Spun sugar is a delicacy pastry chefs use to garnish fancy desserts. Although it is not difficult to concoct, making it can leave a sticky mess in your kitchen. However, the results are well worth the effort, as you'll discover when you present your delicious treat to your guests.
Prepare surfaces. Cover the floor with newspaper. Place parchment paper over your countertops.
Grease the backs of small bowls with oil, if you plan to make basket-shaped spun sugar decorations. This acts as the form for the basket.
Mix the spun sugar, using the ratio of 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. First pour the water into the saucepan. Turn heat on medium. Slowly pour the sugar into a mound in the center of the pan. Gently tap sugar mixture until all the sugar is under water.
Cover and let cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns a light caramel color. Remove the lid and swirl the pan to further mix the ingredients.
Test to see if the mixture is the right temperature. The mixture should be a reddish amber color when it finishes. Drop a bit on a white saucer to check. Or a candy thermometer should read 310 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove candy from heat, and let cool for a minute or two. Let some of the mixture drip off a fork.
After the spun sugar attains the desired consistency, drizzle it on the parchment paper in various shapes. You can use a fork or skewers, or shape it on the back of the bowls. You can also form the spun sugar by hand.
Spun sugar doesn't keep long especially in humid weather.
If the candy in the pan cools too much before it's spun, you can reheat it over low heat. Don't let it scorch.