I love using 'broken glass' to add an element of danger to my
dishes, especially at Halloween. I challenge anyone not to
wince when you see broken glass on your food. Broken glass in
kitchens always sends alarm bells ringing, making this
technique all the more exciting.
Essentially this is hard crack sugar. See sugar, when boiled,
goes through different stages with different fancy names. Each
stage has a different use in cooking, so it’s worth looking
into. But we are going to be looking at hard crack. As always
when boiling sugar be so careful. Sugar burns are a bitch.
250g caster or granulated sugar
Put your sugar and water in a decent, heavy bottomed saucepan
and give a quick stir. Have a bowl of cold water with a pastry
brush in it at the ready before you go on. You’ll also need a
digital probe thermometer. Put the saucepan on a high heat and
start boiling. As bubbles start to emerge, use your wet pastry
brush to brush around the inside of the saucepan, above the
liquid. This should help prevent your sugar burning. Now leave
it to come to a hard boil. You mustn’t stir your sugar, but
you can swirl the pan gently to mix if you need to but be
careful of splashes! Probe your sugar after a couple of
minutes. The temperature we are looking for is 145 degrees c.
While your sugar is boiling, take a large flat baking tin with
sides and line the bottom with baking parchment.
When your sugar has boiled to temperature, it should still be
clear and not started to colour. Take off the heat and
carefully but quickly pour into your waiting tin. Pick the tin
up and tip around to spread the boiled sugar into a thin, even
layer, the thinner the better. Now put somewhere cool in your
kitchen to harden and cool down. Leave uncovered for a couple
When you want to use, simply break into shards and garnish as
you need to.
You can store sugar glass, covered with clingfilm but it tends
to sweat so best used within 24 hours.