What Is Demerara Sugar And How To Use It?
We have discussed in this article the nature of demerara sugar, how to use it and what is the difference between white sugar, brown sugar and demerara sugar.
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Nowadays there’s so much choice in every type of item that you buy, that it is easy to get confused. One such commodity with several kinds available in the market is sugar. Sugar is an essential part of our daily lives and controlling its intake while making sure you choose the healthiest variety is thought of much concern these days. One type of sugar which you’ll get to hear a lot about these days is demerara sugar. Although similar in appearance to brown sugar, it is an entirely different variety and therefore, you need to know its properties and uses appropriately before usage. This article is like a user’s guide to this new name in the sugar industry. Read ahead to get to know what is demerara sugar, what is demerara sugar made of and much more.
Table of Contents
How Is It Different From Brown Sugar?
In a way, demerara sugar falls in the broad category of brown sugars which distinguish themselves from the regular white sugar due to their colour. Now this group of brown-coloured sugar has several types depending on the extent of molasses content. Their flavours vary because the higher the concentration of molasses in the sugar, the more intense and earthy will be its taste. Here demerara sugar stands above all in molasses content, and therefore it adds a potent flavour to the dish. It also has large crystals which give a crunch to the food. Consequently, it is more intense in taste and has a larger particle size than everyday brown sugar.
How Is It Different From White Sugar?
Demerara sugar and white sugar stand completely apart, whether it comes to appearance or how each of them is processed. In the case of white sugar, when you centrifuge the molasses from the sugar cane plant in a rotating machine, the molasses gets separated from the sugar crystals, leaving colourless pieces behind. It is then further refined and filtered until the sugar has no traces of molasses. Demerara sugar, however, undergoes no refinement and is entirely natural and organic. The molasses from the cane juice cis crystallized to give demerara sugar. The molasses content gives it a vibrant flavour which distinguishes it from other sugars.
How Is Demerara Sugar Made?
Demerara sugar is partially-refined raw sugar. When the sugarcane plant is pressed, one gets a brown coloured juice which we call molasses. This juice is the essential ingredient from which all domestic sugars originate. For making demerara sugar, the molasses evaporates, and this leads to the crystallization of the sugar contained in it. After evaporation, you have large crystals of golden-brown sugar which have a strong molasses flavour. Therefore, the production of this sugar is almost purely organic.
Where Does This Sugar Originate?
Demerara sugar and its origin belong to a tiny South American country known as Guyana. Now Guyana was formerly called Demerara and the sugar they produced came to be known as demerara sugar. Nowadays, however, the largest exporter of this variety of sugar in Mauritius in Africa. Although not fit for regular consumption, there is a lot of demand for this sugar from Mauritius. The country exports large volumes of demerara sugar to patisseries across the globe.
What Are The Uses Of Demerara Sugar?
Primarily, demerara sugar is a garnishing ingredient. Due to its soft-but-coarse texture and crunchy taste, people prefer to use it. Demerara has a caramelized flavour. Once it is in your mouth, you can feel it. However, it is exceedingly sweet. Demerara retains most of the molasses. This quality makes it more delicious than regular white sugar. The caramelized texture is what makes it look brown. If you wish to put demerara sugar as a garnish, you need to be careful. Too much of it can ruin the sweetness of your food. Demerara mostly contains the right quantity of calcium and magnesium. It also contains vitamins B3, B5 and B6.
Is Demerara Sugar Healthy?
Sugar in itself shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts as it can cause a lot of health problems, primarily diabetes. The little sugar we need must come in the form of natural sugars, and the intake of refined sugars is strongly discouraged. In our daily lives, however, we use refined sugar often, and we must overlook its consumption. Demerara sugar is less processed than white sugar; therefore, it is a more natural option. It retains trace amounts of vitamins and molasses. In these aspects, it is slightly healthier than white sugar. However, we must remember that they both fundamentally contain sucrose, have the same calorific value and have similar effects on blood sugar levels.
Can It Be Used In Place Of Regular Sugar?
Demerara sugar has a vibrant and intense flavour, and therefore it might tamper with the taste of the food to which you add it. The deep molasses flavour is often too overpowering and at times, unpleasant when used in large servings. Demerara sugar thus cannot replace white sugar and must advisably be used only to garnish sweet dishes.
What Are The Alternatives To Demerara Sugar?
You might be wondering, what is a substitute for demerara sugar? Any variety of brown sugar can be used as a replacement to demerara sugar because the main component it introduces is the colour. Therefore, you have regular brown sugar, turbinado sugar, granulated sugar and sanding sugar at your disposal. Almost all of these have that hint of molasses flavour, and they have more or less large crystal size which make them a suitable garnishing agent. If you are looking for refined sugar substitutes, read about some of the commonly available sugar alternatives.
With the wide variety of items in the market available nowadays, it is essential to have proper knowledge of their use and disadvantages to avoid being fooled by sellers. You’ll see demerara sugar sold at bakery shops and you might be inclined to buy it. However, without the right prerequisite knowledge, it might very well spoil a tasty dish. Thus, you must remain up-to-date about the new trends in town!