Although spinning sugar has been called the climax of the art of sugar work, one need not be deterred from trying it; for with a dry atmosphere, the sugar boiled to the right degree, and care given to prevent graining, it can be accomplished. It is upon these three things alone that success depends. Spun sugar makes a beautiful decoration for ice-creams, glace fruits, and other cold desserts. The expense of making it is only nominal, but it commands a fancy price.
Put in a copper or a graniteware saucepan two cupfuls (one pound) of sugar; one half cupful of water, and one half saltspoonful of cream of tartar. Boil the sugar as directed for fondant above, letting it attain the degree of crack, or 310°. This is the degree just before caramel, and care must be used. When it has reached the crack, place the sugar pan in cold water a moment to arrest the cooking, for the heat of the pan and sugar may advance it one degree. For spinning, two forks may be used, but a few wires drawn through a cork are better, as they give more points. Have also two iron bars or rods of any kind (pieces of broom handle will do), placed on a table or over chairs so the ends project a little way; spread some papers on the floor under them. Take the pan of sugar in the left hand, the forks or wires in the right; dip them into the sugar and shake them quickly back and forth over the rods; fine threads of sugar will fly off the points and drop on the rods. If the sugar gets too cold it can be heated again. Take the spun sugar carefully off the rods from time to time and fold it around molds, or roll it into nests or other forms desired. Place the spun sugar under a glass globe as soon as made. Under an air-tight globe with a small piece of lime it may keep crisp for a day or two, but it readily gathers moisture, and it is safer to make it the day it is to be used. Do not attempt to make it on a damp or rainy day, and have no boiling kettles in the room (see general directions for boiling sugar, page 513).
Divide an orange into sections; do not break the inside skin, for if the juice escapes in ever so small a quantity the section must be discarded. Let them stand several hours until the surface has become very dry. Remove grapes from the bunch, leaving a short stem attached to each one. Boil some sugar to 340°, or the point just before the caramel stage (see directions for boiling sugar, page 512). Remove the pan from the fire and place it for a moment in water to arrest the cooking. Drop the orange sections into the sugar, one at a time, and remove them with a candy wire or with two forks, and place them on an oiled slab to dry. With a pair of pincers take each grape by the small stem and dip it into the sugar, and be sure it is entirely coated. Place each separately on the slab to dry. If the day is damp, the sugar not sufficiently boiled, or the fruit at all moist, the sugar will all drain off; therefore the work must be done only under the right conditions. Candied cherries may be treated in this way: first wash them to remove the sugar; let them dry, then pierce them with an artificial stem and dip them carefully so as not to deface the stem.
GLACE ORANGES AND GRAPES IN PAPER BOXES.
GLACE GRAPES AND ORANGES COVERED WITH SPUN SUGAR.
GLACE GRAPES IN NEST OF SPUN SUGAR.
GLACE GRAPES COVERED WITH SPUN SUGAR.