Ready baking pan by lining with parchment paper.
Bring to a boil in a heavy saucepan:
1/2 cup (118 mL) water 1/2 cup (118mL) light corn syrup
Dissolve the following in the above ingredients:
2 cups (454g) organic caster sugar (this is a fine sugar that can be made by pulsing refined, granulated sugar in a blender or food processor - breaking down the crystals allows for it to dissolve more efficiently)
Once this comes to a boil, cover the saucepan and cook about 3 mins – or until the steam washes down any crystals that may have formed on the sides of the pan. Do not scrape sides. Remove lid and cook over moderate heat, without stirring, to about 250F (121C) degrees (hard ball stage) This should take about 10-15 mins.
While the syrup is cooking, beat egg whites in a large bowl until they just hold their shape. If you beat them too dry, the syrup will not incorporate well.
When the syrup is ready, pour it slowly, but steadily in a thin stream, over the egg whites – whipping slowly at the same time and scraping the sides of the bowl. As you progress with pouring the syrup, pour it faster and whip more quickly. Do not scrape the syrup pan. Add the vanilla and continue beating on high until the egg white mixture just begins to lose its gloss, about 5-6 mins. When the beaters are lifted, the egg white mixture should fall flat and ribbon-like and mound upon itself.
Pour quickly into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. When cooled cut into pieces.
Once all of the syrup has been added other variations can be created. A drop or two of food coloring; chopped nutmeats; raisins; crushed peppermint hard candy.