Baking isn’t baking without sugar. It’s easily one of the most important ingredients when it comes to pastries, as it’s the reason for the sweet taste. It also works as yeast for baking bread and rolls.
In earlier centuries, honey and fruit syrups were used as sweeteners, but now, different types of sugars are available to add variety. They are differentiated based on texture, flavour and tint.
If you want to be a baking pro, then it’s best to know the differences between the baking sugars. So, let’s get started!
1) Regular or Granulated Sugar
Regular sugar is the most commonly used sugar on this list. It is highly-refined multipurpose sugar made from sugar cane and sugar beet. Perfect for adding to hot drinks or sprinkling on cereal or fruit, this sugar is available in the form of small crystals.
2) Caster Sugar
Ideal for sponge cakes and meringues, caster sugar gives a pure white, snowy finish to cakes. The crystals are super fine and dissolve much quickly than regular sugar.
3) Powdered or Icing Sugar
Also known as confectioner’s sugar, icing sugar is widely used by bakers for frosting and snow covering on doughnuts. It is made by grinding regular sugar into a fine powder. It’s mixed with a little cornstarch or calcium phosphate to prevent caking.
4) Coarse Sugar
Sometimes called pearl sugar, coarse sugar is made when molasses-rich, sugar syrups high in sucrose are crystallized. This type of sugar has much larger crystals which make it more heat resistant. It is perfect for making confections and fondants.
5) Sanding Sugar
Sanding sugar is used to add extra crunch and texture to cookies. It has large crystals and gives a sparkling appearance when sprinkled on top of baked goods.
6) Demerara Sugar
Demerara is a kind of raw cane sugar that isn’t very much refined. It has a large particle size and takes longer to dissolve. It can be distinguished because of its amber colour and subtle molasses flavour.
7) Muscovado Sugar
Muscovado is the finest of the brown sugars with its rich molasses content. Famous for its sticky texture and flavour, this sugar is available in two forms, light and dark. Light muscovado has a softer taste and is used in puddings and chocolate cakes. Dark muscovado has a strong taste and is used in richer sweets like chocolate brownies.
8) Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is refined white sugar that retains molasses syrup. It contains moisture and has a savoury flavour. This sugar is available in two forms, light and dark. With a stronger flavour, dark brown sugar has a rich taste. It is generally used for making gingerbread and chutneys. Light brown sugar has a subtle taste and is generally used in making condiments and butterscotch.
Each one of these sugars has its own use and characteristics. Choose the one that is perfect for your next recipe. This powerful ingredient should never be underestimated while baking. Don’t forget to try them out. Happy Baking!