Pulled Sugar for Dummies

Joined Dec 1, 2011
I have tried making pulled sugar. I boiled it as I was supposed to but when I poured onto the cookie sheet it never hardened.

It stayed liquidy. I don't know what I have done wrong. What do you suggest?  Thank you...
Joined Nov 11, 2008
having worked in the past with very skilled pastry chefs in my past. some very well respected in UK and in europe in the field of pull sugar. that is a skill that I have tried my finger onto. (love pain at start and enjoe the result after a lot of practice at home in the past and in professional kitchens during my spare time or lunch meal hours or after le coup de feu or afternoon.

that is a skill very nice and very hurtful at first. but can enhance a Sacher tourt very nicely or a plate of petit fours for the deco and the skill or even a simple leaf of green or twig a plate for a simple dessert plate.

as for the very skilled one seen so many wonders with the masters of those class. and even heard so many stories of clumsiness from airport to competitions. like a piece of scene of 2 Picocks birds in full display (Male) and one in trailing with deco on arrival at airport of nice for the show traveled from London. been smash in the Nice airport arrivals by the porter..

worked at the time and seen the piece brought before smashed. so sad. I felt so hurt for the master of that craft!....

Joined Nov 11, 2008
for your question what you are doing wrong is you should get thermometer and bring it to the right tempereture. use the right sugar is a must. and using some glucose syrop is as well. as for the sheet of paper the best one is some which has been elaborated with great success Silpat

as for ustensil you need heating lamps for the working.

the glucose give a nice shining when you pull it.
Joined Nov 11, 2008
if can't find a thermometer.

here what I have witness on my first encounter.

the guy was doing just flowers and leaf's.

he used his fingers and his eyes.

with a bowl of cold water.


that did mark me

as well as other stuff.
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Joined Feb 2, 2012
If you don't have an heat lamp. could you use a electrical stove and put on low temp and place the mat over top and heat the sugar that way?
Joined Mar 12, 2012
/img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gifHi my name is neil live in australia worked international in 5 star hotels ,
Joined Apr 11, 2012
By cooking to only 260 - 265 degrees, you made taffy, not hard candy.  Hard candy needs to reach at least 300 degrees.
Joined Mar 12, 2012
My Mom took the Wilton Master course for pulled sugar and while there purchased a set of equipment to include a custom made box with heat lamp, silpat mats, etc. She has never used it due to lack of time and I'm just wondering if anyone knows where I could sell it? I currently have it listed on ebay under sugar pulling equipment. Thanks.

Hi Tina, Do you still have your mums sugar equipment for sale my name is neil I live in australia Gday :) Iam a chef it is hard too find sugar equipment here my e mail address is [email protected] could you please let me know if you still have it I would pay for the shipping also cheers hope too here from you soon oh p.s if you have sold equipment would you know were to get the same then ta neil :)
Joined Apr 26, 2012

   I have a question about the pulled sugar.  I make and decorate cakes professionally and have been doing this for about 20 years now.   I have never tried the pulled sugar for use on any of my cakes as of yet.

    My daughters getting married in late May of 2013and is having a beach wedding.  I am making her 5 tier wedding cake and want to do something unusual for it.   At the base of her round layer cake, I want to make some pulled sugar cresting waves that look like they are smashing into the bottom layer of her cake.

  Can someone tell me the best way to do this.........crashing waves....whitecaps and all!!  I will also have some pulled sugar boulders the waves will be crashing against.

     The rest of the cake will be decoraterd with white cholocate sea shells dusted in luster dust, and the cake will be dusted with ultra fine graham cracker crumbs for the sand.  I may also add a few soaring sea gulls made out of chololate as well.


Until then...I guessIll just have to try it on my own....I do have a year to figure it out!!

Thank you very much!

Doe Campbell

Ms. Doe's Speciality Cakes

Goliad, Texas
Joined Mar 3, 2011
try bubble sugar stuck together in random locations (like jagged)

personally i would use pastillage as it can be sculpted and detailed after it has hardened.  
Joined May 14, 1999
Waves out of sugar are easy and really cool looking too! And ocean rocks... OMG! You're gonna love this stuff, I promise. Really.

