Sugar art delights the eye and the tongue. The mind is engaged too, wondering how in the world the shiny, delicate wonders are made. In fact, making sugar art is a complicated and involved process with many steps. The process of making all sorts of delicious and beautiful creations will become easier with practice and with trial and error, but be prepared to work long and hard until your attempts are successful. This sugar rose recipe will take some time to master.
Making a Sugar Syrup
Place 1 lb. 10 oz. of sugar and 8 oz. of water into a pot, and stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Bring the sugar water to a boil, and use a ladle to begin removing the foam that forms. Place the foam into a heat-resistant bowl.
Brush down any crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Continue to keep the syrup boiling during this process.
Continue ladling foam and brushing down crystals three or four times until the syrup remains clear.
Place a candy thermometer in the syrup. Stir in corn syrup and cream of tartar to the syrup when the temperature reaches 230 degrees F.
Turn the burner to high, and stop stirring. Keep the thermometer in the pot.
Boil the syrup until the temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
Remove the pot from the burner, and cool the syrup by placing the pot into a larger pot of cold water for 30 seconds.
Pour the syrup onto a silicon mat, and let it cool for 5 seconds.
Forming the Sugar
Begin folding the sugar using a spatula by bringing the outer edges of the sugar to the inside again and again until the sugar is cooled enough to handle by hand.
Begin pulling and folding by hand. Hold the sugar with one hand while stretching and folding with the other.
Fold and pull about 15 to 20 times until the sugar becomes glossy and smooth.
Cut off a small amount of sugar to form, and place the remaining sugar under a heat lamp to stay warm.
Form rose petals. For the center of your rose, flatten a small daub of sugar with your fingers and roll it into a cone.
Repeat cutting or pulling off small bits of sugar and flattening them. Attach these pieces around the rose cone to form petals. Continue until your rose is completed.
Place the rose on a sheet of wax paper to harden completely.
If you want different-colored sugar, divide the sugar before folding, and add paste color during the folding process.
You can make a heat lamp by using a clamp-style lamp with a 250-watt infrared bulb available from your local hardware store.
Some candy cooks recommend using copper pots because they provide even heating.
Sugar syrup can cause serious burns. Candy making is not a good idea for children.
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.