Caramel Boings

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These take about 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to make. You will need a sharpening steel and parchment paper in an airtight container with a lid, and a bowl of iced water.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method

Put the sugar in a 1-quart saucepan. Pour the water down around the walls of the pan carefully so that no water or sugar splashes up. Draw your finger through the sugar in an X to let the water infiltrate the sugar completely. Bring the water to a boil and continue to cook over medium heat without stirring until the syrup is amber colored. Test the color of the caramel periodically by placing a drop on a white plate.

Meanwhile, very lightly wipe the sharpening steel with the vegetable oil. When the caramel is slightly lighter than you want–nut colored– stop the cooking by placing the bottom of the saucepan in a bowl of ice water. Swirl the caramel a bit to cool it evenly. When the caramel has cooled enough to slowly fall from a spoon, gather up about a tablespoon in a dessert spoon and hold it over the saucepan. Let the caramel drop and, once you have a strand falling from the spoon, hold the sharpening steel over the saucepan and wind the caramel around and around the oiled steel to form a spring shape. When you reach the end of the steel, pinch the end of the caramel to cut it off.

Let the coil cool for 30 seconds, then slide it off the steel. Place the coils in an airtight container with folded parchment paper between the boings.

Sugar in a crystalline form is its natural way to be, and we are trying to talk it into changing that form, into being a liquid. I never bother to wash down the sides while the sugar is cooking–just make sure the edges are clean of sugar crystals to begin with.

Gale Gand

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