' theme for April's challenge is fragile. As soon as I heard it, one thing immediately came to mind: spun sugar.
No medium I have yet encountered in culinary art has been so fragile as spun sugar, and none has given me as much grief. It needs to be heated to the right temperature then the cooking process stopped immediately. It then needs to be let to cool until it is perfect to work with, a window of time that is fleeting at best. When it sets the lightest of touches can break it. Any heat or moisture in the air of the surfaces it touches will cause it to dissolve right before your eyes. Many decorations will only last several hours at ideal conditions before it also disappears.
It took me a while to nail basic spun sugar, but I'd had no such luck with other spun sugar decorations. The last time I tried it, I followed a variety of caramel recipes and instructions and could not make it work. The spun sugar springs I was trying to make to adorn a cake didn't even get close to working. I gave up and used something else.
I used the contest an an opportunity to revisit my nemesis. This time I didn't even bother to measure the sugar, water or temperature and just eye-balled it. And I finally nailed it. Pretty excited about that.
Other spun sugar:
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