Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Made from Scratch: Brown Sugar

One of the recipes that I made over the weekend (which you'll see later this week) called for brown sugar. Since I'm living the unprocessed life this month, I figured I ought to make my own. Brown sugar is just regular (highly-processed) granulated sugar that has the molasses added back in. Molasses is actually a byproduct of the process used to make refined (granulated) cane sugar. To make my brown sugar, I used organic blackstrap molasses -- this type of molasses results from the maximum extraction (or three boilings) of sugar from sugar cane. Interestingly, this thick brown, sticky, and syrupy liquid is actually considered by many to be good for you -- it is high in nutrients such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and, given the process in which it is made, relatively low in sugar. I went back and forth about whether or not molasses can be considered an unprocessed ingredient, as it results from the processing of another ingredient ... but in the end I wanted to use a recipe that called for brown sugar, and I decided that it was good enough that at least I was making my own brown sugar from scratch.

Light Brown Sugar (printer-friendly version)
makes one cup

1 cup raw sugar (alternately, you just use normal granulated sugar)
1 tablespoon unsulphured organic blackstrap molasses

1. Place the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the molasses.

2. Use a fork to combine the ingredients, taking care to smoosh out all the blobs of molasses. [Alternately, you could use a handmixer or electric stand mixer to do the work for you.] For dark brown sugar, stir in an additional tablespoon of molasses.
3. Store the brown sugar in an airtight container or plastic zippered bag with all of the excess air squeezed out.

(adapted from this Joy the Baker recipe)

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