A bake topped with delicate spun sugar or a shard of shiny caramel is definitely a spectacle to admire and really perfects a showstopper. This technique may take a while to master but once you have there is no limits to the amount of bakes you can decorate with this sweet delight.
Before beginning this process we would recommend lining your kitchen floor with newspaper. This may seem a bit extreme but believe us sticky caramel can be a challenge to clean from your kitchen and can get anywhere!
To make the caramel place 250g caster sugar and 225g of water in a heavy based saucepan and heat until it begins to simmer. Do not stir the caramel at any point.
If there is sugar attached to the inner side of the pan you can use a damp pastry brush to brush these down the sides to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
You will want to heat your sugar mix until it reaches the hard crack stage or 155°c. This can be measured using a sugar thermometer.
As soon as your sugar reaches this temperature, remove your pan from the heat and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process and the syrup overheating.
The best way to create spun sugar is to snip the bottom of whisk with pliers, to create a whisk with spikes. If you cannot do this then try using two forks placed back to back (you could secure these together tightly with an elastic band)
Spray the handle of a cooking utensil or rolling pin with non-stick oil in preparation.
Dip the whisk or forks into the syrup and then flick them back and forth over your oiled utensil to create long thin strands.
Carefully gather up the strands and using your hands mould them in to shape.
Alternatively, for a less messy alternative, drizzle the sugar syrup on to a non-stick surface and leave to set to create caramel shards to decorate bakes such as cupcakes or showstopper cakes.