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Demerara sugar hard as a rock. Gone online for ideas how to soften, so far nothing works.

iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 01:46 PM

I'll dump the stuff if nothing helps or softens the petrified chunk...but...
I've tried my own remedies that have worked previously with regular light/dark brown sugar.
It's a totally hard softball sized glob.
Microwaving does nothing. Laying sheet of damp paper towel on top of glob then securing in air tight Tupperware didn't work. Apple slices in air tight container for a day + didn't work. In Tupperware for 2 days after putting few drops of water on top of glob didn't work.

Storing it from the get go in plastic sealed bag created this.

Suggestions appreciated. thanks.

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  1. w
    Westminstress RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 01:49 PM

    No idea how to soften it, but maybe you could turn it into simple syrup? Then at least you wouldn't have to toss it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Westminstress
      iL Divo RE: Westminstress Jan 3, 2014 01:57 PM

      thanks West, I did consider I may have to try melting it with butter and cream maybe add bourbon or scotch or rum for a hard sauce over plum pudding or other hot dessert. I'll use your suggestion if all else fails but do appreciate reply :)

    2. Antilope RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 01:59 PM

      I would try a hammer, a meat grinder or a food processor. ;-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Antilope
        iL Divo RE: Antilope Jan 3, 2014 06:24 PM

        way to big for FP.
        hammer? nah :(
        my meat grinder is an attachment for kitchen aid. if I brought that hubby would not be a happy man-thanks though Antilope

      2. sandiasingh RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 04:03 PM

        I live in the high desert where this happens all the time. I don't use that much brown sugar but always like to have some on hand. I have tried everything too and, at least in my case, nothing works. I even made the syrup and had it in the fridge for about 6 months and finally threw it away.

        Be very careful using the food processor--when it gets that hard it can do damage to your machine. Using a hammer may work but it won't measure out the same as if it were fresh.

        Best answer here is to toss it when it dries out and get a new bag. I only buy the small bags one at a time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sandiasingh
          iL Divo RE: sandiasingh Jan 3, 2014 06:27 PM

          thanks Sandi, I got it @ Sprouts in bulk. I'll buy more & will probably just melt and use for another purpose

        2. pagesinthesun RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 04:26 PM

          When I first met my DH gave me a tip for dried out brown sugar....put a piece of bread in the bag. I didn't believe him, but it worked! I live in the low desert and I now keep a piece of bread or an old hot dog bun inside my brown sugar at all times!
          It sounds like it's worth a try with your demerara sugar before you give up.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pagesinthesun
            parkerjaxmollymo RE: pagesinthesun Jan 3, 2014 06:30 PM

            I was totally gonna say this!!
            A piece of bread or two in the bag. I do this with anything that has dried out. It started with Christmas cookies. I now put bread in all my cookie tins, by the next morning the bread is hard as a rock and cookies stay moist:)

          2. l
            Leepa RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 04:33 PM

            You might try checking out some Mexican cookbooks or recipes using pil­on­cillo. They're the hard cone shaped sugar found in Latin markets. I think you'd find some good tips on how to use that. It pretty much sounds like your demerara sugar is similar.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Leepa
              paulj RE: Leepa Jan 3, 2014 04:51 PM

              All sugar used to come in hard cones (or bricks) like piloncillo. The ways of using it include:

              grate it ('raspadura', another Spanish name for raw sugar, looks like 'raspar', grate, and 'dura', hard)
              shave it with a knife (ok for small amounts)
              dissolve it - miel de piloncillo, raw sugar 'honey'. It is especially good spiced with cinnamon.

              'Dulce de ...' are hispanic candied fruits made with the raw sugar syrup. Typical fruits include green figs (higos), sweet potato (camote), hard squash (zapallo).

              Canelazo is a Hispanic drink/tea using this brown sugar and cinnamon base, spiked to your liking with rum.

              1. re: paulj
                iL Divo RE: paulj Jan 3, 2014 07:04 PM

                you are duh bom paulj. not surprised, love seasoned ideas, thanks

              2. re: Leepa
                iL Divo RE: Leepa Jan 3, 2014 06:29 PM

                agree, hey you have me an idea. I have multiple graters of all "hole" sizes....hummm

              3. l
                laraffinee RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 05:03 PM

                Once it has stuck together adding any humidifiers such as apple slices and such won't work as it is after the fact.

                I have taken hardened sugar in a thick plastic bag and hit it with a large wooden mallet and it became useable.

                I store mine in a tightly sealed glass jar and have no problems with it solidifying.

                1. e
                  Erika L RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 06:01 PM


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Erika L
                    iL Divo RE: Erika L Jan 3, 2014 06:53 PM

                    yep just thought of that after reading about the cone shaped sugar thing I've seen many times in various Mexican supermarkets.

                  2. JMF RE: iL Divo Jan 3, 2014 10:41 PM

                    Just whack the hell out of it with something.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JMF
                      iL Divo RE: JMF Jan 4, 2014 06:15 PM

                      well let's see .......to answer your comment I'll just say dropping the huge ball in the zipper bag onto a very hard very heavy duty thick tile floor, only bruised its' ego but nothing else. •••BUT••• there's new good news.
                      pulled out my SealAMeal and stuck the blob in bag - dripped about a tsp of tap water over the portion I could feel - sucked out air and opened it up today, easy to scrape sugar apart with the side of a spoon so flipped it over did same thing and we'll check tomorrow. I'm in shock ;:-/

                      1. re: iL Divo
                        JMF RE: iL Divo Jan 4, 2014 07:05 PM

                        Good Idea!

                    2. n
                      nat8199 RE: iL Divo Jan 4, 2014 03:33 AM

                      In the future a brown sugar bear will keep this from happening.


                      ETA: I don't know why they now call it a bun warmer. It is the same product I have used for years. You soak it in water for 20 minutes, wipe it off, and store in with the sugar in a sealed container. The sugar will stay soft for months and months. If it starts to get hard, just resoak the bear.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: nat8199
                        iL Divo RE: nat8199 Jan 4, 2014 06:18 PM

                        how brill is that :)

                        1. re: iL Divo
                          HillJ RE: iL Divo Jan 4, 2014 06:23 PM

                          Those brown sugar bears are shaped clay terracotta. Keep your bag of brown sugar in a clay terracotta pot with a lid and you'll be fine.

                          1. re: HillJ
                            iL Divo RE: HillJ Jan 4, 2014 06:29 PM

                            even the Demerara which this is. always been able to fix reg brown sugar but this stuff baffled me-but happily solution for correction achieved.

                            1. re: iL Divo
                              HillJ RE: iL Divo Jan 4, 2014 06:31 PM

                              No I think trying the moisture and seal a meal on this rock hard batch is the only option you have left (outside of scraping it down with any kitchen file over a bowl) but in the future buy yourself a unpainted clay pot with a lid and keep your brown sugars in there in a cool dark place.

                      2. Kajikit RE: iL Divo Jan 6, 2014 09:19 AM

                        Can you hit it with something sharp/hard and physically break down the lump that way? Or else melt it!

                        1. iL Divo RE: iL Divo Jan 7, 2014 01:52 PM

                          the softball sized glob is completely soft&useable as in it's original (almost) state (sans tiny bit of moisture). thinking sticky toffee pudding is what I'll use it for.

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