How to make cotton candy: recipes for cooking
This treat is loved not only by children, but also by many adults. To enjoy it, you do not have to go to the park or the mall. You can prepare it and at home, using a special machine or improvised equipment.
What is cotton candy?
Cotton candy is a fairly well-known and popular treat, especially among children. This culinary product is made by forming thin strands of melted sugar in a special machine, which are wound onto a base and take the shape of a voluminous cloud. This dessert, loved by many since childhood, is made with just a spoonful of sugar. But its airy structure, somewhat reminiscent of absorbent cotton, gives it a unique look.
Historians are still arguing about when exactly the dessert appeared. It is known for sure that cotton candy was often prepared by confectioners in the 19th century. But there are experts who argue that as early as the XV century Italian confectioners were making a similar delicacy. But for this was necessary to have a unique skill, because made this product by hand. First, they prepared a viscous syrup from sugar, and then masterfully pulled the threads from it, which were rolled into voluminous balls.
Initially, cotton candy was only available to kings and their entourage. First, at that time sugar was an expensive product, only the nobility could afford it. Secondly, not every chef or confectioner was able to make it. But over time, the price of raw materials has decreased significantly, and the cotton candy could enjoy a wider range of people.
The real revolution took place at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. That's when William Morrison and John Wharton invented and patented a machine that allowed you to quickly and easily produce the airy treat. In 1903, they demonstrated their invention at an exhibition. The amazing dessert attracted attention and was a great success. The new device allowed to reduce considerably the cost of the product and to simplify the process of its production. Therefore, cotton candy became available to ordinary citizens. Soon it began to be sold everywhere at fairs, amusement parks, and crowded places. Today, cotton candy is sold in stores and pastry shops. It is also used to decorate desserts. Even bartenders use it as an ingredient for making cocktails.
The principle of cotton candy production is quite simple. The sugar is poured into a spinning cylinder installed on a heating element. There are holes in the vessel, through which the hot syrup under the action of centrifugal force splashes in different directions. The cylinder is placed in a container with high edges so that the formed threads remain inside. All that remains is to take the base, usually a long stick, to gather the threads into a voluminous ball. Today, to solidify the threads more quickly, the containers are refrigerated.
Since cotton candy consists of sugar, the question arises about how useful or harmful this product is.
The benefits and harms of cotton candy
Unfortunately, the benefits of such a delicacy are few. It usually contains only sugar, so this dessert has the same effect on the body. Besides glucose, which means carbohydrates, it contains nothing else. It has no vitamins, useful trace elements. But this does not mean that cotton candy, as well as sugar, only harm and do not benefit the body at all. Such an opinion is very far from the truth.
The World Health Organization recommends consuming up to 50 grams of sugar per day for adults, which corresponds to 12 teaspoons. Glucose plays an important role in many metabolic processes. It is the main source of energy, without which metabolic processes are severely slowed down. It is also necessary for normal brain function. No less important role glucose plays in the work of many internal organs. It has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, significantly improves your mood. If we consider that cotton candy contains only 2 teaspoons of sugar, then the use of a detailed treat in reasonable amounts will not have a negative impact on the body, on the contrary, it will improve your mood and make your brain work actively. But this applies only to that product, which is produced without additional additives in the form of syrups and colorings. Sweet flavored syrups not only greatly increase the caloric value, but may also contain harmful substances that have a negative impact on health. This also applies to artificial food colorings.
The harm of sugar, and therefore cotton candy, is constantly talked about by many experts. All the existing warnings refer primarily to the abuse of this product. Excessive consumption of sweets is one of the main causes of diabetes. This is a serious disease that can lead to serious complications. Cotton candy is definitely contraindicated for people who already have this disease.
Also, the abuse of cotton candy can lead to rapid weight gain. Since this product contains only sugar, it means that the body receives a lot of glucose, which must be processed into energy. If this does not happen, the excess glucose is stored as fat. In order to use it up, you will have to increase your exercise and diet.
The threat may be that cotton candy is often purchased on a walk and eaten on the street. Often people prefer to tear small pieces off the ball and eat them. On the hands can be pathogenic bacteria that begin to actively multiply in the sweet environment.
Another harmful effect cotton candy has on dental and oral health. This is no longer dependent on the amount of dessert eaten or where it is consumed. As noted, sugar is a favorable environment for the development of microorganisms. The mouth significantly increases the content of bacteria that can cause a variety of diseases, including tooth decay. Therefore, it is recommended to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after eating this product.
It is worth noting that this dessert is still quite rare in the human diet. Therefore, it can not cause serious harm to the body, if it contains only natural ingredients, a person has no contraindications and bans on the use of sugar.
How to make cotton candy at home
Today, you do not have to go to the fair or an amusement park to enjoy cotton candy. It has long been sold in supermarkets. But it is not always possible to buy it, in addition, there can be a question about its composition. After all, there may be added dyes and flavorings. So it is worth trying to make this dessert yourself at home. It certainly will not affect the taste, maybe only the appearance is slightly different from the usual.
Making cotton candy at home not only allows you to control the composition, experiment with color and taste, but it can also be a good family pastime with children. The kids will definitely be happy with the opportunity to make such an unusual treat on their own.
There are different ways and recipes for making cotton candy at home. A simpler option is to use a special home machine for the production of cotton candy. It has a compact size, is easy to use and does not require any special skills. Those who can not buy this machine or do not see the need for it, do not despair. There are ways to assemble a simple design yourself or make a treat without it at all. It may take longer, but everyone will still be happy with the result.
