'Sugar' on Serious Eats

Poll: Sugar in Tomato Sauce, Way or No Way?

Is that a hardworking teaspoon of sugar just mindin' it's own business OR is it the shot heard 'round the world? If you frequent Slice, you may have spotted the recent re-emergence of a longstanding debate regarding Kenji's New York style pizza sauce. The recipe calls for a modest addition of sugar, and a whole lot of folks are just not having it. So, we want to know. Is that (biggish) pinch of sugar no big deal or utter, heinous blasphemy? More

From Behind the Bar: On Sugar

It was recently Halloween, so my wife and I took the Princess of Rabbits and the grumpiest little Sunflower you've ever seen out in to the night, and helped them fill their bags with all manner of wrapped confections that we would never consider letting them eat the rest of the year. All this candy brings to mind of one of the essential ingredients in making cocktails: sugar. More

Crispy Cereal Marshmallows

The secret to crispy marshmallows is homemade corn syrup, a less stable version of what you buy at the store. Sounds like a bad thing, but it's not. You see, it's that very instability we need. During the candy making process, this syrup begins to crystallize due to its instability. This starts a chain reaction that ultimately results in "defective," crunchy marshmallows. Terrible for s'mores and Rice Krispie treats, but a thing of beauty for cereal. More

Spice Hunting: Turbinado Sugar

This form of raw sugar is milder than the untamed, smokey piloncillo, but it's a worthy addition to your sugar collection and a potent spice in its own right. It's light but with substantial body, deep in flavor without overwhelming intensity. With such a well-rounded flavor profile, turbinado sugar's uses are pretty much endless, both in sweet and savory dishes. More

Zero Proof: Plum Shrub Ginger Soda

Soon after my parents got married, they bought a plum tree. I'm not quite sure why, but I believe it had something to do with the new couple "planting roots" or being told to "be fruitful and multiply." Now, thirty-three years later, I have five siblings and that same tree drops forty to fifty pounds of fruit between July and September each year. When you're facing 2 to 3 pounds of plums each day, you've got to get really creative. That's where a shrub syrup comes into play. A shrub is a deliciously tart fruit syrup, usually made of sugar, fresh fruit, and vinegar. More

Sweet Technique: Spun Sugar

In pastry school, we learned dozens of techniques for making sugar look like all kinds of things: ribbon, balloons, delicate flowers, and even sponges. I love having these skills in my wheelhouse because it's great to be able to jazz up a simple dessert with a little sugar work for special occasions. Of all the sugar techniques I've learned, making spun sugar is my favorite way to add some drama to desserts. More

Spun Sugar

Using spun sugar as a topper for desserts is a great way to turn something ordinary into extraordinary. For a cleaner look, create a simple template to catch the strands of pulled sugar, or simply gather the sugar strands together into a free-form ball. Use for topping cupcakes, cakes, individual custards, or even ice cream sundaes. More

Spice Hunting: Piloncillo

Piloncillo is as minimally-processed as you can get your sugar, short of chewing it out of sugar cane yourself. It's the product of cane juice boiled down to a thick, crystalline syrup, usually poured into cone-shaped molds to harden (the name piloncillo derives from "pylon"). What you get is a sugar rife with impurities that puts plain old brown sugar to shame. Modern brown sugar is just purified white sugar with some molasses mixed in. This is the real deal. More

Sweet Gift: Sugars from Chambre de Sucre

Whether or not it's true that we eat with our eyes first, the gorgeous, intricate sugars from Japanese company Chambre de Sucre can't help but impress. The 270-year-old family-run company, based in Nagoya, has long since made a name for themselves in Japan, supplying their handmade sugars to even the Japanese emperor, but only started to sell in the United States earlier this year. More

Pizza Protips: Sugar

Sugar is an oft-misunderstood ingredient in dough. Some people believe that it's necessary to include sugar to feed the yeast. In truth, yeast is perfectly happy munching on flour. On the other hand, sugar plays several roles in dough besides that of yeast-food. Like salt, it's a flavor enhancer. Sugar helps create a fine crumb and also tenderizes dough. More

Poll: Do You Call Them Jimmies or Sprinkles?

Suckers vs. lollipops, subs vs. hoagies. It's these regional differences in food nomenclature that can drive endless discussions. But what about those colorful bits of sugar that decorate your ice cream cone? Whether you like them as rainbow as a pride flag, or in shades of chocolate only, do you call them jimmies or sprinkles? Take the poll! » More

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