Cover the work space with parchment or
waxed paper and the floor with newspaper.
Spray a large, heavy baking sheet with
vegetable spray, wiping any excess off with a paper towel. Set
baking sheet in the middle of the prepared work space.
Place the sugar, 1/2 cup water, and corn
syrup in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, over low heat. Stir occasionally
until sugar is dissolved. Raise heat to high and bring mixture
to a boil. Continue cooking until the temperature registers 310*F
(hard-crack stage) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat,
and briefly plunge the saucepan into ice water to stop the cooking.
Let stand to thicken slightly, about 1 minute.
Dip a fork or balloon whisk (preferably
one that has had the wires cut off at the bottom to leave many
straight equal-length wires) into the sugar syrup and wave back
and forth to draw out long, fine, threadlike strands over the
baking sheet. The syrup will begin hardening almost immediately.
With practice you can form the strands into a lattice design,
swirls, or even form them into a lacy dome by drawing them out
over an inverted oiled bowl or other desired shape.
Makes about about 2 cups.
Tip: Create spun sugar ribbons, roses and
sugar spirals to top dessert creations.