• Ben Churchill

Broken Glass

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

250g water


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

of hours.

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.


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