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How to make spun sugar

Give your desserts and pastries a professional finish worthy of any restaurant with some elegant spun sugar decorations. While spun sugar looks incredibly intricate, this step-by-step guide will show you that it’s actually really easy to make using your stand mixer.


Setting up

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This recipe makes enough spun sugar to serve 6, making 3 large nests or baskets. It takes 35 minutes to make.  Here’s what you’ll need:

200g water
250g caster sugar
Oil, for greasing (sunflower works well) 

Cooking Chef XL
Stir tool

The very high temperatures used to produce spun sugar mean you need to use extreme caution when working with hot sugar. It can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with skin, even when the sugar does not appear to be hot. Always handle with care, and ensure that both the sugar and your mixing bowl have cooled completely before cleaning. For this reason, it is not advisable to make this recipe with children.

Mixing the sugar and water

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Fit the stir tool to your Cooking Chef XL. Add the caster sugar and water to the bowl and fit the splashguard. Mix on speed 1 for 1 minute.

Heating the mixture

Remove the stir tool. Cook the mixture at 160°C for 2 minutes (speed off). Remove the splashguard and cook at 18°C for 16 minutes (speed off). Leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Spinning the sugar

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Grease a large bowl with oil. Dip a fork in the sugar syrup and stir. Remove the fork and hold it 15 cm above the greased bowl. Rapidly flick the fork back and forth over the edges of the bowl to create several glossy strands of spun sugar. 

Remember that while the sugar may not appear hot, it will be, and should therefore be handled with extreme caution. 

Making shapes

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Dip and flick the syrup three more times or until the sugar syrup has run out. When it has set, carefully lift off and shape into balls or nests. 

To make baskets, drizzle the syrup in a criss-cross pattern over the back of a greased ladle. Allow to set and then carefully lift off. 

Make spun sugar spirals by looping the syrup around a greased spoon handle. Once set, carefully  lift off.

Spun sugar tips

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  • For best results, spun sugar should be used as soon as possible after it’s made, as any contact with heat or moisture will cause it to melt and begin to lose its shape. It can be stored for a short amount of time in an airtight container, but ideally you should make it just before serving. 
  • Because of spun sugar’s susceptibility to moisture, avoid making it when it’s humid, as it will quickly become soft and droopy. 
  • Cover the area immediately around where you are working with newspaper to catch any sticky sugar spills.
  • Due to the incredibly hot temperatures involved, allow the sugar and bowl to cool completely before cleaning and ensure children stay away from the hot sugar syrup.