Flavoring Sugar for Cotton Candy
Does anyone have any advice for flavoring sugar to be used to make cotton candy?
I've had a professional machine for about a year now, and have used comercially flavored sugars, and also plain sugar. After reading Jeffrey Steingarten's article on cotton candy this month, I want to experiment with infusing the sugar with flavor without gumming up my machine. (which I think anything moist or with too much body of its own might do)
I'm thinking some kind of extract or edible essential oil might work- has anyone tried these or other methods?
How about vanilla sugar? I make it by simply putting a pod or two of vanilla in a container of sugar and letting it infuse for several weeks.
I've never made cotton candy, so I don't know how it will perform, but vanilla sugar is as dry as regular sugar, and I sometimes use the two interchangeably.
I would stay away from essential oils unless they are specifically for food and you can bring down the strength considerably. Essential oils in full strength can be toxic, even in items that normally wouldn't be. They are usually used at about 1-2% of a product for use externally and much less for consumption. One example off the top of my head of the danger of essential oils is liquorice. One drop on the skin of a person who is susceptable to high blood pressure can suddenly raise their BP so high they can have a heart attack. Similar problems arise with many other essential oils.
As for extracts, I would try infusing a few teaspoons of any of these with a few cups of sugar, mix thoroughly, and wait one-two weeks before use.
The suggestion of fresh citrus zest sounds good. I would take about 1 cup of sugar and run through a food processor with the zest until finely ground then mix with a few cups of sugar by hand. Then let sit for a week or two.
re: The Rogue
Thanks for the words of caution- I don't wan't to poison anyone at this point!
Excellent- the idea of letting the sugar dry for a full week or two is, I think key. Or oven drying for a few days.
I've decided to start with a citrus rosemary because I think the flavors will be strong enough to hold up in the diluted form of fluff, and because I have lots of both.
For anyone interested, after loads of googling, I found this site discussing kosher recipes for cinnamon, chocolate and apple cotton candy: http://www.ccs-digital.com/ultimate2.asp
thank you everyone for your ideas!