Dish of the Day: Lily Vanilli’s recipe for Blood-stained shards of sugar glass

Lily Vanilli

cake 300x300 Dish of the Day: Lily Vanillis recipe for Blood stained shards of sugar glassSugar glass is often used in films in scenes where glass is smashed – it looks the part but it’s more brittle and less dangerous. Although I once made a huge centrepiece cake covered in this glass for a scene in a short film clip starring a little girl, who memorably looked up at me at one alarming point sucking on a piece of sugar and announcing “I never realised glass was so delicious!”

You can use this in cake decorating to make a gory cake like the ones here or colour the glass by adding a drop of gel food colouring in the first stage and make a stained glass window effect.

NOTE: Because sugar glass is hygroscopic, you should smash it into shards soon after it is fully cooled or it will start to absorb liquid and soften, losing its brittle quality. If you want to make different-coloured sugar shards, you will need to make a fresh batch for each one – don’t try to split the mix and colour it separately, as you have to work quickly with the liquid before it sets.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes: 800g

500ml water

785g granulated sugar

A few drops of gel food colouring (optional)

250ml liquid glucose

One shallow baking tray, lined with foil or baking paper

Sugar thermometer

cake 2 225x300 Dish of the Day: Lily Vanillis recipe for Blood stained shards of sugar glassInstructions:

1. Place the water, sugar, food colouring (if using) and liquid glucose into a pan with a sugar thermometer attached and stir to combine. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, until it reaches 150°C – approximately 15 minutes. Do not stir once the heat has been turned on, it will come together itself.

2. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture quickly and carefully onto the baking tray. Allow to cool completely.

3. Pop the sugar sheet very carefully out of the tray, then hit the sheet carefully so it cracks into shards.

To Assemble:

Make and ice a cake or a batch of cupcakes and stab a piece of glass into the centre of each. Pour or pipe some red berry jam or coulis onto the glass to create a blood effect.

Lily is also running the world’s first agony aunt baking column: “Recovering from a Bad Bake-up”. Send in your baking disaster stories of unexpected failures in the kitchen/recurring problems to

On the third Friday of the month we will feature a Q&A with advice to help you recover.

Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth is available from Cannongate books, 2012

Follow Lily on Twitter @lilyvanillicake

For more information visit

Instagram lily_vanilli_cake

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  • zandeman

    How we’d have laughed at this in Belfast in the 70s.

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