My mother made this in the 50's. I can rxplain "soft ball stage". First if you have a candy thermometer, that will have a marking for it. If not, this is what it means. You take a tiny dribble of the hot mixture (just a couple of drops) and pour it into a glass or measuring cup of cold water. It should form a small glob. Squeeze it gently. It should not be rock hard...it should be soft pliable. If it does not form a glob you need to cook it a bit longer. If it's like rock candy, you overcooked it. My mother taught me that when I was a child...I always got to eat the tiny glob. lol I do think my mother stuck it under a broiler for just a minute after the cake was ices to "finish" the look.
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My mother made this in the 50's. I can rxplain "soft ball stage". First if you have a candy...