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Substituting for light brown sugar--will this work?

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I'm making a caramel nut tart (from Epicurious--I've made it before and it's great) in which the filling is made by cooking 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 stick of butter, 0.5 cup honey, and 0.5 cup cream with 3 cups nuts in a saucepan. Trouble is, I forgot to get light brown sugar at the store, and now I've let my husband take the car and I have to make the tart for a dinner tonight. I know the standard sub for light brown sugar is to add 1.5 Tbs molasses to white sugar, but I don't have any molasses. Can I add an extra 1.5 Tbs honey to the mix? Will honey add any of the caramelly flavor that brown sugar would have offered, or, considering that there's already so much honey in the recipe, is it not worth messing with the proportions for what would probably be a small return in flavor? Or should I try and improv something else entirely to make?

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  1. Use the white...it'll just be a lighter caramel flavour, but nothing wrong with it.

    AnnieG

    1. Isn't caramel flavor (and color) just the result of slightly burned sugar? It's different from the flavor of molasses (which is what makes brown sugar brown).

      Your recipe already has a lot of honey. An extra tablespoon won't make much difference.

      paulj

      1. If you cook it, you will get a nice flavor fom the browned white sugar. I have tried to substitute molasses + white sugar for brown sugar and it can easily turn into a heavily molasses taste that doesn't quite work, anyway. I have made caramel nut tarts exclusively with cooked white sugar and they have a nice flavor, so I would think that yours would come out tasty (although probably a bit different from the original).

        1. There's much discussion on making your own on this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/418766

          1. Do you happen to have any dark brown sugar around? After I realized I could easily make light brown sugar by mixing dark brown and white 50/50, I don't keep light brown sugar in the house anymore. The honey isn't going to add much of anything to the flavor, especially if you already have plenty of honey in there.

            1. While the Epicurious recipe only cooks the filling for a few minutes before putting it in the pie shell, other caramel(ized) tart recipes call for actually caramelizing the sugar-water mixture first (10 minutes or more on the stove). The Epicurious recipe caramelizes some in the oven (e.g. 'several shade darker'), so may be more dependent on the molasses in the sugar for color. But at 1/2 cup, I suspect the honey flavor dominates.

              paulj