and heat until it reaches 155C on a sugar thermometer (if you don’t have a sugar thermometer, follow the instructions here). Once this temperature has been reached, plunge the base of the pan into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.
  7. Stir in the food colouring and rose water, working quickly so the syrup doesn’t set.
  8. Quickly spoon the syrup into circle shapes on the greaseproof paper. Push the lollipop sticks into each, and sprinkle with the decorations of your choice, before leaving to set.

 

And there you have it: the modern day version of the Dip Dab! You’ll notice that your pan is an absolute nightmare to clean…but it needn’t be, just fill with boiling water and the syrup will soften again, making it easy to remove.

Have you ever made your own lollipops? And, if you were recreating this recipe, which flavours would you choose?

 

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