Greetings, lovely people who like good food,
Once more I must report that the sourdough bread, being a labor of love that I’m sure will be well worth it, is still not complete. So, this week I have another short little recipe that was still very fun to make. I hope you enjoy!
The Recipe: No recipe used (see end of post)
The Goal: Crisp, delicate caramel twirls to use as cupcake toppers, decorations, or just to crunch for a sweet sticky snack!
This recipe is so simple and straightforward, I was fairly surprised it’s considered to be one of the more difficult techniques to perfect. That is, until I attempted the actual shaping and spinning process of the molten hot caramel myself.
The first step does take quite a while, which is melting down the sugar while stirring.
Once the sugar is all melted, only shake and swirl the pot, do not stir it any longer, as it could crystallize. Continue to let bubble until it has achieved a nice warm caramel color. I didn’t run into too much trouble with crystallization actually, but I have heard a lot of horror stories.
At this point, I let the caramel cool down a little, so it was more sticky and able to be drawn out and shaped, as opposed to just a liquid. If at any point during the shaping your sugar gets too cool and starts to harden, you can just put it back on low heat for a few seconds and it should melt right back down to a workable consistency.
This part, the spinning and shaping, I found most difficult. I attempted to do a bird’s nest, first, by using a whisk and flipping it around in the air. However, after burning my arms and hands and not coming up with anything resembling a bird’s nest, I decided to stick with the safer method of slowly twirling spirals of sugar around the handle of a spoon. Sadly, it’s impossible to take pictures of yourself doing something that takes two hands and full concentration to do, so I have no images of myself demonstrating this part.
This method was still extremely difficult, and delicate, and most of my efforts snapped and crumbled. If I were to do this again, I would definitely invest in some better tools, especially little cones to twirl the sugar around instead of using spoon handles.
However, spoon handles though they be, I do believe I created some good spirals in the end, and I had fun doing it, despite hazard to life and limb. I hope you all can see how much I love you! 😉
1.5 C sugar
2 Tblsp water
Melt the sugar and water, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved completely. Then stop stirring and increase the heat, bubbling the sugar syrup until it has turned a light caramel color. Remove from heat and let cool until it can be worked with, then use a fork to spin and mold into desired shapes.