Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homemade Cotton Candy


I made homemade cotton candy!!! It’s pretty exciting. I am finding out that you can make lots of stuff homemade. Like gummy bears, fudge-sicles, hamburger buns, kettle corn, Butter Beer and doughnuts. As soon as I saw a recipe for homemade candy floss, I knew that I just had to make it.


I love cotton candy. I remember going to Sea World with my family when I was young and my little sister was probably about 2 at the time. We got this HUGE thing of pink cotton candy and she was holding it and it was as big as she was. It was pretty funny. I wish I had the picture to show you. It is one of things that I always long for at fairs and theme parks, but I never can bring my self to fork over the money for something that melts as soon as it touches your mouth and is pure sugar. So, in the spirit of State Fair’s across America, I bring you homemade cotton candy from the awesome cook book, Sugar Baby by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Just a warning, this treat will not be quite as light and fluffy as carnival cotton candy, but it is the closest you will get in your own kitchen.



(I am giving you the full recipe. It makes 8 cotton candies. However, I just halved it because I didn’t want to use up that much sugar and corn syrup).

  • 4 C. Sugar
  • 1 C. Corn Syrup
  • 1 C. Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. extract of your choice (I did coconut)
  • 2 drops food coloring (any color)
  • 1 Decapitated Whisk
  • Candy Thermometer
  • pastry brush or basting brush

Are you wondering what a decapitated whisk is and where to find one? I’ll show you. A decapitated whisk is a specialized piece of equipment that is necessary for making cotton candy at home. It is exactly what it sounds like; a whisk with it’s head chopped off.


Just start with a normal whisk and snip the wire tines of the whisk with a wire cutter until you are left with straight wire branches. I had a really old whisk that I hardly ever used. You can probably find a whisk to decapitate at a thrift store and maybe even at the dollar store.


To Make the Cotton Candy:

1. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar,corn syrup, water, and salt. Stir until the sugar is melted. With a damp pastry brush, wipe down the sides of the pan to prevent tray sugar crystals from forming. I just kept a cup of water next to the stove so I could periodically wet down the sides of the pan.


2. Clip the candy thermometer onto the pan and stop stirring. Heat to 320 F. Make sure the thermometer is positioned so that it is resting in the sugar, but not hitting the bottom of the pan. 


3. Pout the hot liquid into a shallow heatproof container. Add the extract and food coloring and stir well. Work quickly so the liquid sugar doesn’t cool. Be careful not to touch the molten sugar. It will be very  hot.

4. Line your work table with parchment or silicone mats. Dip your headless whisk into the sugar syrup and let it drip over the pot for a second or two. Hold the whisk a foot above the the parchment and swing the whisk back and forth quickly so that thin hairs of sugar fall onto the paper. Repeat this a couple times until you have a nice big next of spun sugar.



5. Immediately wrap around a large lollipop stick.  Don’t wait too long, or it will break and not bend. Repeat until the sugar syrup is gone. Move quickly, so the sugar doesn’t set up. I was too slow and the sugar started to get hard. I guess you could melt it down again, but instead I just made some suckers.


6. Eat right away or store in an air tight container. Moisture will make it soggy.


This is one of the suckers I made with the left over molten sugar. I just scooped some into a little heart shaped cookie cutter sprayed with cooking spray. Once it set up, I popped it out and attached a stick with another little glob of sugar.

Recipe adapted from Sugar Baby by Gesine Bullock-Prado


Momma Kaye said...

Wow! You are soooo creative! Ben and I both think that is the prettiest cotton candy we've ever seen. You are an artist!

momA said...

Dang I hate it that I am diabetic and can't try this stuff....looks way better than the fluff you get at fairs! Looks chewy good!

AMI nyc said...

Totally great!

Lina Martin said...

Beautiful! Definitely going to try it.
Do you know how long can I store them?

I have my son's wedding and I'm thinking they would be great.

I'll try and
let you know how it went.