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Spinning sugar ... fun to do and to eat.

Glistening, golden strands of spun sugar, used to top many an elegant dessert, are surprisingly easy-if somewhat messy-to make. We suggest setting up a workspace outside on a sunny (not humid or windy) day, then gathering an audience to watch and taste the results.

You'll need two wooden dowels-each 1/2 inch in diameter and at least 3 feet longand a means of supporting them at least 3 feet off the ground. A pair of rung-backed chairs, back to back, works well. Cover with plastic if they don't have an easy-towipe-off finish.

Set chairs on a large, clean cloth (such as an old tablecloth) or paper (such as wrapping paper). Rub dowels with salad oil, or coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set dowels about 8 inches apart on chairs.

To make the spinner, you'll need an inexpensive wire whisk. With wire cutters, snip each loop at its center. (Or substitute two metal dinner forks for the spinner.) You'll also need a pastry brush and candy thermometer, Check thermometer for accuracy ahead of time in boiling water; it should read 212[degrees] if you're at sea level. Some cautions before you start

The very hot sugar syrup can cause serious burns; let the youngsters watch you spin, but don't let them participate. Make sure they stay well out of reach of flying drops of hot syrup.

You may find it easiest to cook the syrup on a campstove set up where you're working, but if your kitchen is close by you could go back and forth.

Spun Sugar

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Ice cream cones or scoops of ice

cream with fresh fruit

In a 1-1/2- to 2-quart pan, combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Cook on high heat, stirring often until sugar dissolves, then boil until temperature of syrup reaches 320[degrees] on a candy thermometer; syrup will be caramel color. Occasionally wash sugar crystals off pan sides with a pastry brush dipped in water.

Remove pan from heat; let syrup cool slightly to thicken, about 4 minutes. Working quickly, dip end of a wire whisk with loops cut (see instructions, preceding), or tines of 2 dinner forks held with backs together, into syrup. Do not touch hot syrup. Standing in place and using an underhand motion, fling syrup quickly from whisk or forks over supported, oiled dowels (see instructions, preceding). Strands of syrup will fly off as thin, shimmering threads and drop over the dowels, hardening almost instantly. Repeat rapidly until no more strands fly from whisk. Dip whisk in syrup and repeat steps.

When you have a thin curtain of spun sugar, gently but quickly lift off a 4-inchwide section. Quickly swirl it around the top of a cone, or set swirl on top of a bowl of ice cream and fruit. Strands melt when handled, so touch as little as possible.

When the syrup cools too much to spin easily, reheat to melt (up to 3 times). Serve spun sugar within an hour or so, before it gets sticky, collapses, and melts, Allow about a 4-inch-wide puff for a serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Per serving, spun sugar only: 128 cal; 0 g protein; 33 g carbo.; 0g fat; 0 mg chol.; 0.3 mg sodium.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1988
Words:551
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