For Halloween I decided to do something for the adults, since there are already looots of goodies out there for the kiddos. This dish balances super-sweet spun sugar and chocolate ganache with the tartness of sour cherries. Mostly though, it's fun and creepy deliciousness - the perfect end to a Halloween party dinner!
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Step 1: Ingredients
- Pure cane granulated sugar
- Canned or jarred sour cherries in syrup
- Plastic spiders
- Heavy medium saucepan
- Parchment paper
- Black gel food coloring
- Chocolate ganache or thick chocolate frosting
- Gel icing (optional)
- Sugar pearls (optional)
Step 2: Caramelize the Sugar
Caramelize your sugar. Pour 3 tablespoons water, a few drops lemon juice, and 1 cup sugar into a heavy medium-sized saucepan away from heat, stirring to combine. Heat the mixture on medium-high. Do not stir at all ever again. Trust me. Once everything becomes clear and beings to boil, turn the heat down just a bit. Cook for roughly 8 minutes until it turns a dark amber color. If the sides are cooking faster than the center, you can swirl the pan gently. Note - caramelized sugar decorations are best prepared the same day they'll be served.
Remove from heat and immediately dunk the pan into an ice bath to keep the sugar from continuing to cook. Remove it from the water, and set it next to a sheet of buttered parchment paper.
Step 3: Make the webs
After the mixture has cooled to a slightly thicker consistency, use a soup spoon to drizzle the caramelized sugar onto the parchment paper in a spiral pattern and then criss-crossing to form the web. I found that it worked best drizzling from 2-3 inches above the paper. Get a new spoonful for each web. Set the webs aside, still affixed to the parchment paper.