The juices of sugar cane and sugar beets are processed to produce many types of white and brown sugars. Any of these products will add balance, volume, texture, and taste to recipes. White, or granulated, sugar is the most widely available and is used in more recipes than any other ingredient.
Sugar is a carbohydrate that gives the body energy and adds a sweet taste to foods.
White sugars –Each type of white sugar has specific uses.
• Granulated - Called refined, table, or white.
• Caster (castor) – Also labeled as superfine.
• Pearl – Known as decorator’s sugar, the large crystals are used as toppings.
• Sanding – Large sparkling crystals that are also used for decoration.
• Powdered or Confectioner’s – Also called icing sugar. Quick-dissolving and used for both baking and decoration.
Light and dark brown sugars – These include an array of sugars, including palm, molasses, piloncillo (Mexican), turbinado, and muscovada. Most recipes require the more common “pure cane” sugars found on U.S. grocery shelves. Jaggery (palm) is an Indian brown sugar sold in ethnic markets. Granulated browns are good for adding to prepared foods, such as cereal, but should not be used for baking.Specialty markets may carry crystals, including misri (India) and yellow rock (Chinese).
A version called invert sugar is sold almost exclusively to the industry. It has a sweeter taste, which reduces quantity used in commercial foods. “Fruit” sugars are added to powdered dessert and drink mixes.Sugar tends to naturally darken as it cooks; the more that is used, the darker the baked product.