Using Finer Sugar.. Every Time?

Baking By StormyHaze Updated 4 Sep 2011 , 2:57am by scp1127

StormyHaze Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 10:04pm
post #1 of 6

Hey all! I was thinking, what would happen if i constantly used finer sugar in baking? I know that the boxed super fine sugar is more expensive (though you can just as easily make your own!). Thee sis the occaisional recipe that demands for finer sugar, because it blends/melts easier. Do you think that it would make all of my baked goods better if i used fine sugar every time?

On a semi-similar note, I am starting to look for a food processor, which i would use for sauces, making sugar finer, etc.


http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=106647

this is the one im considering. What do you think? I'm considering the black one since it would match my kitchen aid. Not that that's relevant. icon_biggrin.gif

5 replies
StormyHaze Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 10:17pm
post #2 of 6

Some info i founds so far (Not all is relevant, and doesn't answer my question completely, but is interesting none the less):

The size of the sugar crystal affects the amount of air that can be incorporated into the batter during the creaming of the sugar and fat. For example, granulated sugar will incorporate more air into the batter than confectioner's sugar. The size of the crystal will also affect how quickly the sugar will dissolve in the batter. Therefore confectioner's sugar will dissolve quicker in the batter than granulated sugar.

White sugar is a refined sugar derived from sugar cane and sugar beets. It is sold in many granule sizes ranging from superfine to coarse.

Granulated white sugar or table sugar has fine to medium-sized granules and is the sugar most often used in recipes. Try to find one where the crystals are not too large as they do differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. When heated granulated white sugar takes on a toffee-like color and flavor.

Superfine (castor or caster) sugar is granulated white sugar that has superfine granules and is good for making meringues as it dissolves rapidly. You can make your own by processing granulated sugar in your food processor for a few seconds.

Coarse (decorators or pearl) sugar is granulated white sugar that has been processed into small, round grains that are larger than the grains of granulated sugar. They are typically used for garnishing baked goods.

Crystal sugar is like coarse sugar except the crystals are pellet shaped.

Confectioners, powdered or icing sugar is granulated sugar that has been ground to a powder with cornstarch added to prevent lumping and crystallization. It comes in 4X, 6X and 10X but 10X is the one generally found in stores. 10X means that the granulated sugar has been processed ten times. Confectioners sugar is used in meringues, icings, confections, and some sweet pastry.

Invert sugar is mainly used for commercial purposes and is produced by heating cane or beet sugar with a small amount of acid, such as tartaric acid. It comes in syrup form and is used in cake and candy making. Invert sugar gives baked goods: added sweetness and crust color, prolongs shelf-life, and when used in icings it produces added smoothness.

Brown sugar is a refined sugar that varies in color from light to dark brown and has a full-bodied flavor and soft moist texture. In the past brown sugar was semi-refined white sugar where some of the natural molasses was left in. Now brown sugar is made by adding molasses back into refined white sugar. The color will depend on the amount of molasses added during processing of the sugar. The darker the color the stronger the taste so use the one you like the best. The same weight of brown and white sugars has the same sweetness. Because white sugar is denser than brown sugar, to get equal sweetness firmly pack the brown sugar so when inverted the cup of brown sugar will hold its shape. Substituting brown sugar for white sugar in a recipe will produce a baked good that is a little moister with a slight butterscotch flavor.

Brown sugar has the tendency to lump and become hard. To avoid this, store in a glass jar or plastic bag in a cool dry place. If is becomes hard, soften it by placing a slice of apple in a plastic bag along with the brown sugar for a few days. You can also sprinkle a few drops of water on it and seal in plastic bag for a few days.

Raw Sugar is what is left after processing the sugar cane to remove the molasses and refine the white sugar. In North America raw sugar is actually not "raw" as it has been partially refined to remove any contaminants. The color is similar to light brown sugar but it's texture is grainier.

Demerara sugar is a raw sugar that has been purified. It comes from Guyana and is a dry, coarse-textured amber sugar that has a toffee-like flavor.

Muscovada or Barbados sugar is another raw sugar that has been purified. It has a finer grain that Demerara and very moist. Its color ranges from light to dark brown and it has a strong molasses taste.

Turbinado sugar is a raw sugar that has been steam cleaned. It is light brown in color and coarse grained, with a slight molasses flavor.

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/sugar.html#ixzz1Wvk1Ltx4

StormyHaze Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 10:20pm
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormyHaze

Some info i founds so far (Not all is relevant, and doesn't answer my question completely, but is interesting none the less):

The size of the sugar crystal affects the amount of air that can be incorporated into the batter during the creaming of the sugar and fat. For example, granulated sugar will incorporate more air into the batter than confectioner's sugar. The size of the crystal will also affect how quickly the sugar will dissolve in the batter. Therefore confectioner's sugar will dissolve quicker in the batter than granulated sugar.




Does this mean it would be a bad idea so use in place of regular granulated sugar? Does this mean less or more air will be incorporated?

BlakesCakes Posted 4 Sep 2011 , 12:36am
post #4 of 6

Less air.....smaller the grains, less air.

I see an issue with measuring, too.
If you do your recipes by weight, then it shouldn't be a problem,
but if you measure using measuring cups for dry measures and the grains are smaller, then you get more weight for the same amount of volume.

ex.: If a cup of regular granulated sugar weights 6 oz. (and I don't know because I haven't weighed it), then if the grains are smaller, maybe a cup of superfine sugar will weigh 7 oz. Doesn't sound like much, but it's enough to throw off a recipe pretty good.

JMHO
Rae

auzzi Posted 4 Sep 2011 , 1:00am
post #5 of 6

Depends where you are in the world .. Australian bakers have traditionally used caster sugar [Superfine sugar] for decades. Many/most cake recipes use caster sugar.

Our baked products come out very well indeed - no rash of un-aerated cakes.

If you recipe says "granulated", then use granulated. If it says "superfine", or you are using an international recipe that says "caster", then use that ..

Notes:
* 1 cup caster sugar (superfine) = 220g = 7.75 oz
* 1 cup Granulated sugar = 200g = 7.06 oz
[based on 1 U.S. "legal" cup of 8 fl.oz or 240ml]

scp1127 Posted 4 Sep 2011 , 2:57am
post #6 of 6

I only occasionally use superfine sugar. I use Domino sugar and I will spin it in the processor if I need superfine. I actually process alot and store it separately. For my recipes, when I have used regular sugar instead, I haven't seen a difference. But if you use off brand sugars, the crystal is usually not uniform and this will cause problems when superfine is needed.

The processor you are considering is very small. If you choose that one, there is one for $10 more that produces a better outcome. Williams-Sonoma sells it. But 3 cups is very limiting. Is there a slicer/grater feature? I have the Cuisinart 16 cup, 3 bowl processor from Williams-Sonoma, but you probably don't need that. I cook as seriously as I bake so I need the big one.

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