Ingredients

2 cups sugar
? cup water
║ teaspoon cream of Tartar diluted in 1 tablespoon water

Directions

Mix the sugar and water, stirring just enough to moisten the sugar. Place on heat and bring to a boil. After 3 minute, add the cream of tartar dissolved in the water. Cook until it turns into a light caramel. Remove from the heat (it will continue to cook and darken for a few minutes). If it darkens too much, place the sauce pan in lukewarm water to stop the cooking. If it gets too thick, re-melt it on the top of the stove.

Let the caramel cool off a bit until it is thick enough to form long threads, if it hardens too much, it can be re-melted. Use Pyrex or stainless steel bowls. Oil the outside of the bowl, then drape long threads on the top and sides of the bowl.

The threads should be long enough to weave back and forth from one side of the bowl to the other. If the threads are too short, the cage will break when un-molded.

A large stainless steel bowl can be used to make a cage large enough to cover a cake or mousse.

Let the cage cool off. Then pry gently on one side, then the other. It should come off easily.

Different types of cages can be used with different desserts. Some cages are tightly woven. Others are more airy.

These exceptionally decorative caramel cages can be placed atop desserts. Jacques Pepin suggests such desserts as oeuf a la neige, poached fruit, ice cream, and whipped cream-filled shells. The cages can be made in different shapes. Do not stir the sugar and water after the initial mixing, it can cause the sugar to recrystalize and never dissolve.
Caramel Cages
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