How to make sugar spun baskets
100ml cold water
500g caster sugar
1 Tbsp glucose syrup (optional – it will help prevent your sugar crystallizing)
1. To help prevent a clean-up operation of industrial proportions, cover your counter tops with baking paper.
2. Get an ice water bath ready so that you can plunge your saucepan into it when necessary and grease a ladle or bowl onto which you will spin your sugar.
3. Put all of your ingredients into a heavy-based saucepan, over a low heat. Keep a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Don’t stir or shake the pan at this stage as you’ll get sugar crystals forming around the edge of the solution. If this happens, brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
4. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, increase the heat to maximum and boil vigorously until the syrup turns a light golden colour or when it reaches 185°C on a sugar thermometer.
5. Briefly and gently, plunge the base of the saucepan into a bowl of iced water, stirring with a metal dessert spoon in order to prevent the caramel from over-cooking or burning.
6. Using a fork, drizzle the caramel in a thin stream over the ladle. Hold the ladle at the top of the handle and beware of sugar dropping onto your arm or hand. If the caramel starts to harden, place over a low heat to melt.
7. Allow the sugar basket to cool slightly before gently twisting off.
- Caramel gets seriously hot! We’re talking 185°C here and if it gets on your skin it’ll burn. Don’t attempt around kids.
- If you are using a sugar thermometer that clips to the side, make sure that the bottom of the thermometer is resting inside the liquid and not on the bottom of the pan (you’ll get a false reading if it’s touching the bottom of the pan where the heat source is strongest).
Practice makes perfect. Sugar spun baskets take time to master so it’s probably not a wise move to start them when your dinner guests are waiting for their pud. But, once you’ve got the hang of them, the sugar spinning world is well and truly your oyster.