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Brown sugar is made by coating crystals of sucrose with molasses. A small percentage of invert sugar may be present. The molasses give it a delicate flavour and delicious aroma. Brown sugar has large, clear sparkling crystals with a moist texture. Light and dark are the two most common styles of brown sugar. The light variety contains around 3.5% molasses while the dark variety has around 6.5%. In general, the lighter the brown sugar the more delicate the flavour. Very dark or old-fashioned brown sugar has a more intense flavour of molasses.
Demerara Sugar: Named after the Demerara area of Guyana, the coarse-grained Demerara sugar is a variety of brown sugar. It is partially-refined raw sugar containing some residual impurities. The colour of Demerara sugar varies from golden brown to dark brown, with a strong dark molasses flavour.
How to Select
• Brown sugar is available in many varieties. Choose the appropriate one as desired.
• Check the packaging date.
• Ensure that it is dry and has no moisture.
• Rustle the packet – free movement of sugar and dry granules indicates freshness and quality.
• Demerara sugar can be used to sweeten and flavour various hot beverages.
• It is used in fruit and berry desserts or in making candies and toffees.
• Depending on its colour, texture and depth of flavour, it can be used to replace granulated or soft brown sugar in many sweet and savoury dishes.
• Traditionally served to sweeten after-dinner coffee.
• It also tastes good sprinkled over cereals.
• Demerara sugar can be used in baking and is particularly good in recipes containing ginger or dried fruit.
• Brown Sugar can be substituted for white sugar, resulting in a more moist baked good, with a flavour that reminds of butterscotch.
• It is not advisable to substitute liquid or granulated brown sugar for soft brown sugar, since the moisture content of soft brown sugar is higher, providing a different texture in the baked goods than can be achieved using other types of brown sugar.
• However, when a recipe simply says brown sugar, always use soft brown sugar and when measuring, always pack it down firmly in the measuring cup.
How to Store
• Transfer brown sugar that comes in a box to a heavy plastic bag or a rustproof, airtight container and seal well. This will make it last indefinitely.
• It is less refined and hence nutritionally better than regular sugar.