Note: Before you begin this recipe, please take a class from a professional on working with sugar. This is a skill that professional pastry chefs develop after years of experience. Working with sugar will burn your fingers so know before you start that your fingers will develop burn blisters.
- Scant 5 cups (1 kilo) sugar
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) vinegar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (250 grams) water
Place the sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan over high heat. Insert a candy thermometer and cook until the sugar reaches 320°F. Use a pastry brush to keep the inside of the saucepan clean as the sugar cooks or the sugar may recrystallize. To do this, dip a clean brush in cold water and brush the inside of the pan clean. Pour the cooked sugar onto 3 or 4 silicone baking mats. If you want to color and/or flavor the sugar with food colors and/or flavored oils, this is the time to do so. Add a few drops of color to the sugar and mix in with a wooden skewer. To get started, push the sugar from the sides toward the center. This process takes a little while. Try to keep the sugar divided by color. Use the mat to push the firm sugar around the edges toward the center. Use a folding motion to accomplish that task. The next step is to pick up the sugar with your hands. Place each color under the heat of the sugar lamp. Pull the sugar until it becomes glossy and the color is evenly distributed. You will need to pull the colors simultaneously. Keep them under the sugar lamp but keep an eye on them. The lamp can melt the sugar so it is important keep rotating it and folding it onto itself. Start with 2 colors. I used green (mint) and yellow (lemon). Place the sugar pieces side-to-side. Pull and lengthen. Cut in half. Place them side-to-side again. Pull to lengthen. Cut in half and place them side-to-side. Now you have a flat piece of sugar that you are pulling long. Cut off the ends, (they are bulky), when the sugar starts to harden. Make some waves to create the ribbon. Join the 2 edges to make a circular ribbon.