All About Sugar

If you’re new to the culinary academy, you might think that there are just two different types of sugar you can use for your recipes: brown and white. However, there are many options in the grocery aisle for your baked goods or even just for table use.

With the recent low-carb craze, sugar has gotten a bad reputation as being unhealthy but few people know that it actually comes from the earth. Although sugar has been refined over the years, the fact remains that it is still derived from sugarcane, sugar beets or sucrose molecules.

There are many processes and ways that sugar is manufactured before it ever reaches the grocery aisle – and eventually your online cooking courses. Here is a breakdown of the different sugars available on the market, their processes and the best ways to use them in your favorite recipes:

White sugar
This is the kind that many chefs used from childhood. Chances are it sat in a little jar on your kitchen table. In the culinary world, there are actually several types of white – also known as granulated – sugar available for your recipes, including powdered and castor sugar.

However, white sugar is also the most refined and processed compared to other varieties, so if you’re trying to make all-natural recipes, it might not be the ideal option for you. Its best uses are for baking, sweetening beverages and giving your desserts that extra “crunch” when it is sprinkled over top right before they go in the oven.

Brown sugar
This is another familiar favorite for many pastry chefs, especially when making chocolate chip cookies. The moisture content in brown sugar allows cookies to spread and get crispy – which is something that nearly everyone enjoys. Essentially, brown sugar is refined white sugar with molasses added back in after processing.

Raw sugar
This type has gotten popular over the past few years due to the organic movement. This unrefined sugar includes varieties like demerara, turbinado and muscovado, all of which are dark brown in color. Although raw sugar isn’t recommended for baking since it is difficult to dissolve, it’s perfect for sweetening beverages.

Powdered sugar
As mentioned before, powdered sugar is a form of granulated white sugar that is very finely ground. Sometimes it may contain cornstarch to prevent clumping. The main uses for powdered sugar are baking and desserts, since it is very sweet.

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