Sugar glass is a simple mixture of sugar, water and corn syrup used to decorate desserts. It’s inexpensive and easy to prepare, and makes the perfect creepy cupcake topper or petrifying party favor for your spooktacular Halloween bash. This technique can also be used for many other applications that have nothing whatsoever to do with glass shards dripping with blood, I promise.
Keep in mind this recipe is coming from a gal who can’t even watch commercials for horror films, so I’m not usually into scary cake. But this is candy with cupcakes and frosting, so that makes it okay, right?
We’re making hard candy, just like Grandma used to make. This same technique makes lollipops, sea glass or stained glass candies and can be flavored and colored any direction your creativity takes you.
Sugar glass has had a surge in popularity in the last few years with the well-loved Disney film ‘Frozen”. People make blue tinted, peppermint flavored glass candy made to look like ice for their themed parties. See? No blood.
What You’ll Need:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla or peppermint extract, or another flavoring – optional
In a high-sided saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil, stirring the mixture until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure that the tip is submerged but does not touch the bottom of the pan. Don’t stir the mixture again once the sugar is dissolved.
Wait for the candy thermometer to reach 290°F which is the hard crack stage of candy making. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, cook until mixture starts to turn pale gold.
Be very careful as the heated sugar mixture is extremely hot and will stick to skin if spilled. Always use hand protection when dealing with heated sugar syrup. Remove from heat, add flavoring if using, and immediately pour syrup onto rimmed baking sheet. Working quickly, tilt pan to spread candy to edges to make a very thin layer. Let cool at room temperature to harden.
Twist pan to release and break the candy using a metal spoon in order for it to resemble broken glass. Place a shard or two of sugar glass in the center of each cupcake. For added effect, drizzle or pipe red tinted preserves where candy glass has entered the cupcake.
Do not attempt to speed up the hardening process by placing the candy glass in the freezer or refrigerator. This could cause it to shatter suddenly, sending pieces of the hardened “glass” flying.
Clear vs. Amber: Lots of variables contribute to amber-colored glass, including how quickly you heat the mixture, how long you allow the sugars to caramelize and even the minerals in hard water.
The easiest way to ensure clear glass is to use Isomalt, which is a sugar substitute, a type of sugar alcohol, available online or at bakery specialty stores. Personally, I think the amber sugar glass is delightfully disturbing.
Fabulous Festive Food contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.