Special equipment: Sharpening steel Dessert spoon Parchment paper in an air tight container with a lid Bowl of ice water
Place the sugar in a saucepan. Pour the water around the edge of the pan carefully to avoid any splashing up of the water or sugar crystals onto the walls of the pan. Draw your finger through it in an "X" to let the water infiltrate the sugar completely. Bring the sugar water to a boil and, without stirring, continue to cook until amber colored.
Meanwhile, oil the sharpening steel very lightly with vegetable oil.
Test the color of the caramel periodically by placing a drop of it on a white plate. When it?s slightly lighter than you want it to be, stop the cooking by placing the bottom of the pot in a bowl of ice water. Swirl it a bit to distribute the cooling. When the caramel has cooled enough to slowly fall from a spoon, gather up a glob (about 1 tablespoon) on the dessert spoon and hold it over the saucepan. Let it drop and, once you have a strand falling from the spoon, hold the sharpening steel over the sauce pan and wind the strand around it. Work your way up the steel, forming a spring, and when you reach the end of the steel, pinch the end of the caramel to cut it off.
Let cool slightly, about 30 seconds, then slide it off the steel. Place in an airtight container with folded parchment paper in between each boing.
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand