Sugar is a multifaceted composition that can be found in sweet or savory recipes. Whether in its natural or compromised state its contribution can’t be overlooked. Its offered in a variety of feel good concoctions from country to country. God bless the premise of cultural diffusion. Aye! I hereby dedicate this column to sugar and its many branches.
Granulated is that infamous ingredient that every American is aware of. Granulated sugar comes from the plant sugar cane. The sugar is extracted and processed for mainstream use (tea, coffee, cakes, etc).
Brown sugar is refined with traces of molasses giving it its dark sucrose color. I love its soft texture provided by the addition of molasses.
Castor sugar is granulated sugar processed through a grinder or at home food processor. We Americans call it “superfine” …oh look at that cake its superfine honey! 🙂 Due to its super fine texture, it dissolves quickly.
Burnt sugar is infamous amongst the Caribbean population mainly Guyana. The sugar is manipulated and caramelized into a deep dark rich color to flavor and color many dishes. It’s been used in my cooking to create Jamaican Black Cake, rum cake, stew chicken, and for some Guyanese blood cake. This is not to be confused with Barbados sugar.
Confection sugar is the sugar of all sugars. A Cake Artist understands this. Confection sugar is processed and grounded from granulated sugar into a smooth lightweight consistency. Confectioner’s sugar contains a small batch of cornstarch roughly 3 to 5%. This makes it just as ideal for Cake Artists, its pure cornstarch for rolling out fondant or gum paste. We use it primarily for frosting, icing, and glazing.
Sanding sugar are large crystallized sugar used for garnishing cupcakes, muffins, scones, Rugelach, etc. It’s a prettier alternative to sprinkles.
Agave nectar is a sweetener and a great substitute for sugar. It’s produced from Agave tequilana and Agave salmiana. Its sweeter than honey.
Sugar is one of those ingredients without a limitation. Its use is endless. Until it is devoured. There are many variations to its use. I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Frost on with your bad self!
Pastry Artist Kayisha