What do you have to say about sweetners ... and a short and sweet sugar site
- rworange Aug 16, 2010 09:26 PM
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
HFCS : High Fructose Corn Syrup
Maple syrup :
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
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?
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!
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.
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).
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.
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?
My use depends on what I'm making and what sugars are readily available. I generally have a white granular sugar, white powdered sugar, brown sugar and sugar syrup on hand, generally whatever variety is available at the store (in practice, what you can get varies a lot by country). I have put sugar through the coffee grinder to change the fineness on occasion. What I get now is always cane sugar based, as sugar canes are a local crop (fresh sugar cane juice is surprisingly tasty)
In addition, I also have honey, maple syrup and molasses, which get used in both baking and cooking - molasses for BBQ sauce and ginger cookies, maple syrup for pancakes and glazes, etc.
I never use artificial sweeteners, and if I needed a flavoured sugars, I make it myself.
I don't eat sugar for the most part, but I will occasionally use palm sugar in some dishes (Thai food especially -or for a touch of sweetness in a sweet/spicy dish).
I use a natural sugar free product called Sweet Perfection (mostly fiber) that I absolutely love. It is VERY expensive but well worth it when I occasionally bake sweets. Clean, sugar taste, prebiotic and extremely low calorie....who could ask for more. I have used some sugar alcohols for baking but they all seem to have an aftertaste. Sweet Perfection does not , IMO.
I use a bit of Truvia (or Stevia) in beverages that need a tiny bit of sweetening, but stevia products all have an aftertaste if you use much of it. I buy an orange flavored stevia liquid that is great in ice tea though - no aftertaste at all, goes really well with iced green tea.