MISE EN PLACE FOR THE SPUN SUGAR
- What is mise en place and how could it benefit you? See The Finer Cookie's post How to Mise en Place.
- Lay two silicone mats on your counter to create a work space.
- You might want to spread newspaper on the floor around your work space to catch any sticky sugar that could fall.
- Set out (8) 8" sticks near your mat.
- Gather your candy thermometer.
- Pull out a ball whisk or decapitate an old whisk that you can dedicate to this purpose.
Mise en place your basic equipment.
- Measure into a medium saucepan the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Set aside.
- Set near the stove the raspberry extract and pink food colouring.
HOW TO MAKE SPUN SUGAR
- Over medium heat, stir the sugar/water mixture until the sugar dissolves.
Dissolve the sugar in water.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and turn up the heat enough to produce a lively simmer. Resist the urge to stir the syrup at this point, since stirring will cause the sugar to cool and to melt your rubber or silicone spatula (it might not be able to take the heat.)
- As the sugar heats up, you see it begin to caramelize the sugar closest to the pan. Distribute the heat by swirling the pan. This does an adequate job.
- Heat the syrup to 320F/160C.
Keep a close eye on the temperature. 320ºF is hot enough.
- When the instant the temperature reaches 320??F/160??C, remove the syrup from the heat and whisk in the food colour and raspberry extract.
Add pink food color to get a rich shade.
NOTES ON WORKING WITH HOT SYRUP
- You might find many recipes that recommend you pour the hot sugar into a shallow glass bowl or ceramic dish to encourage it to cool. I find this technique cools the sugar far too fast. It becomes overly thick and sticky to work with and it's difficult to reheat.
Cool the hot sugar by pouring it into a shallow dish.
- I prefer at this point to leave the sugar in the saucepan because it will give you more control as it cools. Yes, it might continue to cook a little by leaving it in the pan, but having it in the saucepan makes it much easier to reheat when it gets too thick and sticky.
SPINNING THE SUGAR
- Now that your sugar is bubbly hot and very liquid, dip you whisk into the syrup stir and lift it straight up about 1 foot/30 centimeters. At this point the sugar will be too liquid to hold onto the tines of the whisk and make threads.
- Continue gently stirring and lifting the whisk. With time, you'll see the syrup begin to thicken and hold onto the whisk.
- Continue further stirring and lifting straight up and the syrup will begin to pour off and cool into threads before it melts back into the hot sugar.
- When you feel the temperature has stabilized and producing threads easily, interrupt the stream of cooled sugar with your stick and spin it around a tightly. This creates the foundation for your Sugar Pop.
Get the pop started by tightly winding the threads around the stick.
- Continue dipping the whisk in the sugar and lifting it high to produce the threads and wrap them very loose and delicate around your stick until you feel your pop is the size that's right for you.
Twirl the sugar threads into a cloud.
- Over the course of you making your eight pops, your sugar will probably become too cool, and sticky. Warming it will loosen the sugar. If you've kept your sugar in the saucepan, simply return it to the heat and stir with your whisk until it becomes liquid again. No need to measure the temperature further.
- As you finish each pop, while it's still warm, shape it with your hand. The sugar will be sufficiently cool and it won't burn.
Gently shape the warm sugar.
- Repeat with all eight sticks and store them upright in a glass, flower vase or a piece of styrofoam. This will keep the cloud shape intact.
Three pops done. Working on the fourth.