I've made candy before, successfully, including caramels, toffee, marshmallows, and fudge. But it's been a few years. I've made it at almost 7,ooo feet altitude successfully (Wyoming) and now reside in Colorado.
Last night I decided to make caramels for a friend in from out-of-state. Got the best of the best ingredients including (only mentioning it because I don't know what the variables are) organic brown sugar that has the texture of turbinado sugar and is almost black with the most amazing molasses flavor.
I mix everything up, put in the candy thermometer (analog) and started the process. I put the heat on "medium high" (which was like 4 on a clock). It took 45 minutes or so to get the caramel up to 250 degrees (per the recipe I have). It turned out rock hard.
So I ran to the store, got more ingredients, mixed it up again. This time only took the temperature up to about 245 (but slower this time). Still hard. You can at least bite through it (and it softens up once you do), but it's not soft and chewy for sure!
What in the world?! Am I cooking it too long? Should I turn the heat up higher to get it to temp faster? I don't think it's possible to do it slower?! Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome!