Sugar and sweetener are essential ingredients in baking. There are several sugars and sweeteners that have many benefits for your baking.
There are several varieties of sugar, sucrose (granulated sugar), glucose (grape sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar). Classic granulated sugar is produced from sugar beet juice. It is also found in sugar cane. Some foods are naturally sweet, such as milk or honey.
The sweetener provides a sweet taste with little or no caloric value. Beware, however, that some sweeteners have a sweeter taste than sugar. It is made up of chemical components of various origins. It can be found in powder form or in syrup. It can be used for ice cream and sorbets, confectionery and pastries. Generally, it improves the texture and smoothness of preparations while adding a sweet taste.
How to differentiate between many types of sugar? It is a question of grain size.
The granulated sugar is collected in turbines after the syrup crystallisation and vacuum concentration processes.
Powdered sugar, or caster sugar, is obtained by grinding and sifting granulated sugar. This is also the case with icing sugar, but it is ground more finely than caster sugar.
The pearl sugar is a particular state of sugar, obtained by refined sugar. Pearl sugar, also known as granulated sugar, is used to decorate certain cakes. It's a nice compromise between a crunchy feel and a melt-in-the-mouth feel.
The uses of these sugars also differ. Caster sugar is the most common sugar in our kitchens and its uses are as numerous as they are varied. Granulated sugar is mainly used to coat fruit jellies, to macerate fruit in syrup, to punch sponge cakes or rum babas, to keep egg whites and meringues stiff, and to lower the freezing point of ice cream and sorbets.
Icing sugar is particularly useful for no-bake preparations such as whipped cream or mousses. Icing sugar is also a sugar for cakes, provided that the surface is dry (otherwise the sugar is absorbed by the cake and disappears).
It is also the sugar used in frostings. Melt it in water, kirsch, coffee, fruit juice or liqueur until it is smooth and not too liquid, add food colouring if necessary, and decorate your birthday cakes.
For royal frosting or white icing, replace the liquid with an egg white and a little lemon. You can write on a cake with this mixture, using a piping bag and taking care that the batter is thick enough.