Spun sugar

Spun sugar

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Desserts

Spun sugar is a great way to decorate desserts, but you will end up with a kitchen covered in the stuff. Just remember to put loads of newspaper all over the floor, light fittings and the pets because at first it will go everywhere. The most important thing in sugar work is the temperature – too hot and nothing will happen; too cold and the sugar will snap.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g white caster sugar

Method

  1. Place the sugar in a very clean, nonstick pan and place on the heat. Do not stir. When the sugar starts to turn into a caramel, tilt the pan to mix the sugar as it starts to turn so it blends together. When all the sugar is at a caramel colour and has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and place the base of the pan in cold water to cool. Don’t allow any water in the pan. As the sugar cools, it will become thicker and resemble golden syrup. If it thickens too much, gently reheat.
  2. To make spirals, take a tablespoon of sugar and quickly twirl the sugar trail around a cook’s steel. Snap off the tail of the sugar and carefully slide the spiral off the steel. Place on a baking tray to set.
  3. To make spun sugar, take a tablespoon of the sugar and spin it very quickly backwards and forwards over a cook’s steel or a rolling pin. Quickly lift the sugar up and scoop into a bundle. Place on a baking tray to set.
  4. To make pulled sugar, take a tablespoon of the sugar and allow it to fall off the spoon. Pinch the sugar trail between your thumb and forefinger (it will be hot!). Working quickly, pinch two or three strands on top of each other. Snap off the sugar trail when you have made a small bundle. Place on a baking tray to set.
  5. To make a basket, grease a small glass bowl or ladle with olive oil (don’t use vegetable oil as it’s too thin). Take a tablespoon of sugar and criss-cross the mould with the sugar trail.
  6. Leave the sugar to set on the mould, then carefully lift the basket off and fill with your chosen dessert, such as ice cream or sorbet.

Note

  • Use a clean pan, clean sugar (no tea and coffee stains), don’t stir the sugar, be patient and have a mop ready for when you’ve finished – I have warned you! It’s best to use plain white refined sugar for this, as organic or light brown caster sugar aren’t really ‘clean’ enough in colour.
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