In my head I would be able to control boiling hot sugar and make neat spider’s webs, but the reality was far different, but surprisingly glamorous…I might even be tempted to wear these on my head as fascinators to Ascot…If I liked horse racing….
Anyway, it’s easy to do, but make sure there are no little helpers and a washing up bowl full of cold water on stand-by is sensible too.
You will need:
Small batch of cupcakes (6-8), iced with buttercream and chilled in the fridge.
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp cold water
4-5 drops black food colouring
Small stainless steel saucepan
Metal tea spoon
It’s really important the cupcakes are chilled so any residual warmth from the hot sugar doesn’t have a catastrophic effect on the icing.
Place the sugar and water in a pan and heat. Do not stir!! You can swoosh it with the handle so that the sugar boils evenly, but if you put a spoon in the sugar will crystallise and spoil. When the sugar is just about to turn a very pale yellow, turn off the heat and add the drops of food colouring. Swoosh around until incorporated.
Quickly, dip the teaspoon in the black sugar and drizzle a pattern onto the paper. Keep going until all the mix is used -be free-form and make sure there aren’t too many gaps between the strands. If the mix sets, you can just about get away with reheating provided you are quick and don’t stir!!
Leave to set for a couple of minutes, then break up the patterns into pretty chunks and gently press into the icing. Voila!!
Don’t worry if this is a bloomin’ mess the first couple of times, thankfully it’s relatively low-impact on the stock cupboard and practise does make perfect.