Fruit Salad in a Sugar Cage – Jacques Torres

This video shows us how to put together a fruit salad, for our guests, using bananas, mangos, kiwi, and papaya.  Chef Jacques shows us how to dice each fruit as a female voiceover gives directions about how long it should chill. The sugar cage is the part of the recipe I never would have thought to attempt. However, Chef Jacques talks you through it step by step. You can tell he has had a great deal of practice making sugar cages in the past as he works through an easy and more complete version of the sugar cage.  I can be sure my guests will be wowed even if I put the simple flat sugar cage on top of their fruit salads.  While you are not given amounts for cooking the sugar cage in the video, under the video there is a detailed recipe.  After watching Chef Jacques’ video I would feel confident making this recipe in my kitchen.

recipe: Fruit Salad in a Sugar Cage

Sugar Cage – Jacques Torres

Makes four cages

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Directions

  1. Place sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Insert a candy thermometer, and cook the sugar mixture until it reaches 310 degrees to 320 degrees, what is known as the “hard-crack” stage. Remove pan from the heat, and carefully pour into a medium-size microwaveable glass bowl. If you leave the sugar in the pan, the sugar will continue to cook and will turn dark brown. (The sugar will stay liquid enough to work with easily for about 10 minutes; after that it will start to thicken. If this happens before you are finished, just pop the bowl in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sugar is liquid enough to work with once again.)
  2. Wash, dry, and lightly but thoroughly spray a clean, dry 5-quart Kitchen-Aid bowl with cooking spray. Dip the tines of a fork into the hot sugar. Carefully but quickly wave the fork over the inside of the bowl, allowing the sugar to drip off the fork in long, thin strands. Try to distribute the strands evenly on the side and bottom of the bowl, making sure the sugar reaches all the way to the rim of the bowl. When finished, you should still be able to see the bowl through the sugar.
  3. Use a sharp chef’s knife to trim the edge of the cage clean by scraping the blade of the knife along the rim of the bowl. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.
  4. To unmold the cage, place your thumbs on the outside of the bowl and your fingers on the inside of the sugar cage. Gently pull the cage loose from the side and bottom of the bowl. Once the cage has been released from the bowl, carefully lift it out and place it over a dessert. If the sugar is still too warm, the cage may begin to collapse. Repeat with remaining sugar to form three more cages. At this stage, the cages can be stored, right side up, in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 1 to 2 days.

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