Demerara sugar has an amber colour and a mellow flavour, just like some soft brown sugar varieties. However, the crucial difference is that demerara sugar has a coarse and crunchy texture and a relatively large crystal size, whereas soft brown sugar has a soft texture and fine caster-size crystal.
These differences are due to their respective production processes. Most notably, demerara sugar undergoes less processing, which enables the product to maintain its coarse texture and means it can only ever have its unique mellow flavour. And, at this point, it is also worth highlighting another key difference: real demerara sugar can only be made from sugar cane.
Soft brown sugar is more widely suited to the baking of sponge cakes, biscuits and pastries. It adds colour, flavour and, crucially, depth and volume to these baked goods applications due to its soft and fine-grain texture.
Raw cane sugar can be used as an alternative for bakers searching for a product with a coarse texture and similar flavour profile to demerara sugar. It is important to note, though, that demerara sugar generally tends to have a stronger flavour than raw cane sugar, but not always.
To make your own light brown sugar, mix 1 cup, or 200 grams (g), of granulated white sugar with 1 tablespoon (tbsp.), or 15 milliliters (mL), of molasses. If you need dark brown sugar, increase the molasses to 2 tbsp. (30 mL).
Part of the reason it's brown is because it contains small amounts of molasses, which also helps impart a deep, earthy flavor to the sugar as well. Unlike white, refined sugar, Demerara is very minimally processed. As a result, it keeps some of the vitamins and minerals which naturally occur in the sugar cane.
Demerara/raw sugar: darker than golden caster sugar and with a more intense flavour, demerara works well in coffee and sprinkled over sharp fruits such as grapefruit. With its coarse texture, it creates a lovely, crunchy topping for cakes, cupcakes and crumbles.
Dark brown soft sugar: looks as its name suggests, and has a richer flavour. It works well in cakes, gingerbread, pickles and chutneys. It has more bitter notes than other sugars, and is reminiscent of treacle in flavour.
Light and dark muscovado sugar: relatively unrefined, with much or all of the molasses still remaining. It has a dark, treacle-y flavour which is ideal in sticky gingerbread or rich fruit cakes.
Can you use demerara sugar instead of brown sugar? You can swap brown sugar for demerara sugar easily enough, although demerara sugar has larger granules. It may sometimes result in a sandy texture for certain recipes, because of the large granules, but the taste should be reasonably similar, and it will usually work without a problem.
You can use demerara sugar instead of brown sugar for most recipes, but it is important to be aware that you may notice some differences. For example, demerara sugar may have a more treacle-like flavor, and the texture can be grittier.
However, you should make sure that the granules do all melt properly. Be aware that this may take longer with demerara sugar than with brown sugar, because of the larger grain size. Stir thoroughly and check the sugar has fully melted before adding it to your recipe.
The change in flavor is unlikely to be very noticeable in most cases, but for some recipes, you will taste the difference, so be aware of this. If you dislike the treacle flavor of demerara sugar, it may not make a good swap.
Demerara sugar is darker than brown sugar, and has larger granules. These give it a crunchy texture, which is why it can sometimes make baking a little gritty. Demerara sugar also tends to be moister and stickier, and may have a much more intense flavor.
Demerara sugar is less heavily processed than brown sugar, which is why it is darker in color and larger. It can only be made from sugar cane, and it usually has a higher percentage of molasses left in, which is what creates the treacle-like flavor.
If you are worried about the coarse texture, you might be looking for a way to break down the large granules and make the sugar finer, like brown sugar. You can place the sugar in a food processor and process it for a few seconds. Give it a shake and process it for another few seconds.
If you are making a cake using demerara sugar, you may find that this is worth doing before you make it, so that the cake will have a smooth texture. For crunchier baked goods, such as cookies, you may not need to bother with the processing.
Another option involves slightly melting the demerara sugar before you use it using a little bit of boiling water. However, make sure you only add a small amount, or you may make your batter too liquid, and your baking will not work.
