Sunday, March 26, 2006

HOW TO SPIN SUGAR

2 lbs. (4 cups) sugar Pinch cream of tartar

1 pint (2 cups) water 1 teaspoonful glucose

Spinning sugar simply consists in drawing the hot sugar, which has been boiled to the crack, into fine strands, which will harden immediately and retain their form. Dissolve the sugar in the water over the fire, and boil to 280°; then add the cream of tartar and glucose, and continue to boil to 310°. Remove quickly from the fire, and, to prevent the sugar from changing its color, stand the pan in a basin of cold water. Take it out of the cold water and place it in a basin of warm water. Oil a rolling-pin or the blade of a large knife and hold it out straight with the left hand; then with the right hand dip a warm spoon into the sugar and shake it backward and forward over the rolling-pin. The sugar will fall across the pin in long threads. Continue the operation until enough spun sugar is obtained; then cut off the ends and press as required into molds or shape on a slab.

Another way is to oil the handles of two wooden spoons, and fix them in drawers or under weights with the ends projecting over the edge of a table. Cover the floor underneath with some clean paper or several large baking pans. Take a large fork, two forks, an egg-beater, or a bunch of wires, and dip it into the syrup. Move quickly backward and forward over the oiled spoon handles. Continue until there is a bunch of sugar threads that look like silk. The threads may be made fine or coarse by moving the forks or spinners slow or fast.

If more sugar is required for spinning, or if that in course of spinning is too thick or firm for use, warm the pan over a slow fire so that the sugar does not change color. The syrup may be colored if liked.

Spun sugar is used for decorating candies, cakes, and for finishing many dishes for dessert. It is used also for making birds' nests, baskets, and vases.

It must be made and kept in a very dry atmosphere, and it must be used as soon as possible.

The steam of kettles is to be avoided, for it is impossible to spin sugar in moist air.

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