How Sweet It Is

Sugar, the most important ingredient in any sweet treat comes in many varieties. Each type of sugar has its own special properties and uses. The wealth of sugar types can be a bit daunting. But learning about them a bit at a time will help you learn how to choose the sugar that is right for your special recipe. Here we offer you information on just a few of the various kinds of sugar on the market.

Drying Process

Sugar cubes are made from moistened granulated sugar. The moist sugar is pressed into cube-shaped molds and then undergoes a drying process.

Raw sugar is a step along the way in sugar production. This product is what remains after the sugarcane is processed and then refined, but before the molasses is taken out.

Demerara sugar is a popular type of raw sugar that has large gold crystals and a sticky texture. This sugar is produced from Barbados or Guyana sugar and is in wide use in the UK where it is used to top hot cereal or to sweeten coffee or tea.

Turbinado sugar is another type of raw sugar that has been cleaned with steam to give it a mild molasses flavor and a light tan color.

Attractive Sparkle

Sanding sugar, sometimes known as coarse sugar, has large crystals that are used to top baked goods to give them an attractive sparkle. This sugar is used in the main by commercial and industrial baking concerns. 

Superfine sugar, also known as ultra fine or bar sugar has the finest crystals of all the various kinds of granulated white sugar. This sugar is perfect for cakes with delicate textures and for meringues. It also works well for sweetening iced drinks and for sweetening fruit. The main characteristic of this type of sugar is that it dissolves with ease and does it fast. In the UK, the closest match is called castor sugar, sometimes spelled "caster." The name of this sugar is derived from that of the shaker container in which the sugar is often packaged.

Brown sugar, both the light and dark varieties, retains its surface molasses coating which lends this sweet stuff its characteristic flavor. The dark variety has a stronger flavor of molasses and a darker color than that of the light brown sugar. Light brown sugar is used for some baked goods and for making butterscotch, glazes, and some condiments. The fuller flavor of the darker type makes it ideal for baked beans, mincemeat, and gingerbread.