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Oct 5, 2007 10:52 AM

Simple syrup

Has anyone ever tried to make simple syrup out of dark brown sugar?

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  1. Kind of.... I usually make mine from Piloncillo when I am going to make Capirotada, Bunuelos, Torrejas de Pan or other such foods.... and while I really don't measure the ingredients it seems to be no different than making it from white sugar.

    1. Not a direct response to your question, but I have had my syrups start to carmelize when I haven't been watching them. (Usually then infuse with vanilla bean or herbs like mint or anise hyssop for over fruit.) The somewhat carmelized syrup is good for that. Give your brown sugar a shot and let us know how it works out.

      7 Replies
      1. re: kary

        Kary, I love your idea about infusions. I think I'll try that too. You're right about the "not a direct response". Since I am not a world traveler, I had no idea what "other such foods" they were talking about! I'm beginning to think maybe I'm on the wrong website for my amatuer want-to-be chef attempts.

        1. re: mingogirl

          No you are in the right place and welcome. Just keep reading and asking questions. You will be sure to get a lot of answers and opinions.

          1. re: mingogirl

            Piloncillo is the dark brown sugar that is popular in Latin America. It is crudely processed raw sugar that comes in solid cones or blocks. To use it you either have to grate it or dissolve it in boiling water, that is, make a brown sugar syrup. You can think of it as a simply syrup flavored with molasses.

            So you can certainly make a syrup from the usual brown sugar (which is just white sugar moistened with molasses). Whether you can use that syrup in various recipes is another issue. If it is just a mater of flavoring a dish, there should be no problem if you like the flavor of your syrup. If making candy or a fine dessert where the consistency and temperature of the syrup is important, you might have problems.

            Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding using this brown sugar syrup as the principal moistening liquid. The syrup can also be used like maple syrup or honey as a flavored dip or topping.


            1. re: paulj

              Thanks.... Bunuelos are round, thin fried pancakes which are typically sprinkled with Mexican (Ceylon) Cinammon & Sugar, or served in a thick spiced piloncillo based syrup... or in a Cajeta (Goat Milk Caramel) based sauce.

              Torrejas de Pan... are basically French Toast... made with various Mexican breads... from crusty bolillos to the Challah like Pan de Huevo.... after they are fried in Lard (typically)... they are simmered in a thin version of the spiced syrup.

              The typical spices used in these syrups are pretty mundane... cinammon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla beans etc.,

              Other Such Foods would refer to a variety of bready based desserts served with generous amounts of the Piloncillo syrup.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                Pristinos are an Ecuadorian dessert that are served with 'miel de panela', this brown sugar syrup. They are sort of a deep fried pretzel.

                The syrup is also used to make various 'dulce de ..' (sweet of ...) desserts. For example, green figs are poached in it, as is pumpkin.


                1. re: paulj

                  I truly didn't mean to offend anyone. The info you all have posted is extremely interesting to me. I've never found a site that has such knowledgable foodies.

                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                  I just made some syrup to put on my fried polenta/grits. This time I used some extra dark piloncillo that I bought from a "Latino Plaza' shop, and noticed for the first time some sediment, i.e. bits of sugar cane fiber. Talk about 'raw sugar' :) They weren't marked as to country of origin, but could have been some place other than Mexico.

                  Raw sugar from Columbia often looks as though it was molded in bowls, while the Ecuadorian version is more often in cut bricks. Then there's the Chinese version which is cut from slabs about a half inch thick.