Branon’s Barrywilde Maples began 7 years ago at our home in Sheldon, Vermont. At the urging of my maple mentor – Aunt Cecile Branon, I started making maple cream and maple sugar in my small family kitchen.
I purchased a large heavy duty 18 gauge stainless steel pot, a digital thermometer, high powered beaters and thick oven mitts. I fired up the only super burner I had on my gas stove and boiled the dark amber pure Vermont Maple Syrup to 265 degrees. I promptly slid the hot pan to a cool burner and began beating it with my handheld mixer.
I was not sure what to expect but the next thing I knew, my pan was exploding with bubbling hot syrup like lava bubbling out of a volcano. As I frantically mixed the unruly syrup, hot steam began to burst out of the hot bubbles. As this moisture escaped my pan, the syrup changed in a way I had never seen before.
It instantly turned into granular sugar right before my eyes. I kept stirring and stirring. Within a few minutes, the liquid gold turned into a mixture of fine and coarse grains of maple sugar. And so it began. I was officially a value added maple sugarmaker. Someone who could transform pure Vermont Maple Syrup into an all natural granular sugar that replaces refined white sugar cup for cup. It is with this maple sugar that I make our Maple Seasoning and Maple Caramel Corn Puffs.