Now when I think of baking, I always think sweet. Sugar is one of the most important ingredients we use, in the baking processes. The sweetness it provides to things like cookies, brownies and cakes is obvious. However, In breads and rolls, it is an equally important element. Sugar feeds the yeast that makes for a beautiful rise. Sugar is an integral part of not only the baking process, but thing we make day to day.
Typically, for most people, the first thing that comes to
mind when speaking of sugar is the white, granulated kind of sugar. It is
used in almost all American baking recipes. However, the more you bake, the
more different types of sugar you are likely to come across.
Since I love learning new baking tips and tricks, I thought
I would research some different sugar type and how to use them. You may recognize some or all of these types
of sugars, but not be sure how they are made or when to use it. So here you go, a tale of 9 sugars:
Granulated Sugar: This is most commonly known sugar. White sugar has had all of the naturally
present molasses refined out. It is the sugar that is mostly used in baking.
The fine crystals in granulated sugar don’t cake together, which makes it
perfect for measuring, sprinkling onto food or dissolving into warm drinks.
Icing or Powdered Sugar: This sugar is known by a few different
names, icing sugar, powdered sugar, or confectioners’ sugar. However, they are
all the same thing. It is finely ground granulated sugar that has been mixed
with a small amount of cornstarch. This helps to prevent clumping. This type of
sugar is typically used for frosting or glazes. And of course for that snowy covering on doughnuts
or cookies that will ultimately wind up all over your face and hands, but worth
Brown Sugar: There are two types of brown sugar, light and dark. The color refers to the amount of molasses that is present. Brown sugar is white sugar that has had cane molasses added to it. Light brown sugar is what is used more often in baking, sauces and, glazes. Dark brown sugar, because of the rich molasses flavor, is used in richer foods, like gingerbread. Both brown sugars can harden if left open to the air, so it is best stored in an airtight container.
You can actually make your own brown sugar pretty easy if you have a food processor. Simply take 1 pound granulated sugar and 3 ounces of molasses. Blend thoroughly in Food Processor. Make sure everything is incorporated thoroughly you can store it for up to a month in an air tight container.
Ultra-fine, or Caster Sugar: These sugars are basically
the same. They all have the smallest
crystal size of white granulated sugar. It is generally used in making delicate
or smooth desserts such as mousse, meringues or puddings. It also is great for
sweetening cold beverages, like your iced tea, because it doesn’t need heat to
Sugar or Sugar in the Raw: As the name states, this is raw sugar.
With only had the surface molasses washed off, which makes it light in color. Commonly,
it has a large crystal and is slightly lower in calories (Whoop!) than white
sugar due to the moisture content. Turbinado sugar is usally used in sweetening
beverages, but can also be used in baking.
or Barbados Sugar: Now, if we pop over to Britten, you will find Muscovado
sugar is a very common type of British brown sugar. It is much darker brown in color than
the what we find here in America. It has
much more molasses, which makes the sugar crystals slightly larger than regular
brown sugar and the texture is stickier. It is used in sweets with rich flavors
such as gingerbread, coffee cake, and fudge.
Sugar: This is another type of sugar that is very popular in
England. TO Americans, it would be comparable to Turbinado. This is due to the fact they are both “raw”.
Demerara sugar is a large grained, crunchy sugar that hasn’t had all of the
molasses refined out. The sugar is great in tea, coffee, dissolved into hot
cereals or sprinkled onto baked goods.
Decorating sugar: This sugar is not ground as finely as
other sugars. Sometimes referred to as coarse sugar, it does have a much
larger crystal than regular white sugar. The larger size of the crystals (about
the size of pretzel salt) makes this sugar stronger and more resistant to heat.
This type of sugar also helps to give baked goods or candy a little more texture
and is used for decorations as well. Typically, this sugar can come in a rainbow of
Sugar: Sanding sugar is also a larger crystal sugar. Size wise It
falls between white granulated and coarse sugar in size. It is another
decorating sugar and comes in a variety of colors. What is cool about this
sugar is it can reflect light and gives of a sparkly shine.
Now that you know about the different types of sugars out
there, be sure to play with them all!!