I’m on sugar probation for a while, which totally sucks. Personal reasons. Therefor, I have to sit and watch everyone enjoy their evening snacks and daily treats…jerks! (rolling eyes) What have I done to deserve this? It’s unfair! Look at it, just sitting there in that glass waiting to be mixed into some concoction. “YOU THINK I CARE!” Ok, well I actually do. <LOL>
I’ve been down this road before. During that time I decided to research sugar and learned there are so many kinds besides the basic white and brown. Who knew! There are also a variety of salts and flours that exist for our enjoyment of baking. We’ll get to those one day.
Well, lets discuss this stuff that makes life sweet and some language that surrounds it. When instructed to Firmly Pack your sugar or dry ingredient, tightly press the ingredient into the measuring cup. When told to Lightly Pack, press the sugar lightly into the measuring cup while avoiding air pockets. To Even / Level the amount, discard what rises above the top of the measuring cup while using the back of a knife.
So what sugars are out there? To name a few, lets start with White Sugar or Granulated Sugar (sucrose). This is the one we all know and for most if not all have grown up on. It’s what we usually use for any and everything. It’s the basic go-to sugar for most recipes. I use to use this for any and everything. I didn’t know better and thank God I grew up. This basic sugar lacks flavor, but does its job for many other things.
Powered Sugar, also known as Confectioners Sugar. It’s Granulated Sugar that has been crushed down into its powdered texture. There are also varied degrees of confectioners sugar such as 10x or 4x. This sugar personally is great for making sauces/creams for dessert.
Superfine Sugar or Castor Sugar is Granulated Sugar with the smallest uniform crystals. You can simply make your own in a blender, food processor, bullet or whatever you have. Best for sweetening fruits, drinks and meringues when trying to disguise or dissolve the sugar.
Sparkling or Sanding Sugars are coarse or fine crystals that are used simply for decor. Such uses are for adding sparkle to a dessert/baked good or used for the rim of a glass.
Dark and Light Brown Sugar, are my favorites. Molasses are combined with granulated sugar and depending on the amount determines its color. I can use these sugars for pretty much anything. Ok, wait, I’m not adding them into my punch for a party <chuckle> However, I am using them when making pies, baked beans, sweet potatoes, ginger cookies or spice cakes. These sugars dry out fast because they’re so moist. I’ve learned an apple slice or piece of bread works well inside the jar. I tried it and it’s true.
There’s also Muscovada Sugar. This dark, fine, moist sugar is also known as Barbados Sugar. Another brown sugar, but coarser and stickier than regular brown sugar and offers a more powerful molasses taste. Basically what I want to use more often <LOL> Great for bbq sauces, brown breads, etc.
Found in South America, Demerara Sugar is another brown sugar with large golden-yellow sticky crystals.
Tubinado Sugar, a raw sugar, is an amber-colored sugar with a mild flavor that has been partially processed. Again, another decor sugar used to top off pasties or add into beverages like hot tea.
Continue your research and look into other sugars such as Evaporated Cane Juice, Fruit Sugar, Beet Sugar, Cane Sugar and Liquid Sugars. They all serve their purpose. There’s also Maple Syrup, Sucanat (whole cane sugar), Sweet Sorghum, Molasses and Raw Honey that serve as sweeteners or substitutes. And for the record, I don’t believe in those “man-made sugars” such as Splenda. Nevertheless, with whatever you continue to use or try, use this sweet toxin in moderation.