Sugar is the most popular sweetener used for cooking. It is used widely in baking, making beverages and desserts.
Difference between White sugar and Brown Sugar:
To understand the difference between white sugar and brown sugar, we will see what these ingredients are and where it is used.
What is White Sugar?
White sugar is the crystallised sucrose extracted from sugarcane. After harvesting the sugarcane, the juice is extracted and boiled down to remove moisture. As the moisture diminishes, the natural sucrose in the juice begins to crystallize. The crystallized sugar is removed, leaving other extracts behind in the form of molasses.
Sugar should be kept in an air tight container as it absorbs moisture very easily.
What Sugar is Used For?
Sugar not only acts as a sweetener it also helps in important chemical reactions that occurs during cooking.
Sugar helps in browning of foods through Caramelization and the Maillard reaction.
- Caramelization occurs when heat breaks down the sugars and creates a golden color and nutty flavor.
- Maillard reaction occurs when amino acids in proteins react with sugars in the presence of heat, also creating a nice golden color and complex flavor.
The presence of sugar in baked goods and other foods helps in retaining moisture and keeping them soft.
Types of White Sugar
- Coarse Grain (decorating sugar, pearl sugar): Used for decorating purposes over candies and cakes.
- Granulated Sugar (table sugar): Used in making beverages and other liquids.
- Caster Sugar (superfine sugar): Used in making mousses and custards.
- Confectioners’ Sugar (powdered sugar): Used in icing, syrups and other desserts.
- Lump Sugar (sugar cubes): Used in beverages such as coffee and tea.
What is Brown Sugar?
Brown sugar is crystalline sucrose combined with a small amount of molasses, which is responsible for its characteristic brown color and rich flavor. Depending on the variety of brown sugar, molasses is either added back to refined white sugar or left intact with the sugar crystals during the refining process.
Brown sugar is prized for its deep, rich flavor and color. Because molasses is hygroscopic, brown sugar and the baked goods made with it retain moisture well. Brown sugar also contains a slightly higher mineral content than regular refined white sugar due to the presence of molasses.
What Brown Sugar is Used for?
Brown sugar is similar to granulated white sugar but it gives an extra flavor. It is commonly used for sweetening baked goods, beverages, sauces, and marinades. Some varieties of natural brown sugar are also used to make alcoholic beverages like rum. Brown Sugar has also become a popular ingredient in body scrubs because of granules and slightly acidic pH.