Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 16, 2010 09:26 PM

What do you have to say about sweetners ... and a short and sweet sugar site

What is the sweetener you use most often ... and how?

Are there any special ones you use?

I prety much stick to cane sugar and use brown and confectioners suger for cooking. My honey of choice is pumpkin blossom.

I was looking for the difference between brown sugars and came across this site which seems to list every type of sugar, not just brown

It includes breif descriptions of the following

Barbados sugar
Barley sugar
Beet sugar
Brix (degrees)
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Castor sugar
Corn sugar
Crystal sugar
Gelating sugar
Granulated sugar
Grape sugar
Gula djawa
HFCS : High Fructose Corn Syrup
Icing sugar
Invert sugar
Malt sugar
Maple syrup :
Milk sugar
Muscovado sugar
Palm sugar
Powdered sugar
Rock sugar
Sanding sugar
Pearl sugar
Decorating sugar
Spun sugar
Superfine sugar
Sweeteners :
Table sugar
Vanilla sugar

It was a quick,, easy to read answer to my question. I also learned I didn't know about.

This site which started in 1999 seems to have a lot of food info such as a translator of an English food term iinto variousl languages

I haven't finished exploring everything yet.

This site was more wordy and only covered the US, but still a lot of info

And this actually was what I was looking for ... but I couldn't think of the names

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I worded this badly last night. What I really wanted to know was how people use sugar and decide which to use, especially with types that are similar.

    This started with me wondering about piloncillo, Mexican brown sugar that is in a cone form. It seems a real pain to work with and I was wondering if just using boxed brown sugar would make any difference. Is Indian jaggery the equivalent of all of these?

    Even in the US ... when do you use light brown sugar and dark brown sugar?

    There have been lots of discussions on the boards that for baking some consider cane sugar superior to beet sugar.

    What about the special grades for restaurants that aren't available to the public. Does it make a big difference?

    I don't believe castor sugar is available in the US. Will that make a big difference if using regular white sugar in the US?

    What types of sugar do you use and why?

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      I prefer dark brown to light brown sugar. Dark brown has more molasses in it and therefore tastes more "brown sugary" to me than light brown. However, I have seen at least one cookie or cake recipe that specified the use of light brown sugar, so it's possible that you might have some texture differences between the two of them in some recipes. In addition, I've noticed my area grocery stores in Michigan are carrying less dark brown options and more light brown. Annoying to only be able to buy it in expensive little boxes instead of the 2 pound bag.

      I buy both cane and beet sugar. I save the cane, which is more expensive where I am, for candy making and caramel making. For baking I usually use beet sugar, with no difference that I have noticed. But I have definitely found that cane sugar works best when you have to do anything involving caramelization. I get much less seizing and foaming when making creme caramel, for example.

      I think castor sugar is called superfine sugar in the US. Domino's makes it and sells it here, but again, it is more expensive and in smaller packages than regular sugar. It can make a textural difference in delicate cakes, but it is subtle. You can always make regular sugar finer by running it through a few whirls in the food processor.

      One other sugar that is so good I hoard it---maple sugar!

      1. re: rworange

        I would guess the moisture content differs among the kinds of brown sugar you mentioned -- for piloncillo to stick together, it probably has less moisture than boxed sugar. Also, I believe piloncillo and jaggery are unrefined sugar, while U.S. boxed brown sugar is refined sugar with molasses added in.

      2. for sweetners: preferably yellow, but blue will do. NEVER pink!

        1. Thanks for this thread.

          I took a look at the first site you linked to in the original post, and learned a bit about a number of different types of sugars I've seen in recipes but never really understood what they were.

          I have a recipe for Vietnamese-style pork that is cooked in a muscovado sugar syrup.
          I didn't see any muscovado sugar in the local supermarkets (haven't been to any of the Asian markets for this though) -- but there is turbinado sugar and there is piloncillo/panela. I've also got dark brown sugar and palm sugar at home already.
          Wondering whether any of these other sugars can be satisfactorily substituted for the muscovado sugar, or if there would be a huge taste difference (or difference in texture or some other important property).

          1. Cane sugar for most things, dark brown sugar for some things, molasses (great flavor), powdered sugar for frosting. Honey for on top of my Greek yogurt, smoothies, toast, biscuits.
            Never, ever the fake stuff. Ever. Yuck.
            I like cane sugar over beet sugar for most things. If I am on a budget, then I will pick up the cheaper beet sugar.
            I like the dark brown sugar over the light brown because of flavor.
            The molasses might go into cookies or bread, and definitely baked beans and barbeque sauce.

            1. Interesting.

              I followed the first link and saw that Barley Sugar is actually an American candy....being an American who has never heard of Barley Sugar, I asked Mr. Google. His friend Ms. Wikipedia said that it is a British sweet.

              Anyone ever seen this candy?