Harold McGees book "On Food and Cooking" has an excellent section on the history of sugar as well as sugar art. Ancient Arabs first begin to experiment with (malt syrup) what we would now consider spun sugar. Its not something that just showed up on the culinary horizon its been around for a while. The Egyptians had sugar art on their feast tables as early as the 10th Century. Our syrup temperature chart was created around the 1700s. I could go on and on but you get the drift. Check Ancient Egypt for information on sugar work. The Arabs have a history of it as well. The very first candy recipe was found in an Egyptian Tomb written in hieroglephs around 3500BC! Hows that for ancient! Go to www.pastrychef.info
a site ran by Chef Martin Chiffers theres an article there that might be of interest to you. Heres an Ancient Egyptian recipe:
2lbs cream of wheat
2.5 cups sugar
3/4 lb. butter
16 oz. plain yogurt
slivered almond halves
Bring all ingredients to room temperature. In a large bowl mix sugar and cream of wheat. Add butter, mix by hand, rubbing the buuter, sugar and cream of wheat between your palms for 10 minutes or more until the mixture is very well blended.
Add the yogurt and mix with your hands until the dough feels smooth in your hand. If it feels dry add one tablespoon at a time of water so when you hold it in your hands it feels like pie dough.
Butter a 13x9x2" pan and pat the dough into the pan with your hand. With a sharp knife slice the dough in 2 x 2 inche squares or into diamond shapes.
Press one almond half onto the surface of each piece. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
I love Ancient Egyptian history and I thought this was a neat recipe. Have not tried it yet. It comes fromhttp://www.geocities.com/Heartland/H...egyptfood.html