Sugar is an integral part of our food. It is the sweet-tasting and soluble carbohydrates, several of which are employed in food. The varied form of sugar depends on the different processing techniques used. Different types of sugar are produced with adjustments while undergoing the process of cleaning, crystallizing, and drying the sugar. These different sugars sizes provide varying functional characteristics for foods and beverages. The sugar’s color becomes different based on the amount of molasses present or added to the sugar crystals.
Granulated sugar is a multi-purpose sugar that is extremely refined. It is typically known as refined sugar, table sugar, or white sugar. It is made from sugar beets and sugarcane. It is the most common sugar used for cooking purpose. The sugar is purely white as all the molasses have been refined out of it. Its fine crystals never mix together making it easy and convenient to measure and sprinkle on food or to dissolve in the drinks.
This is also called as the powdered sugar. It is also white in color and has been grounded into a fine powder. It is soluble in any liquid. Hence, it is used in frosting, icing, or to decorate cakes. A small amount of cornstarch is blended in it to prevent the formation of sugar lumps. It maintains consistent smooth textures.
This sugar is mostly used for decorating. Its large crystal sizes are resistant to heat. This sugar is available in a rainbow of colors. Its size is in between granulated sugar and coarse sugar, adding extra crunch and texture to the food. This sugar gives light color and it adds sparkles to the food. It is perfect for decorating cookies, pastries, scones, cakes, muffins, candies, etc.
Turbinado sugar is also called as raw sugar. It retains its natural molasses after the first pressing of sugar cane. Hence, this sugar has large and medium-sized crystals making it look similar to brown sugar. It is used in making brownies. It possesses a slight caramel flavour, which can be used instead of white sugar.
Demerara sugar is a minerally refined, raw cane sugar. It contains large grains of subtle molasses flavour and amber color. It is a crunchy and large-grained sugar used to sweeten coffee, tea, or applied on cookies and muffins. It is rich in flavour. It contains minerals like zinc, chromium, manganese, magnesium, etc.
Brown sugar comes in two types: light brown sugar and dark brown sugar. They are separated based on the amount of molasses it contains. Dark brown sugar has a sandy texture providing a strong caramel flavour. Light brown sugar is slightly milder. Brown sugar is suitable to use in all of the savoury dishes as well as baked goods.
Muscovado sugar is also called Barbados sugar. It is unrefined sugar cane as the molasses in it aren’t removed. This attributes the sugar with dark and light colors, making it sticky, wet, and sandy in texture. It is used as a substitute for brown sugar because of its complex flavour. It is used in gingerbread, savoury dishes, and marinades.
Caster sugar is one of the most superfine granulated sugar, usually white. It has very fine sugar crystals. It dissolves easily in liquid than the normal granulated white sugar. Due to its superfine granules, it is convenient to use in cocktails and syrups as a sweetening agent.