Hazelnut Spikes

Pulled sugar hazelnut spikes are a simple way to add drama to your desserts.  The spikes add wonderful height to layer cakes and tortes for food that is as stunning as it is delicious.  Using white granulated sugar will give you amber hued spikes.  But if you prefer a different color, feel free to use isomalt crystals in your preferred color. 

Ingredients:

  • Hazelnuts (however many you would like to make)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (you can use less if you are only making a few spikes)

Equipment:

  • Non-stick saucepan
  • Non-metal (wooden or silicone) spoon or spatula
  • Kabob skewers
  • Tape

Instructions:

  1. In your saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat.  Stir occasionally watch carefully to prevent burning/scorching.  At first the sugar will become lumpy, but eventually it will liquefy.  Once all sugar has melted, remove from heat.  

  2. Let cool slightly so that the sugar thickens.  Be very careful, molten sugar will feel like lava if it comes into contact with your skin.  While sugar is cooling, pierce hazelnuts with the skewers.  Be careful not to stick the skewer too far into the hazelnut or they will crack.

  3. Dip skewered hazelnuts into melted sugar.  Completely submerge, but try to get as little as possible on the skewer.  Otherwise, removing the skewer will be more difficult.

  4. Let sugar drip off the hazelnut.  This creates the spike.  You can tape the skewer to the edge of your countertop (place something, like newspaper, on the floor to catch any drippings).  You can use scissors to cut you spikes to the desired height.

  5. Once dry, carefully pull out the skewers.  Be mindful of the spikes; they are very fragile.

  6. If the sugar solidifies before you have made all the spikes you want to, you can reheat the sugar over medium heat.