SUGAR

The How & Why
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SUGAR

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Without a doubt my biggest WEAKNESS – and if it wasn’t for my hips I would use it in everything!

Brown sugar, White sugar, Castor sugar, Icing sugar, Syrup and Honey

These are all the things that give us the sweetness we want and CRAVE, making everything delicious!

So how does sugar contribute that SWEET FLAVOUR we love so much into products?

Well… when we heat it at high temperatures it starts to break down.

Nerd Alert:

Sugar:

a carbohydrate (C12 H22 O11) found in fruit, vegetable and sugar cane
(The sugars we use are usually obtained from the cell sap of the sugar cane)

Yes, sweetness is awesome!

but it also gives us a lot more when it is heated:

COLOUR – processes known as caramelization and the Maillard reaction, give your cake crust a golden brown colour and turn your sweets into a toffee colour. It also helps prevent frozen fresh fruits from going brown.

TEXTURE – In cakes, sugar gives your crumb a fine and even texture. In meringues it makes the bubbles in the foam smaller giving it a smoother texture. It also incorporates air into shortening (usually butter) in the creaming process

MOUTHFEEL – the amount of sugar added to sweets determines the mouthfeel

STABILIZES – when egg whites are whipped, sugar is usually added, this stabilizes the foam to make a meringue

PRESERVATION – Helps to prevent spoilage of jellies and preserves

Nerd Alert:

Caramelization:

when a sugar (which is a carbohydrate) is heated above its melting point (150°C), it begins to dry out and eventually turns golden brown in colour

 

Maillard reaction:

when parts of a sugar combine with parts of a protein, chemical reactions occur and cause a browning in colour or a change in flavour

 

Creaming process:

this is when we put air bubbles into a mixture. Sugar crystals have very sharp edges, and when creamed the sugar is forced into the fat mass (butter), and the sharp edges cut into the fat making small bubbles that hold air

 

Spoilage:

when bacteria causes fruit to go rotten

When cooking or baking with sugar, it’s important to remember why we add it, especially if you remove it from a recipe, in a case like this try to identify the reason we added it in the first place.

Happy baking :)

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Megan Potgieter
megan@mykitchendirt.com

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