17 December 2009

Brown Sugar

I learned a handy culinary trick during the recent "Good Eats" episode, Pantry Raid X: Dark Side of the Cane. Alton Brown taught me how to make my own brown sugar. He explained that, anymore, brown sugar is just refined white sugar with molasses added to it; and if you have white sugar and molasses in your pantry, you can make your own brown sugar. You can view the recipe here.

I had some brown sugar on hand when I watched the episode, so I didn't try making my own right away. When I ran out of the store bought kind, I was anxious to make my own. Preferring not to use my food processor to make it, for fear of Valerie chastising me for having to clean it, I just put some sugar in a bowl, added some molasses and started mixing.

I just eyeballed how much molasses to add, and I used my fingers to mix it after starting with a fork. It was nice because I was able to adjust how dark I wanted the sugar. My hands got pretty messy in the process, but it was well worth it. Curious on how it tasted by itself, I gave it a try. It was the best brown sugar, I have ever tasted! Plus, it was nice and moist and not a bit lumpy.

The recipes I have used the brown sugar in have also turned out extraordinarily well. I see no reason that I will ever have to purchase brown sugar again. It is also nice because I am able to adjust how much I make at one time. Since I don't use brown sugar all that often, I don't have to worry about it drying out because I can make it in small batches.

If you don't have any molasses on hand, go get some. For this application alone, it is well worth it. For all who may be baking Christmas cookies in the coming days, I would highly recommend trying this application for making brown sugar, if the recipe calls for it, of course. Just a little piece of holiday cooking advice from your friend here at latent chestnut.

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