Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 3:09PM
Blue Bayou cupcake, pineapple cupcake, ice coconut frosting and blue toffee springs.
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.