Hello my Foodie Friends!
Autumn baking is here. Brown sugar is one of my favorite ingredients to bake and cook with. Brown sugar is widely available and comes in both light and dark varieties that are made by re-incorporating molasses back into refined white sugar. They boast complexity of flavor and a lovely, soft texture like moist sand.
Many recipes for cookies, cakes, muffins, and other baked goodies call for either light or brown sugar. While nearly identical, dark brown sugar contains a higher content of molasses than light brown sugar, which accounts for the former’s slightly darker color, wetter texture, and richer flavor. If you want to achieve deeper, richer flavor like dark caramel, opt for dark brown sugar. For more subtle sweetness and less of an overpowering molasses flavor, go with light brown sugar. The deep flavor of molasses in brown sugar lends itself well to complementing cakes as much as dinner-fare such as meatloaf or fish. The soft texture of this type of sugar melts into glazes, rendering them smooth, luxurious, and ideal for drizzling, spreading, or slathering — whatever method you determine is appropriate.
There are some unexpected ways to use brown sugar for purposes other than baking.
Brown sugar is one of the go-to ingredients for pickling all varieties of foods. Pickled veggies or eggs get their nuanced flavors from a combination of spices, herbs, salt, and vinegars. However, it is the luscious brown sugar that serves as the counterbalance to the otherwise sharp, acidic brine. By mingling with the salt and acid, brown sugar lends balance to your favorite pickled treats
There’s a good reason so many people are enamored with the combination of sweet and savory flavors. They are glorious together. They have a magical way of mingling with the tastes. As such, brown sugar is the perfect texture and flavor when you’re looking for deep, thoughtful ways to season your main dishes of meat, poultry, or seafood. Whether you’re marinating a slab of steak to ultimate tenderness, slathering chicken for the grill, or glazing a fillet of fish, brown sugar proves to be indispensable.
As many Asian-inspired stir-fries boast addictively sweet and savory flavors, brown sugar is the ideal ingredient for the sauce component. Mixed with soy sauce, vinegar, and aromatics like garlic and ginger, rich brown sugar manages to add just enough sweetness and depth to balance out the salty notes. Whether you’re cooking up a heap of vegetables or thinly sliced meats, you’ll want to consider using versatile brown sugar to elevate an average stir-fry.
When vegetables cook, they naturally become sweeter and more caramelized. Brown sugar enhances this inherent sweetness, creating deep flavors you won’t be able to resist. As a moist sweetener, brown sugar gives veggies beautiful sheen and outstanding flavor. Whether you’re making traditional holiday favorite side dishes or whipping up whatever’s-in-the-fridge ones for busy weeknights, you’ll love what brown sugar can do for a heap of humble produce. Since most vinaigrette dressings simply contain oil and vinegar, they’re inherently easy to make at home. Add brown sugar to the mix and you’re instantly able to create dressings with complexity. Brown sugar is a fast way to make salad dressing taste amazing.
Storing brown sugar can be a challenge. How often do you go for your brown sugar and find brown concrete instead! It is the moisture in the molasses that keeps this ‘glue’ soft. But when brown sugar is exposed to air, the moisture evaporates and the molasses syrup hardens and sticks together a bit like hard candy. This forms a rock-hard lump that can be almost impossible to completely break up. Store your brown sugar in an air tight container. Invest in a Brown Sugar Bear. Put a Brown Sugar Bear in your container with the brown sugar. The terra cotta, food-safe fired-clay keeps brown sugar moist for at least three months. Soak it in water for 20 minutes and stick that cute little bear in not just brown sugar, but also baked goods, cakes, cookies, marshmallows, and dried fruit to soften and maintain moistness. You can also use the bear without soaking it first to absorb moisture and keep spices, salt, crackers, pretzels and chips crispy and dry.
The tool helps sugar stay fresh for up to six months.
Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place, to pick up your handy little sugar bear and tools to help you with your culinary delights. They are unbearably cute!! Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen!”
John & Paula