Sugar take various forms, from conventional to special. It is sold to consumers in various guises - each as natural and tasty as next. Embark on a gourmet journey of discovery.
This is the sugar we use most at home. A permanent feature of our kitchens, it’s also really useful for making sweets and small cakes, including fruit jelly, fruit sorbets, candied fruit, crystallized fruit, glacé fruit, caramel, nougat, swiss roll, shortbread and sponge cakes. It’s tiny crystals, a symbol of purity, are popular with lovers of fruit in syrup, fruit salads and purées, and jams.
Caster sugar (or fine granulated sugar)
Caster sugar is made by crushing and sifting granulated white sugar, and is also called fine granulated sugar. It’s an essential ingredient in desserts and pastries. It is used to make cakes and dessert pastry and mixtures (shortcrust, sugar crust, choux, brioche, waffle and pancake) and creams (custard, confectioner’s custard, ice-cream), desserts with cream (custard tart, charlotte, bavarois, etc.) and dairy products (yoghurts, fromage blanc, etc.), and countless classic desserts. It’s also great in sweet and sour recipes.
Chef’s tip: sprinkle Norwegian omelettes and fruit with a little sugar before being flambéed to add a sweet, caramelised note that marries perfectly with the alcohol.
Five top uses for caster sugar
1) It’s the world’s worst kept secret: caster is perfect for sweeteningdairy products!
2) To obtain a white, frothy mixture when adding sugar to egg yolks, use caster sugar. By sprinking the sugar gradually over the egg yolks, it dissolves more quickly and doesn’t stick together. It’s perfect for making sponge cakes and custards.
3) Caster sugar is a favourite in regional dishes (including flognarde, kouign aman, clafoutis and kouglof), traditional desserts (éclairs, pound cake, madeleine, saint-émilion, logs, etc. ) and countless rich, melt-in-the-mouth cakes.
4) Caster sugar works like a dream in cream-based desserts, ice-creams and granitas.
5) Sweet soufflés and omelettes enjoy greater body and consistency with a little sugar. To give more flavour to cold drinks such as milk shakes, lemon juices or sangria, caster sugar is perfect because it dissolves immediately, whatever the temperature of the drink.
White or brown, cube sugar, derived from cane sugar, has a “raw” appearance and an irregular shape. That’s because it is obtained by moulding and compressing moistened granulated sugar. It’s perfect for sweetening everyday hot drinks (tea, coffee, etc.) adding an original note to your beverage.
Lump sugar (or sugar lumps) appeared in 1949, the brainchild ofLouis Chambon, the inventor of a technique that consists of humidifying, milling, drying and then crushing crystallized sugar loaf.
Highly practical, lump sugar is used mainly to sweeten hot drinks, to make light or dark caramel, and for sugar syrups.
Produced from beet sugar syrup, vergeoise is a soft brown sugar. Its colour and flavour are truly delightful, enjoying a soft consistency and a strong flavour that lends itself perfectly to making pastries, particular in northern France, where it is highly appreciated for brown sugar tarts, Flemish flan, pancakes and waffles.
It’s also the ideal accompaniment to dairy products and fruit. Vergeoise owes its name to traditional sugar containers once used to pour sugar into big sugar loaf moulds.
Cassonade - also known as demerara - is a rum-scented granulated brown sugar with a delightful amber colour. It’s ideal for exotic deserts or English and American specialities. Pineapple flambé, fruit salads, punches, puddings, cake, cookies, crèmes brûlées, waffles and pancakes marry wonderfully with cassonade, the name of which is derived from the word casson, which in sixteenth-century France was used to describe sugar that was easy to break and reduced to powder. It is produced specifically in sugar cane processing plants.
Long time a favourite remedy for sore throats, candy sugar (from the Arabic word “quandi”, which means cane sugar, although candy sugar also comes from sugar beets) is granulated brown and white sugar that is popularly used in home-brewed brandy, liqueurs and aperitifs.
The name speaks for itself. Preserving sugar is ideal for makingmarmalades, jellies and, of course, preserves! Two added ingredients, natural pectin and citric acid, give this granulated sugar a slightly acidic flavour. It reduces boiling time, which means the fruit retains more of its flavour. This speciality is also used for sorbets, coulis, conserves and fruit mousses.
This is the finest sugar. Its grains are so fine that it dissolves instantly in water. This “floury” sugar is extremely light and used, as its name suggests, to ice cakes, or to decorate waffles, pancakes and fritters, or to dust desserts. Its sweetening qualities are also the perfect match for mousses, meringues and ice-cream parfaits, and an essential ingredient in marzipan.