Introduction: Colored Sugar Bowls

About: We're an honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned, hobby-farming family in the rolling green hills of our great American MidWest. If you think Mayberry is a place of the past, think again! We're doing our best to liv…

By looking at something that looks as amazing as these edible bowls, you might think that they require special tools, lots of practice and expensive materials. But they don't! Using a few household items you probably already have, these rain bow-colored sugar bowls don't require any special skills or equipment!

Step 1: Get Your Ingredients!

Because it's hard to step away once you've started this project, you'll want to have all of your tools and ingredients on hand before you start the project. To make 2 bowls like the ones pictured, you'll need:

~1 and 1/3 cups white sugar

~1/2 cup light corn syrup

~1/3 cup water

~variety of food coloring, liquid or gel

~Two thick, helium-quality or latex balloons (definitely NOT water balloons, they're far too thin!)

~Two small bowls, such as custard bowls

~a candy thermometer or other thermometer that can measure up to/past 350°F

~medium-size saucepan (ours was a 3-quart capacity)

~metal stirring spoon

~Vegetable or Peanut oil with a barbeque/pastry/basting brush

~wooden toothpicks

Step 2: Prepare Balloons

First off, you'll fill your balloons with water. This prevents them from popping when you pour boiling sugar onto them.

Attach the opening of the balloon to a water faucet, then slowly fill the balloon with room-temperature to cool water. When you fill to the desired bowl size, the balloon should feel like it could be filled fuller than it is. This is good; the balloon will expand later, and there should be enough room to do so.

Before you knot the balloons, hold them upright (opening-side up) and let out enough water to ensure that there is NO air inside the balloon. This is very important!

Once you have let out the air, knot the balloons.

Using the pastry brush, oil the bottom and rims of the small bowls; set on a disposable surface, like parchment paper. Oiling the cups will help to prevent the sugar from sticking and staying on them. :)

Rest a balloon on each bowl.

Step 3: Combine Ingredients and Heat!

In a saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.Whisk to mix the ingredients a bit. Because the syrup is thick, the ingredients will likely not mix completely. You just want to make sure everything is sort-of mixed :)

Set the pan on medium-high (or if your stove is like ours, with a 1-10 scale, turn it on 8)

Step 4: Don't Walk Away! Stir, Check Temp

From here on out, the process goes pretty quickly. While your sugar is heating up to 305°F, gather and choose your colors. We found it necessary to have the colors open and ready to use. You'll use toothpicks to mix each color in.

While your sugar is heating, it really isn't necessary to stir constantly, but you will need to check the temperature every two to three minutes to monitor the temperature.

Step 5: Add Color!

Once your sugar syrup reaches 300 to 305°F, take the saucepan off the heat.

Working quickly before the candy seizes up, pour a few drops of each color into the candy. Using a toothpick, swirl the color into the syrup. For a more melded look, swirl more, and let the colors get close. (With the syrup pictured, we were going for a more streaky look, so we didn't mix color into the entire pot, and didn't let the colors get very close to each other)

Step 6: Pour Syrup Onto Balloons

Working quickly, pour the hot syrup onto the balloons. To get full coverage and a sturdy bowl, you will need to pour enough syrup on the balloon so that there will be a small pool of extra candy on your work surface.

Once your balloons are covered, let them sit for 20-30 minutes. You'll be waiting for them to completely harden.

Step 7: Cut the Balloon!

Once you're confident that the bowl is hard enough to handle, you'll cut the balloon.

Carefully lift the balloon and off the dish it was resting on and hold it over a sink.

This is probably the most exciting step in the process, because at this point, you're hoping it won't fall apart, and if it doesn't, you'll be so proud! This is also the most difficult part of the project. You don't actually want to 'pop' the balloon; popping it would make it explode, which we definitely don't want. What we do want to do is cut the balloon.

Pinching a bit of the balloon, you'll cut the slack that you're holding with a sharp pair of scissors.. Once it's cut, then you can let go and the water will run out.

Step 8: Ta Da!!!

We hope you've enjoyed reading this Instructable! This is our first one, so if you thought this Instructable was a good one, please tell us what you think in the comments, and vote! :) And if you try this, please let us know! It would be so great to know someone liked it!

Step 9: One Last Thing: Cleaning Up...

Cleaning up is not as hard as it may seem. Most (if not all) of your utensils are probably coated in a seemingly indestructible layer of sugar candy. Our simple fix: Pour boiling water on/into the saucepan, spoon, thermometer. They may need a few minutes to soak, but it does the trick!

Thanks for reading! :)

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest