Pulled sugar is a simple recipe using sugar, water and vinegar. By cooking the pulled sugar carefully and making sure the temperature is accurately measured, the cooked sugar will turn into a smooth and pliable mass of sweetness that can be handled and formed into a variety of shapes.
Cook the Pulled Sugar
Due to the extreme temperatures required for pulled sugar, place a bowl filled with ice water near the stove as the sugar mixture is cooking.
Mix 5 cups of white refined sugar, 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water, and 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp of white vinegar in a large stockpot. Place a candy thermometer into the mixture and heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. Make very sure that all of the sugar dissolves and there are no undissolved sugar crystals clinging to the sides of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat when the mixture reaches 160 degrees C.
Knead the Pulled Sugar
Place a large silicone mat onto a counter and carefully pour the hot pulled sugar onto the silicone mat. Add food colouring paste to the pulled sugar, if desired. Wear clean, rubber gloves to insulate your hands from the heat as much as possible and begin to work the pulled sugar mass as soon as possible. The sugar mass must be kneaded and pulled in a fashion that is similar to taffy. Continue folding, stretching and kneading the pulled sugar mass until it is shiny and glossy.
Once the pulled sugar has cooled and is stretchy and glossy, small chunks can be pulled from the large mass to make a variety of items. Some people have success using a straw and a chunk of pulled sugar to blow the sugar into beautiful and decorative sugar bubbles that resemble glass.
Make pulled sugar suckers by pulling small chunks from the mass and rolling them into a circle. Flatten the circles and then insert lollipop sticks into each circle before it hardens. Place the suckers onto a silicone mat to harden.
Make hard candy sticks by pulling chunks from the mass and rolling them into long snakelike ropes. Twist two ropes together or braid three ropes together and bend them into various shapes while the pulled sugar is still pliable.
Experiment with making animal shapes by moulding the pulled sugar in a similar fashion to clay. The sugar will adhere to itself and various pieces of the animal shapes can be stuck together to make the animals.