Spun sugar is a quick technique that you can add to homemade creations or even to make storebought desserts more impressive. Traditionally it's used to cover a croquembouche.
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Total Time 15minutes
Stainless steel or copper pot
A couple of wooden spoons
A whisk with the ends clipped
2TbspsCorn Syrup or 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
Set your burner to medium low.
Pour 1/4 cup of water into pot, followed by 2 Tablespoons of corn syrup (or 1/4 tsp cream of tartar) and finally 1 cup of sugar. Make sure you slowly pour the sugar into the pot, keeping it in the centre so none of if touches the sides of the pot.
Now LEAVE it. Don’t stir it, swish it or move it. (if you stir the mixture it will crystallize) Allow the sugar to melt into the water on its own.
Heat the sugar mixture at medium low until it reaches 300 f degrees. That’s bordering the hard crack stage. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, 300 f degrees is when the sugar has just started to become a light amber colour. If it’s taking more than 5 minutes to get to this stage, turn up the heat a little bit.
Once you’ve reached temperature take your pot off the heat and let it cool down a bit. (a lot of cooks say they dunk their pot into cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking of the sugar but I find when you’re just doing a small amount like this, you’re better off not dunking the pot into cool water because it cools it too quickly.
Take either 2 forks in your hand or a wire whisk that you’ve cut the ends off of and dip it into the sugar and lift it up. If you see tiny strands (as opposed to drips) coming off the tines, your sugar is cool enough to fling.
Set a couple of wood spoons over a bowl and just flick your whisk back and forth over it. The higher you hold the whisk the better and the stronger you fling it the better. BUT you’ll also get spun sugar all over your kitchen. I just slowly pull the sugar back and forth across the bowl. The upside? Not as much sugar around the kitchen. The downside? The strands are slightly thicker than if you fling the sugar.
Lift the spun sugar and form it into whatever shape you want. You can place it over a greased bowl or cup to get a rounded look. Or you can lift the strands as a long ribbon, wrap them around a straight sided glass or mason jar to make a big circle.
Once your sugar starts to get a bit too cool to fling, you can make your twirls. Take a spoon or knife and dip it into the sugar. Let the ribbon of sugar hang down and using a dowel or the handle of a wood spoon, just twirl the ribbon of sugar around it. I like these even more than the spun sugar and they’re way less messy to do because you aren’t flinging anything around.
10. If your sugar gets too cool to work with just put it back on the stove and reheat it remembering not to stir it while it heats up. Each time you reheat your mixture it will get darker and darker making your spun sugar more and more caramelized. So you’ll start off with spun sugar that is a light amber and end up with spun sugar that’s more of a dark amber colour.