Baking with Muscovado Sugar
Muscovado sugar is not very well known throughout the world but it is certainly starting to draw the attention of bakers everywhere. If you’ve never heard of muscovado sugar then you’re probably wondering what sets it apart from all of the other types of sugar out there, any also, why you should consider keeping it in your kitchen.
For those of us bakers who are looking for a deeper, richer sugar that has much more potency in the flavor department than brown sugar, then muscovado sweetener is definitely the one you want to go for. Others, maybe those of us who aren’t as concerned about flavor depth and boldness, may be more impressed by the nutrition that this sugar can offer. Muscovado is in fact sugar, and therefore we can’t let ourselves be tricked into believing that this type of sugar is healthier in the sense of calories and such. Those of us who need or want to watch our sugar intake, especially diabetics, should still exercise the same caution when using muscovado as a sweetening agent. If you need to calculate the amount of calories in muscovado, then you can use the following guide: one teaspoon of muscovado contains about 11 calories.
What sets muscovado apart from other sugars is the fact that it isn’t subjected to the rigorous refining processes that white/granulated and brown sugars go through, which eventually removes the bulk of the minerals and nutrients that were once in the Muscovado is not processed as strenuously and therefore it consists of larger granules and tons more moisture than the average brown sugar that you might find in your supermarket. That’s because most brown sugars are simply white sugar with molasses added to it. So if you’re going to add sugar to a batch of cookies or a cake, then you might as well use a sugar that contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron—which your body can actually put to good use!
Where to Find Muscovado
Muscovado sugar is not as commercially available as other “common” sugars. In fact, you shouldn’t be surprised to walk up and down the baking aisle in your local grocery store only to find that they do not supply muscovado. This type of sugar is still fairly unheard-of, especially in the United States. Your best chance of finding this type of sugar in a local store would be to check out the health food stores in your area. Although muscovado isn’t necessarily a healthy sugar, it does have the unique rawness that allows it to retain significant amounts of minerals from sugarcane juice. Therefore, many health food stores keep a bit of muscovado in stock.
If you don’t have a health food store nearby or if your local store doesn’t carry this type of sugar, then you can always look to the retail shops on the Internet. Many stores online offer muscovado either by the pound or in packs of four, which would be four pounds of sugar in total. You might be worried that importing sugar or having it sent through the mail would be a bad idea. In fact, you aren’t the only one to imagine opening a box to find the sugar packaging has burst and exploded all over the inside of the box! Rest assured that because of the high moisture content in muscovado, the sugar will be supplied in either a plastic bag or a glass jar. This will ensure that the sugar does not dry out and gives it a much longer shelf life. Only dry sugars, like granulated/standard white sugar, are sold in paper bags because there is no fear that the sugar will lose excess moisture as there is virtually no moisture left to evaporate away!
You can easily find online retailers to purchase from by doing an Internet search for muscovado sugar. From there you can compare the prices and shipping times from many different websites. If you’re worried about entering payment information onto unknown websites then consider searching Amazon, which has a decent stock of muscovado.
Baking with Light Muscovado Sugar
Muscovado comes in two types: light and dark. Just like light and dark brown sugar from your supermarket, the color corresponds greatly with the taste and potency of the sugar’s flavor. Light muscovado has less molasses content and is great if you don’t want a heavy undertone of molasses in your baked goods. This type is ideal for sweetening coffee, cakes, and light, sweet tasting cookies like snickerdoodles and oatmeal raisin. You can use light muscovado in any recipe that calls for light brown sugar. The trick to using this heavy, moist sugar in recipes that call for brown sugar is to reduce the liquid (whether it is butter, oil, milk, or water) by just a bit. This will ensure that the finished product doesn’t come out too moist.
Baking with Dark Muscovado Sugar
Dark muscovado is great in recipes that call for a darker, bolder taste, especially baked favorites such as ginger snaps or gingerbread. Recipes like this, which we tend to hold back for the winter months, really benefit from muscovado because of its coarse texture and the warm, bodied flavor.