ITS NOT AS HARD AS YOU THINK!
I always used to shy away from using sugar art… I mean, you have to use a candy thermometer. That alone made me feel like it might be too complicated. It didn’t help that everyone talks about how impossible it is to blow sugar globes (similar to blowing glass), and how expensive it is. It can cost hundreds of dollars if you buy the expensive equipment. But there is a home recipe and technique that produces some very satisfactory results.
These globes give you the option of doing a very unique cake (see examples of cakes at the bottom of this post.)
Following is the recipe and instructions. Keep in mind, you will be working with very hot sugar, and you are bound to burn your fingers. If you have extra sensitive skin, you may have a difficult time with this recipe. The good news: even if you have to wait for it to cool to the point where it won’t produce a globe, you can still use this recipe to do pulled sugar… which is gorgeous in its own right. The even better news: its cheap!
A tube roughly the size of a straw but made of metal, wood, or a very hard plastic (For example, I have used one of those plastic hollow tinker toy sticks… its what I had on hand, and it worked great!)
Cookie sheet or marble slab
spatula (preferably metal)
1-1/2 cups Sugar
3/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Dissolve the sugar in the water and heat until boiling in a stainless steel pot, stirring the whole time. Once it is boiling, add the cream of tartar and DO NOT stir from this point on.
2. Take a damp brush and brush the inside of the pot that is not covered with the mixture. This will help prevent impurities and crystallization. Repeat this step a few times and spoon out any froth that forms.
3. Once the temperature reaches 298 degrees fahrenheit, remove it and pour the mixture out on a cookie sheet or marble slab (slightly greased with a non-stick spray).
4. Continuously fold the outer edges of the mixture into the center of the mixture. This will prevent uneven cooling. Eventually, the consistency will thicken into a clear taffy-like consistency. At that point form a small ball and put it on the end of your tube. (Basically, as soon as your hands can stand the heat, start this process)
5. Make sure the edges are spread out over the tube and firmly attached. Blow into the tube and shape and mold the globe as you blow. (Think blowing a bubble with bubble game. The physics are essentially the same.) Twist the sugar bubble off the end of the tube and wait for it to completely cool. Avoid moisture!
Do not get discouraged if you can’t do it on the first try. The great thing about this recipe is that you can pop it into the microwave after it hardens to soften up to the right consistency again. If you can’t get a bubble to form, the sugar may not be warm enough. If you over-heat the sugar it will crystallize and get cloudy. If you want to add color to the sugar, once it reaches its taffy state, rub in some fondant food coloring and mix it in.
“So what do I do with these glass globes?”
Here are some examples of cakes I have seen on the internet that use sugar globes.
You can also use it and stretch it to make any shape that you want to harden into a glass-like look.
You can spin it to look like fine wire or even spiderwebs (just wait until Halloween, I have so many things planned I can hardly stand to wait!)
Experiment and see what happens!