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Burnt Sugar Icing...


Dailey
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i'm planning on icing my pumpkin cake with burnt sugar icing. i just attempted to make the burnt sugar syrup (1/2 cup sugar & water) after i melted the sugar in the pot i added the water and cooked till all the sugar melted (a few minutes). then i poured it into a bowl to cool. well i just went to "pour" my syrup and its hard. did i cook it too long after i added the water or not long enough? thanks so much.

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I don't know, but here's a nice caramel frosting that goes well with pumpkin:

1 Stick Butter

1 c Brown Sugar

1/4 c Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

2 c Powdered Sugar

Melt Butter in heavy medium-sized Pan over Med Heat. Stir in Brown Sugar and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.

Add Milk, return to boil 1 for 1 minute. Allow mixture to cool to room temp and add Vanilla and Powdered Sugar.

Stir until smooth and apply thick coat atop cooled Cake

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i'm planning on icing my pumpkin cake with burnt sugar icing.  i just attempted to make the burnt sugar syrup (1/2 cup sugar & water) after i melted the sugar in the pot i added the water and cooked till all the sugar melted (a few minutes).  then i poured it into a bowl to cool.  well i just went to "pour" my syrup and its hard.  did i cook it too long after i added the water or not long enough?  thanks so much.

I've made this before and there's a really fine line of when its just right and when it will turn into a rock. LOL ~Also, I think you should have iced your cake immediately when the frosting was done (and still warm).

Edited by malarkey (log)

Born Free, Now Expensive

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Hang on... I might be reading this wrong but it seems like you have a fundamental misunderstanding about the recipe. To make burnt sugar aka caramel, you need to first dissolve the sugar and then continue cooking to drive all of the water out and caramelise the sugar. The sugar should turn a light amber to muddy brown colour depending on how far you take it but it should definately not be clear. Once the caramel is made, you need to add other things to it to make it spreadable. Otherwise it will just cool into solid sugar.

PS: I am a guy.

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Let me see if I got this straight.

You melted 1/2 cup granulated sugar (dry) in a saucepan until it just began to smoke.

Then you slowly added 1/2 cup water and cooked until the sugar dissolved.

You let it cool, and it was hard?

My only guess is that you cooked it way too long.

I do mine the same way, except I use 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, because I don't think 1/2 cup is enough. I never have a problem. I have a nice syrupy syrup even when cool.

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i should have been more clear, sorry. i did dissolve the dry sugar until it was an amber color, then slowly added the water and continued to cook it on med heat. i didn't feel like i cooked it that long so i was suprised that it became so hard. i just tried it again and this time it burnt. :sad: i've never actually tasted this type of icing before, is it even worth it? is there a shortcut recipe i can try that would produce the same results? i was told its similair in taste to dulce de leche or flan so i was really excited to try it.

srhcb, thanks for the recipe! i love anything with brown sugar. i will have to print this one out, thanks everyone, i really appreciate the help. :biggrin:

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heat 1/2 cup of sugar or more with 1/4 cup of water or so. Don't stir, don't do anything. Just leave it as it bubbles. Eventually it will begin to turn brown. Then if you want you can stir it a bit but you don't need to.

After it's a nice brown, take it off the heat and carefully add the butter and milk.

CAUTION! It may foam up. Stir to dissolve everything and when it's cool add the vanilla and away you go.

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heat 1/2 cup of sugar or more with 1/4 cup of water or so. Don't stir, don't do anything. Just leave it as it bubbles. Eventually it will begin to turn brown. Then if you want you can stir it a bit but you don't need to.

If you dry melt the sugar you don't have to wait nearly as long for it to caramelize, since you don't have to wait for any water to evaporate. :wink:

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i should have been more clear, sorry.  i did dissolve the dry sugar until it was an amber color, then slowly added the water and continued to cook it on med heat. i didn't feel like i cooked it that long so i was suprised that it became so hard. i just tried it again and this time it burnt. :sad:    i've never actually tasted this type of icing before, is it even worth it?  is there a shortcut recipe i can try that would produce the same results?  i was told its similair in taste to dulce de leche or flan so i was really excited to try it.

srhcb, thanks for the recipe!  i love anything with brown sugar.  i will have to print this one out, thanks everyone, i really appreciate the help. :biggrin:

Ah, I see, what you were doing was making a simple caramel sauce. I would reccomend against making a dry caramel if you're inexperienced with sugar. My guess is that after you added the water, you cooked the solution too fast and for too long so too much water evaporated which left it hard. If you haven't yet thrown it out, you can fix it by just heating it up again until it melts and then adding a bit more water before cooling it down a bit.

Can you post the entire recipe? Sugar and water by themselves can't really make an icing.

PS: I am a guy.

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heat 1/2 cup of sugar or more with 1/4 cup of water or so. Don't stir, don't do anything. Just leave it as it bubbles. Eventually it will begin to turn brown. Then if you want you can stir it a bit but you don't need to.

If you dry melt the sugar you don't have to wait nearly as long for it to caramelize, since you don't have to wait for any water to evaporate. :wink:

I think it's more foolproof with the water (and I am a fool and you don't need proof of that :raz: )

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thanks again!

shalmenese, i was just making the burnt sugar syrup, i haven't even gotten to the buttercream part yet. :blush: there are a couple different ones on the net i wanted to try. most of them call for butter, powered sugar and a bit of milk, and even cream cheese in one recipe. i will try it again with sugar and water. :biggrin:

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I think it's more foolproof with the water (and I am a fool and you don't need proof of that tongue.gif )

Actually, dry melting sugar is amazingly easy, quick, and even a fool could do it.

I think it's actually easier and more foolproof than using the sugar/water method, because you

don't have to worry about washing down the pan with a pastry brush in the early stages of boiling to prevent recrystallization. You simply put your sugar in the pan, and once it starts to melt, stir it around a bit to make sure all the sugar gets to the heat. It caramelizes immediately. You add your water (or whatever), cook out the lumps and voila! Nothing could be easier.

My guess is that after you added the water, you cooked the solution too fast and for too long so too much water evaporated which left it hard.

I agree with that. Especially since it was only a 1/2 cup......doesn't take much to evaporate enough of that off to make your sugar hard again. You should try making it again the same way, except use 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. That will make it more "foolproof". I always say that if you fail at something, you should at least try again to get it right, rather than abandon it and go to something else. Don't let it defeat you.

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Yes, caramel is one of the most amazing flavors and it is great to be able to whip it up when you want to. The other day I made crepes with pears in a caramel sauce...a very quick dessert and a way to get rid of almost overripe pears and my family loved it. Nothing like the complexity of "burnt sugar" to make you look like a culinary genius!

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