Without it, life wouldn’t be nearly as sweet – but do you know your demerara from your muscovado?
Find out all you need to know here
Keep sugar in an airtight tub in a cool place. Moisture gain can turn white sugar lumpy, while its loss can harden brown sugar. Soften it by leaving it in a bowl, overnight, covered with a damp tea towel.
Sugars behave in different ways when cooked, so swapping one variety for another can give a disappointing result. Always use the type of sugar specifed in a recipe.
Sugar is great for sweetening and adding flavour to dishes, but it is best enjoyed in moderation. The Meringue-topped brownie cake is an indulgent treat, perfect for special occasions.
Here are some of our favourite varieties of sugar
This fudge-flavoured sugar is great in rich, full-flavoured recipes, such as ginger cakes, puddings and caramels. It’s also good for fruity marinades for meat.
Known for its soft, sandy texture and strong molasses flavour, muscovado’s resistance to high temperatures makes it ideal in dishes that call for slow cooking. Try it in rich barbecue marinades, as well as sticky, sweet bakes.
This refined sugar has large, free-flowing white crystals and a pure, sweet taste. Use it for straightforward sweetening – in a cup of tea or your morning bowl of porridge, for example.
This amber coloured, free-flowing sugar has large, shiny crystals. Although demerara is relatively low in molasses, it’s rich in flavour. Scatter a little over cakes or crumbles for added crunch, or caramelise it on a crème brûlée.
A free-flowing sugar with small crystals that dissolve quickly, caster sugar makes for light sponges, home-made ice cream and fluffy meringues. Golden caster contains molasses, which gives baking a slightly richer flavour.
Fancy a sugary treat? Then why not try the Tiramisu cupcakes, the Caramel fingers, or the Marmalade-glazed apricot loaf featured in this issue?
As featured in Tesco Magazine September 2014.