The demerara sugar probably will change the taste of your baked product to some degree, because it has a higher quantity of molasses remaining in it than brown sugar does. Molasses has a rich, treacle-like flavor that many people enjoy, but it will alter the overall taste of the dessert.
Some baked goods work really well with demerara sugar. Anything that is already crunchy tends to be ideal, such as flapjack, cookies, and ginger snaps. However, baked goods like cakes may not be as great when made with demerara sugar because of the crunchiness.
Being slightly less processed may mean that demerara sugar is a little healthier than brown sugar, but the difference is going to be minimal. You should not swap brown sugar for demerara just to get the health benefits, as these are unlikely to be worthwhile.
With varying degrees of colour and flavour intensity, the type of brown sugar you should choose to use depends entirely on what you want to do with it. The darker the sugar, the more of a deep, rich, earthy molasses flavour it will have. Since molasses is intense and can easily overpower other ingredients in a recipe, some recipes call for one type of brown sugar over others.
Unless otherwise noted in a recipe, you can use one type of brown sugar in place of another, as long as you remember that using a darker sugar will have a more pronounced effect on the overall flavour, and that the texture of baked goods may differ depending on which you choose. All can be used for things like sweetening coffee, where a rich and sticky Demerara can elevate an ordinary cup of dark roast coffee into something quite extraordinary.
Some natural food stores carry unrefined brown sugars, including types like Muscovado. While these can be delicious, recipes may not turn out exactly as expected, either due to a different texture or a lower level of sweetness in the same volume of sugar. If you plan to bake with these sugars, it may take some experimentation in the kitchen unless the recipe was specifically designed for their use.
Unless otherwise noted in a recipe, you can use one type of brown sugar in place of another, as long as you remember that using a darker sugar will have a more pronounced effect on the overall flavour, and that the texture of baked goods may differ depending on which you choose. All can be used for things like sweetening coffee, where a rich and sticky demerara can elevate an ordinary cup of dark roast coffee into something quite extraordinary.
Some natural foods stores carry unrefined brown sugars, including types like muscovado. While these can be delicious, recipes may not turn out exactly as expected, either due to a different texture or a lower level of sweetness in the same volume of sugar. If you plan to bake with these sugars, it may take some experimentation in the kitchen unless the recipe was specifically designed for their use.
There are many different types of sugar available in Australian supermarkets. Find out the differences between the different types of sugar, including white, caster, brown, raw, muscovado, palm sugar and more. Plus, find out the best substitutes for each type of sugar.
White sugar is the most commonly used sugar. It is made from sugar cane, and is highly processed with all the natural brown molasses removed, leaving it pure white. It comes in different crystal sizes from granulated to caster to icing sugar.
A semi-refined sugar with a light caramel colour and a delicate and aromatic molasses flavour. It has a similar crystal size to granulated sugar. Its attractive colour makes it favoured for sprinkling on baked goods. Substitute with light brown sugar or white sugar.
Demerara sugar is partially refined sugar with a straw-like colour and slight butterscotch aroma. It looks like raw sugar but with larger crystals that are good for sprinkling on baked goods for crunch. If unavailable, substitute with light brown sugar or raw sugar.
Jaggery is the darker, winey flavoured variety used across India, whereas the lighter more caramel flavoured palm sugar is most common in Southeast Asian cooking. Both are available in Australia. If unavailable, substitute with light or dark brown sugar.
Also considered a type of palm sugar, coconut sugar comes from the sap of a coconut tree instead of a palm tree. The sap is boiled until the moisture evaporates. Coconut sugar only contains 75% sucrose and has a lower glycaemic index than other sugars.
Coconut sugar is similar in flavour and texture to brown sugar. Substitute any recipe using white sugar with coconut sugar by replacing 1:1 ratio. Coconut sugar will deepen the colour of your food, so make sure that is appropriate for your recipe.
There is a significant difference between demerara (turbinado) sugar and dark muscovado sugar (dark brown sugar). Demerara sugar is a granulated raw cane sugar. It has much larger crystals than soft brown sugars. It also has a much milder flavour than dark muscovado, which has molasses added to it, and dark muscovado also has more moisture in it. 2b1af7f3a8