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Caramelized Sugar Dust

Caramelized Sugar Dust is sugar with an extra depth of flavor thanks to the caramelization. Make it for fun, use the caramelized sugar shards for decoration instead of making caramel dust. Or ground it up and use it in place of granulated sugar in your recipes for extra oomphs.

Caramelized sugar dust in a jar with a small wooden spoonThis recipe was a long time coming. I’ve been meaning to make it since 5 years ago when I first saw the movie Chef with John Favreau. It is still one of my absolute favorite movies until this day. Everything about it, the humor, the delicious food on screen, the music, is just wonderful.

If you have not seen this movie, you’ve gotta! In one scene, the chef made caramelized sugar dust with berries and cream, and it looked like too much fun to miss out on.Hardened caramelized sugar on a baking sheet broken into shards

How to make caramel with white sugar

This recipe is extremely easy, it involves heating sugar to form caramel. Note that this is a sugar and water caramel, not to be confused with caramel sauce which contains butter and cream, or dulce de leche which is made with sugar and milk instead of water.A collage of photo showing how to caramelize white sugar with water, allowing it to harden and then making caramel dust

  1. First add sugar and water to a clean stainless steel sauce pan. Make sure the pan is clean. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Do not stir to dissolve the sugar, just swirl it around instead. You do not want to accidentally contaminate the caramel with anything from the spoon or whisk.
  2. Once boiled, continue to cook until caramelized, again, do not stir. Immediately pour caramel onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. I like to use silicone mat because it is easy to peel off the caramel once hardened. But you can also oil the baking sheet if you don’t have a silicone baking mat.
  3. Your caramel will harden into a shiny and pretty piece of caramel color mirror.
  4. Use a wooden rolling pin to break it up into pieces.
  5. You can save some of the shards for cake decorating and plating if desired. Add the rest into a food processor. If you have some pretty big pieces, you might want to break it down even smaller.
  6. Pulse until finely ground, and you just made caramel dust.

Finely ground caramelized sugar in a glass jar

Cook’s Tip: Do not stir to dissolve sugar or when caramel is boiling to avoid contaminating the caramel with a spec of food or dust from the whisk or spatula.

What can I use caramelized sugar for?

This sugar caramel recipe can be used for many different purposes.

  • As a liquid, before it hardens, it can be added to braised meat dishes to enhance color.
  • It is the same caramelized sugar for flan that’s added to the bottom of the flan dish.
  • Once hardened, you can break it up into shards to use in cake decorations, plating.
  • Once blitzed into caramel dust, you can use it in place of granulated sugar in many recipes, add it to your coffee, cappuccino, etc.

Caramel dust in a sieve strainer

Things to Make with Caramelized Sugar Dust

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

Hardened caramelized sugar on a baking sheet broken into shards

Caramelized Sugar Dust

Caramelized Sugar Dust is sugar with an extra depth of flavor thanks to the caramelization. Make it for fun, use the caramelized sugar shards for decoration instead of making caramel dust. Or ground it up and use it in place of granulated sugar in your recipes for an extra oomph.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: All, American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 48kcal
Author: Trang

Ingredients

  • 2 cup granulated sugar ((365 g))
  • 1/2 cup water ((113 g))

Instructions

  • Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and set aside.
  • Add water and sugar to a clean stainless steel sauce pan, do not stir. Cook over medium heat, swirl the pan to dissolve the sugar but do not stir, allow to boil, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes.
  • Pour caramelized sugar immediately onto prepared baking sheet and allow to cool until hardened.
  • Break up hardened caramelized sugar with a rolling pins into smaller shards. Add sugar shards to a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Notes

  • Do not stir to dissolve sugar or when caramel is boiling to avoid contaminating the caramel with a spec of food or dust from the whisk or spatula.
  • Caramelized sugar shards can be used to decorate cakes and baked goods.
  • Caramelized sugar dust can be used to replace granulated sugar in recipes.
  • Calories estimated for a serving of 1 tablespoon.

Nutrition

Serving: 16g | Calories: 48kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

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4 Comments

  1. Elizabeth
    August 4, 2019 /

    Hi There,

    I would like to do a red wine infused version of this and am trying to figure that out. Parts of the recipe have a wine infused simple syrup, which is working out very well. I want to garish the whip cream and plate itself, with a sugar dust of the same, for color and hint of flavor. My first couple of attempts resulted in a sticky taffy like consistency, but I did get the beautiful color and flavor I was after…just not workable for this purpose. Do you have any suggestions to get it to crack and end with the sifted dust?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    • Trang
      Author
      August 4, 2019 /

      I’m guessing you are following the recipe instructions as is but replacing the water with red wine, and you cannot get the caramel to a hard crack stage. I believe what you’re seeing is the acidity in the wine preventing the sugar from recrystallizing. Acid will change the structure of the sugar, so in this case, I’m not sure if there’s anything we can do…

  2. June 18, 2019 /

    5 stars
    Unbelievable – the number of times I’ve made caramel and created toffee shards and decorations but never have I made ground up toffee for sugar. This is brilliant. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and that movie too.

    • Trang
      Author
      June 18, 2019 /

      Thanks Marie, so much fun right? And you’ll love the movie 🙂

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