Kitchen tips

Make your own brown sugar when you can.

Yesterday, we had a Game Day meal: wings, ribs, baked beans, chips and dips, and a salad thrown in for green measure. The best part about last night -for us at least- was the food. ‘Nough said on that score. Pun intended.

For dessert, I made this cake and it was pretty good. Since our daughter is gluten free, I used a gluten free flour for the cake, which means more liquid is absorbed by the flour than would be in a traditional wheat flour recipe. For the interested, this is my go to flour which works pretty good once you figure out how to compensate for its deficiencies. For example, where the recipe called for one and a quarter cups of flour, I decreased that to one cup using the gluten free mix.

The recipe also calls for 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar, which brings me to the point of this mini-post. Brown sugar is just white sugar, combined with molasses for the uninformed. The more molasses, the darker the brown sugar. Brown sugar infuses more moisture into baked goods because of the molasses.

Several years ago we were out of brown sugar and one of us took to the Internet to find a solution to our particular recipe dilemma. We had sugar, and we had molasses. Problem solved, and freshly homemade brown sugar offers more moisture than store bought brown sugar. Not to mention, no worries about trying to keep stored brown sugar from drying out.

Does this mean I never buy brown sugar? No, it doesn’t, but yesterday was a god reminder of how much better fresh brown sugar is, and it is very fast and easy to make:

For light brown sugar, add a couple of tablespoons of molasses to a cup of sugar and stir about 2 r three minutes. For dark brown sugar, add 1/4 cup of molasses to a cup of sugar and stir about 3 to 4 minutes. A mixer would probably be faster, but I usually just use a fork.

Happy baking!

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