There are many ingredients used to make various types of candies. However, there are some specific ingredients that are considered essential.
Sugar or sweeteners are considered as the base ingredients and the deciding factor for making candy. Granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, etc can be used. Other sweeteners are honey, molasses, maple sugar, corn sugar and corn syrup. In recent years artificial, noncaloric sweeteners such as saccharin or aspartame are used for making some candies.
Milk-based ingredients often used in making some types of candies include: evaporated milk, butter, and condensed milk.
Butter and fats determine the brittleness, hardness, flavor and texture of candy. It is recommended to use unsalted (or salted) stick butter instead of margarine because it contains a lot of water and different amounts of fat that will make your candy inconsistent and butter gives the best taste.
Nuts are associated with their rich texture and flavor properties. They are a real taste enhancer and most people have a preference as to their particular favorite type. Almonds, macadamia, pecans and cashew nuts are the most popular types of nuts used for making candy.
Chocolate flavorful, yet delicate, properties along with its nutrients make this an essential ingredient for candy making.
Acid, such Cream of Tartar, lemon juice and vinegar are also used for candy making.
Candy oils are the proffered flavoring for candy. Since they are oil-based, it makes them less likely to evaporate when subjected to heat or added to a hot mixture and they come in a wide spectrum of flavors.
Gelatin, powdered or leaf, starch, pectin, or gum will gel the sugar and make products like jelly beans if it is added to the boiling mixture.
Food coloring is best to use for sugar based candy. It is a liquid in little bottles available at any supermarket. It's particularly suitable for mixtures that do not combine readily with liquid or to be used in baking recipes.
Flowers and fruit add flavor, fragrance, and color to simple sweetness.