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Video:How to Make Sugar Corkscrews

with Elizabeth LaBau

Sugar corkscrews add a beautiful finishing touch to all kinds of desserts. The best part is, they look impressive but are surprisingly easy to make. Learn how to make sugar corkscrew decorations.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Sugar Corkscrews

Sugar Corkscrew Ingredients

To make sugar corkscrews, you will need:
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • a well oiled knife sharpener or the handle of a wooden spoon
  • a small saucepan
  • a metal spoon

Heat the Sugar

Begin by sprinkling one-half cup of the sugar into the saucepan and put the pan over medium-high heat. As the sugar melts, stir it occasionally, just to help it melt evenly.

Once the first batch of sugar is completely liquid and a nice golden brown color, sprinkle the remaining half cup of sugar into the saucepan, and slowly stir it in. Cook it until it is a dark brown color--you'll probably start to smell caramelized sugar at this point.

Cool the Sugar

Once it's totally melted, remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool. Getting the sugar to cool to the proper temperature is the most important part of this recipe. Depending on the temperature of the room, it may take 5-10 minutes for the sugar to cool down enough to work with.

When it's first off the heat, the melted sugar will be very thin. As it cools, it will get thicker and thicker. You know you're getting close when it gets difficult to stir. When you take a spoonful from the saucepan, it should pull like taffy. It shouldn't be brittle, but it should have good substance and body.

When you think it's cool enough, try a test run. Lift a spoonful of sugar from the pan. Allow the first big glob of sugar to drop back into the pan. Once you have a nice sugar strand dropping from the spoon, begin to wind it around the sharpener, beginning at the end closest to the handle. As you can see, in this example the sugar isn't holding its shape and is dropping off the bottom of the sharpener. This means that it's not quite cool enough to work with.

Form the Sugar Corkscrew Decorations

Let the sugar cool for another minute, and then try again. This time you can see it's working beautifully, and is really stretching like taffy from the end of the spoon as it winds around the sharpener. Once you come to the end, break the tail and very gently slide it off the end of the sharpener. Place it off to the side and continue to make sugar corkscrews. If at any point the sugar starts to become brittle or break, you can put it back on the heat and gently warm it up until it's workable. This can be done over and over again as necessary.

These corkscrews add a gorgeous touch to all kinds of desserts. They are sensitive to humidity, so avoid refrigeration, and use them the same day they're made.
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