The world would be just as sweet with one variety of brown sugar but with variety comes the many options to take a recipe to another level!
All brown sugars can be used to sweeten beverages but when it comes to baking, the effect we want for the final product dictates which version is best.
Brown sugar is sold as golden (light), dark, or demerara.
The darker the sugar, the more intense is the flavor. All get their flavor and richness of color based on the molasses content. The more molasses, the stronger the flavor. Keep this in mind for recipes because the strong molasses overture can ruin a delicate quest.
Golden has the lightest molasses flavor. which delivers an overall more delicate flavor.
Dark brown sugar is moist. To keep it moist, we want to keep it in an airtight container. However, should it become hard, a slice of bread added to the container and resealed will soften it. Alternatively, it can be zapped in the microwave with a damp towel or wrapped in aluminum foil and baked at 300 degrees for five minutes.
Demerara is composed of large crystals, making it crunchy. The larger crystals can change the texture of a baked good. When I want a richer flavor but I don’t want the larger crystals, I first run it in my blender. I recommend using golden brown sugar instead for this purpose when you have it available.
Sprinkle demerara sugar on a streusel or biscuits before baking. The larger crystals won’t break down so the finished product has an appealing, crunchy sweet topping.
Demerara sugar is not only good for baking, but it can also take a hot beverage to a higher level. Try it in coffee, which is traditional, or hot mocha. It can also be added wherever we want a sweet crunch or special, visual effect. Sprinkle these crystals on a pork or ham roast before baking. They will provide a beautiful, golden crust.
Don’t confuse “raw” sugar for brown sugar. It lacks the moisture of “brown” sugar so it will change the end results.