So, we back here in the kitchen got a little distracted today during lunch service, and thanks to that, I have fun stuff to blog about! Sugar. Here in the restaurant we use a lot of sugar garnishes for desserts. One of them is a sugar spiral, which is nothing but caramelized sugar. They're a lot of fun to make, and really easy when done right, and they make everyone go "Oooohh, ahhhhh, you're so talented!" So, here we go into the wonderful world of sugar.
So, here's what you'll need
1 very very very very very clean, small pot
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
Silpats if you have them. Otherwise, wax/parchment paper.
Put your sugar and water into your pot, and let it sit on medium heat until all the water has boiled out and the sugar begins to caramelize. While this is happening, fill your sink with about 2 inches of cold water, and lay out your silpats/parchment/wax paper.
Once the sugar has reached a good caramel color (looking for a fairly dark amber, almost red), dip the bottom of the pot into the water for a few seconds while stirring the sugar with your spoon. Pick up a spoonful and drizzle it back into the pot. You're going to want to do this over and over as the sugar cools, so you can get a good visual on the proper consistency. You want thin thin ribbons that fall from the spoon fairly quickly, but not so quickly that the ribbon would break if you were to start wiggling the spoon vigorously. Cause that's the next step.
Once your sugar makes nice ribbons, pick up quarter to half full spoonfuls and drizzle in patterns onto your chosen surface. After a few seconds (10-20), they'll be set up so you can pick them up and put them on desserts to impress your guests! With practice, you can start blowing sugar bubbles (quite difficult), and then move on to sugar sculpting, which can be even more difficult.