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    Blue Bayou cupcake, pineapple cupcake, ice coconut frosting and blue toffee springs.
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    Blue Toffee Springs; whether you colour your toffee blue like I did or leave a natural toffee colour, toffee springs are quick to make with a little practice. They do have that "ooo, ahhh" factor and are glisteningly pretty. 
    If you have a butchers steel, you can get a nice shape reducing in size, however I don't have one so I used something I have in abundance a wooden spoon.
    A candy thermometer makes testing the temperature easy.

    Obvious, but toffee is HOT ... handle with extreme care around kids, pets and yourself!

    Toffee spirals last 3 to 4 hours at room temperature, less if it's humid.

    This might sound a bit daunting at first, but you will soon get the hang of it and be able to produce them quickly when needed. Perfect finishing touch to a special dessert.

    140g (5oz) sugar
    140ml (5fl oz) hot water
    *2 teaspoons of glucose syrup or corn syrup (optional)
    Blue paste food colour
    Partially fill your sink with iced water.
    Oil your wooden spoon/s handles or oil sharpening steel
    Place greaseproof paper over your work area.
    Put sugar, hot water & the syrup into a small saucepan.
    Heat on low heat, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Washing down the inside of saucepan with a wet pastry brush to remove any loose sugar crystals as you go.

    Bring the mixture to the boil over high heat, and continue to boil until the sugar registers 155-160°C / 300-318° F on a *candy thermometer. This is hard crack stage. 

    Lift your saucepan off the stove and dip base into the iced water bath you have in your sink for 15 seconds to stop the cooking process.

    Add your food colour and stir gently with a wooden spoon, first in one direction and then in the other direction to stop air bubbles forming.  Don't over stir. 

    Now you wait until the toffee thickens, it doesn't take long, test by lifting a little on a spoon it should slowly drip off. 

    Holding your oiled wooden spoon/sharpening steel in one hand, get a spoonful of toffee out of the pot and starting at the lower end rapidly wrap the thread of toffee around and around forming a spring. 

    After 20 to 30 seconds remove spring gently from the spoon by pushing upwards from base.  Repeat. 

    If toffee hardens before you are finished reheat gently on stovetop. However, if you have used food colour reheating can change the colour pigment. 

    *Don't have a candy thermometer? To test toffee manually, drop a small amount into a glass of cold water. The resulting toffee will feel hard between your fingers and make a cracking sound when broken.  
    *The glucose/corn syrup stops the risk of crystallisation, you don't have to use it or could replace with a teaspoon of strained lemon for the same result.                                                                                                                              
    From one pot of coloured toffee you can produce different shades of colour. Thicker springs have the most intense colour, create thick, thin and medium for varying shades. By adjusting the tension and using a pulling/stretching motion when making a spring will result in a pale ribbon like finish. 

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    Reader Comments (14)

    this is great, i will try it for my son's birthday next week.

    September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbojana

    Hope you son has a lovely birthday!! Thanks for stopping by.

    September 17, 2010 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    I *LOVE* these so much! Cannot wait to try them this morning! Hope they turn out as well as the chocolate writing!

    *FInd us on Facebook, search 'Pixie Nom-Nom Cupcakes*

    November 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPixie Nom-Nom Cupcakes

    Looking forward to trying these. Though, is there a difference when using the paste food colour compared to liquid food colour? And im nervous about putting the toffee straight onto the oiled wooden spoon :) looks fantastic!!

    August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGracieJB

    Hi Gracie, because the food paste colours are a concentrated form of colouring they have less liquid in them.... you don't want to add too much liquid to your sugar work, it changes the consistency.
    At first you might be thinking "what?" when you attempt the wrap the toffee around the wooden spoon... but when the toffee is the right consistency you will do that first one and there will be no stopping you!! :)

    August 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    What a beautiful idea! I love it!

    December 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

    I just tried this today and I believe i burned the sugar. It was easy enough to dissolve together like in the first step, but once I turned the heat up, the sugar eventually yellowed and then turned an amber color. I still added my food coloring hoping it would be fine but it became an awful brown-green color. Very unappealing! I do not have a candy thermometer and I am not really able to purchase one at the moment so do you have any tips for how to tell it has reached the proper temperature? Thank you!

    May 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEleni

    Hi Eleni, oh it's easy to overcook sugar but you will get the hang of it. Right down at the end of the post I did put a note for not having a candy/instant read thermometer…. *Don't have a candy thermometer? To test toffee manually, drop a small amount into a glass of cold water. The resulting toffee will feel hard between your fingers and make a cracking sound when broken. " That's how you test it :D The sugar is boiling/dissolved… and you start testing before any colour appears. As you found out you cannot successfully colour the sugar once it has caramelised… however you could still use that mixture for caramel springs. If you are still having trouble consider using isomalt as it is not as temperature reliant and you can melt pre cooked isomalt pearls/sticks in the microwave.

    May 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    my candy art is sticky what did I do wrong and how do I get it to dry???? thanks

    August 3, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdebbie

    Debbie, do you mean it went sticky after you made it? If so, it doesn't keep very long all… if you are in a hot climate (especially humid) within a hour it will become sticky and then start to break down. Best suited to winter or cooler months.

    If it didn't go hard at the start, the temperature of the sugar is out, either under or over. It does take a few goes at doing it to get it exactly right.

    As with Eleni's reply above consider using isomalt as it is more stable and can be store single file with silica sachets to absorb moisture.

    August 3, 2015 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    I'm planning on making an elaborate under the sea themed cake for my daughter, and will be making chocolate and fondant embellishments before hand. I would love to add some of these elements as well, can I make them ahead and store them in the fridge or freezer before assembling the cake the day of the party?

    June 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnneliese

    Hi Anneliese, that sounds like a lovely theme for your daughters cake.

    Unfortunately spun sugar work has a short shelf life and is usually produced just before serving, it cannot be frozen or refrigerated.

    As with above reply isomalt is slightly more stable and can be stored single file with silica sachets to absorb moisture…. though if the weather is humid both isomalt and sugar work dissolve/becoming sticky fairly quickly with exposure to air… think lollipop once the plastic wrapper is removed. Isomalt will loose it's clarity with exposure to humidity.

    Good luck with your cake.

    July 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    Just came across your posts, and am trying to teach myself how to bake. Can I use colored sugar to get the same color results?

    July 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAunt E

    Hi Aunt E … no usually as the colour isn't stable and you will find you are trying for blue using blue sugar and it will change to say purple or brown etc. Good luck with your baking!! :)

    July 9, 2016 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

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