Get yourself some Aluminum foil and crumple it up into a ball, then un-crumple it and set it in a pan with a bit of a lip. Pour your hot sugar syrup into it, colored blue (of course). As that cools somewhat, also add a touch of green-colored sugar syrup, and twirl the two together with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Once it cools to room temp, release from the foil and it will look exactly like choppy ocean water. As for white caps breaking the surface of that water, maybe Royal Icing would be useful for that?

For the rocks, cook sugar syrup to 320-degrees, then shock the pan in cool water to arrest the cooking process and allow to cool down to about 300-degrees (F). Then add a large dollop of Royal Icing to the hot sugar, stirring quickly with a heat-proof spatula. The mixture will cause the Royal Icing to explode (and cook too) and it looks exactly like sponge or coral. You can airbrush it at that point to add gradient coloring. 

Of course, these applications are for cast sugar, not pulled, so you do not need tartaric acid. Just:

100% sugar

50% water

20% (clear) Corn Syrup

By weight, not volume.

Wash the sides of the pot and cook to 320-degrees. 
Joined Aug 25, 2009

Great points.

"Get yourself some Aluminum foil and crumple it up into a ball, then un-crumple it and set it in a pan with a bit of a lip. Pour your hot sugar syrup into it, colored blue (of course)."

I think it would be a good idea to spray the aluminum with Pam (very lightly) before you pour the sugar so it does not stick.

 Maybe use a spoon to push the sugar up gently to make inverted peaks of waves within the bunched up areas of the foil.

Just a thought.
Joined May 9, 2012
i do think it it show of skills and adds that extra 'wow' factor to the finiale of a meal-perhaps something that makes your restraunt/hotel stand out from the crowd!
Joined Jul 12, 2012
Hi, I saw the piece about the ocean waves out of sugar. It says 100% sugar 50% water 20% (clear) corn syrup.How many cups of sugar and how much water and how much corn syrup. I'm doing a ocean cake.

Joined Aug 14, 2012
Its by percentages, so it can be however much or little you want it to be.

I didn't see it mentioned in this topic, but Notters book ’The Art of the Confectioner' came out earlier this year, its the most detailed text I've seen on sugar work, worth checking out.

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
Joined Sep 18, 2008
My guess is that it is by weight, not volume.

So, a base recipe for 170 grams is:
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 50 grams water
  • 20 grams corn syrup
or stated another way, for 200 grams of product, use:
  • 117.6, use 118 grams, or even 120 grams
  • 58.8, use 59 grams, or even 60 grams
  • 23.5, use 24, or even 25 grams
Then again, I don't do pulled sugar /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif, just good with math!
Hi, I saw the piece about the ocean waves out of sugar. It says 100% sugar 50% water 20% (clear) corn syrup.How many cups of sugar and how much water and how much corn syrup. I'm doing a ocean cake.

Joined Sep 18, 2008
OK, assuming the ratio 100:50:20 is based on weight, the corresponding volumes would be for every cup of sugar:
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Water - 6 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons
  • Light Corn Syrup - 2 tablespoons
This should yield slightly over 1 1/2 cups of product

The above is based on:
  • Sugar - 200 grams/cup or 25 grams/ounce or 12.5 grams/Tablespoon or 4.2 grams/teaspoon
  • Water - 237 grams/cup or ~30 grams/ounce or ~ 15 grams/Tablespoon or ~5 grams/teaspoon
  • Light Corn Syrup - 328 grams/cup or 41 grams/ounce or ~20 grams/Tablespoon or 7 grams/teaspoon
If you are going to seriously working with pulled sugar, I would highly recommend purchasing an electronic scale that measwures in grams. They do not cost much and will give you far more accurate results. As you can see from the above, it is VERY easy to make mistakes with volume measurements.
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Joined Jan 9, 2013
One helpful tip is when you have that left over sugar hard in the pot, fill it with water and boil it until the sugar is soft and it will wash off easier. This is used in a lot of candy making for easy clean up (I use it a lot). Hope this is helpful so you're not breaking your arm scrubbing a pot for an hour.. haha :)

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