In the machine
To cook a treat in a machine, you should first carefully study the instructions. The fact is that different manufacturers may have slightly different design and operating principles. Some models allow you to use just sugar, while others may require the prior preparation of sugar syrup.
To buy a machine for the production of cotton candy can be in a store of household appliances, if this is not possible, then in one of the many online stores.
Before using the machine for the first time it should first be well wiped, removable parts washed and dried. Almost all units need time to warm up well. Usually it does not take more than 5 minutes. During this time you can prepare everything you need.
If the device allows you to work with sugar right away, you need to turn it on beforehand to heat up the disc, then pour 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on the heated metal. When it melts, the sugar will begin to turn into thin strands. It remains to dip a paper, wooden or plastic stick into the bowl and, turning it, gather the resulting web into a ball. Large drops formed on the walls of the bowl can be used to make lollipops. If you add a special dry dye to the sugar before cooking, the cotton candy will turn out colored.
You can also pre-cook the syrup. This method allows you to experiment not only with color, but also with taste. You can add natural flavorings or a little berry or lemon juice to the syrup. It is even recommended to add lemon juice or vinegar to the syrup. Then it will solidify more slowly, which will give more time to work.
To make absorbent cotton in the second method, you will need sugar, vinegar, preferably lemon juice, and water.
- In an enamel bowl, mix the water with the sugar in a 1:1 ratio. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat, then boil it for another 10 minutes.
- Then add lemon juice or vinegar and simmer for another 10 minutes. Then turn down the heat and simmer the mixture until it is thick and homogeneous, for 25 minutes.
- Add the coloring agent.
- Pour the sugar syrup in a thin trickle on the heated disc of the machine. The resulting threads gather on a stick.
It is not necessary to wrap the cotton around the stick. You can wait until all the syrup turns into cotton, turn off the device and collect the sweet web with your hands. This mass can be gathered into a ball, twisted into a loose roll, or given another shape. But you have to work quickly, so that the sugar does not start to melt in your hands.
Without a machine
If you can not afford to buy the device, you can make cotton candy at home and without it. The technology of the old masters, who made this dessert long before the invention of a special machine, is suitable for this.
This method will require much more time, also you should not expect the formation of the same airy mass as when using a machine. But the result will not disappoint. The wool turns out a beautiful golden hue and looks quite attractive and elegant. It can even be prepared for exquisite decoration of desserts.
It should also be mentioned that this method requires some skill. You may have to practice more than once to eventually learn how to make cotton candy quickly and deftly.
To make the dessert at home without using a machine, you will need sugar, water, vinegar or lemon juice. You can also use dyes, if you want and need to.
You also need to prepare the necessary tools: a pot or pan with a thick bottom, a whisk, a frame for winding threads. Beverage straws, chopsticks, wooden skewers, even simple forks are suitable for this purpose.
Preparing syrup requires the strictest adherence to the recipe. If you violate the technology, then the syrup will not have the right consistency and will not form sticky but elastic threads.
- Take sugar and water in a ratio of 1:3. Sugar should be taken 3 times more. It is important to choose the right product. It should be granulated sugar.
- In a saucepan with a thick bottom, mix sugar and water. Stir them until the grains are completely dissolved.
- Add the vinegar or lemon juice. You only need a little vinegar, about 5 ml per 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stir and put on a low heat.
- While the mixture is heating, stir it constantly with a wooden or silicone spatula, so that crystals do not form on the walls, which can stick. It is necessary to be patient.
- Once the consistency becomes homogeneous, take the mass off the fire and cool. The temperature should be 30 to 35 degrees. It is better to use a special thermometer. While the syrup cools, it is important to stir it constantly, otherwise it will crystallize.
- Put the cooled mixture on the stove again and start heating. When it has begun to boil for a while, take it off the heat. Do not forget to stir. Allow it to cool. This step has to be repeated 4-5 times until the syrup is golden and viscous.
- Check the readiness with a spatula or chopstick. The spatula should be dropped into the mixture and lifted. If it is followed by an elastic thread that does not break or drip, the syrup is ready.
- All that remains is to wrap the threads around the frame. To do this, fasten the sticks or cutlery vertically at a small distance from each other.
- Immerse the whisk in the syrup, then wrap it around the sticks, winding the threads around them. To make them thin, you do not need to take too much syrup.
By the way, it is not necessary to wind the threads on the frame. If you plan to create a cobweb to decorate a cake or a brownie, you can move the whisk in a circular motion over a surface covered with baking paper. Then make a cloud of the desired shape from the resulting cobweb.
You can also create threads with the help of two tablespoons. The syrup is prepared in the same way. Then it is necessary to dip the spoons in it. Combine the devices with the curved side and begin to slowly dilute. In the gap, threads will begin to form. So repeat until they turn into a cobweb of the desired size and density.
The dessert prepared in this way should be eaten at once. Over time, the sugar begins to melt and the volume of the product falls off.
When working with sugar, it is necessary to follow some recommendations:
- To make cotton candy, use only dry weighted sugar.
- It is better to protect all surfaces beforehand. Sugar syrup and sweet drops do not wash off well, so it is necessary to cover the table with foil or baking paper.
- Working with hot syrup, be careful not to get burned.
- Prepare all the necessary ingredients and tools in advance so that they are on hand.
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