Dry Sugar Part 5 – Demerara

A light brown, partially refined raw sugar, Demerara originally was called so because it actually came from Demerara – once a colony that has now become the country of Guyana.  The sugar has large crystals and is somewhat brown in color, but there are no additives.  It is crunchy with a warm caramel flavor.  It is an excellent topping for baked goods – it won’t break down and melt during the baking process.

Demerara has become so popular that it is now produced in many other countries, and is generically referred to as “turbinado” which is more of a descriptor of the PROCESS, rather than a type of sugar.    The terms are pretty much interchangeable.  Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering uses demerara A LOT in many applications…because it’s DEEEELICIOUS!

BLOCK SUGAR! Sweet Sweet Sugar, Dry, Part 4

This stuff is plain weird to me.  Please let me know if you’ve used it.  I’m going to have to find some just to say I’m familiar with it!  Block sugar comes from either the juice of sugar cane or the sap of the palm tree.  The first place I’m going to look is in one of our local Indian markets where it will be called “Jaggery” or “gur”.  If I can’t find it there I’ll head to the taqueria where I’m told it will also be sold under the name “piloncillo”.  The juice is boiled and poured into molds where it hardens and then you pick off a “cube” or “shard” and throw it into your coffee to melt, or rub it over toast.  It can also be used in baking but you have to melt it first with another liquid ingredient.  There’s not much Lula doesn’t know in the food realm but this will be a new experience!!  I LOVE it when I learn while I teach!!

Sugar Primer Dry Part 3 – “Confectionally YOURS”

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Orange-Creme Ganash

Confectioner’s Sugar, also called 10-X, is nothing more than granulated white sugar that has been finely ground to 10 times smaller than its original crystal size, and then cornstarch is added to prevent clumping.  This sugar is prized for its “dissolvability” and is used in candy and icing applications Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering makes a FABulous Citrus White Chocolate Ganache using 10-X – enjoy this pic of our 7-Spice Cake with the ganache drizzled all over it.

Did you know you can make your own confectioner’s sugar?  Simply put one cup of granulated sugar in a blender (NO…not a food processor – it doesn’t work!!) with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch added, and blend away for exactly 3 minutes.  Poof!  You’ve magically whipped up your own 10-X!!  Give yourself a smooch.

BROWN Shugah – Sugar Series Dry Part 2

OK!  So, we’ve talked about what I’m calling “cupboard sugar” (white granulated), and now let’ talk about the OTHER cupboard sugar – BROWN.  Funny – brown sugar IS white sugar, only with molasses added (more about this particular liquid sugar later).    The more molasses is added, the “dark”er the brown sugar is – so you can guess what’s happened when your supermarket brown sugar is labeled “light” or “dark” brown sugar.  Since molasses is a liquid, it will evaporate.  When your brown sugar hardens this is what’s happened.  To prevent this as much as possible, simply wrap up your sugar tightly so air can’t get in (I use a rubber band after I’ve rolled up the bag as tightly as possible squeezing all of the air out – high tech, I know!)  If it DOES happen, warming the sugar in a 250 degree oven for five minutes should do the trick.  Let the sugar cool before you use it.  Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering tends to use more dark brown sugar than light simply because we love its dense, deep flavor.  As an aside…I hope the picture associated with this article is not lost on you…sometimes I just can’t help myself with the humor and politics!!