If you’re not British, then you might haven’t heard of caster sugar. The reason behind it is because, here in the US, caster sugar is just marked as ‘superfine’. It’s also called ‘bar sugar’ among bartenders because this is what they use in some cocktail recipes.
If you’re lucky and you’ve heard of this sugar before, have even wondered why it’s hard to find it in the grocery store? Have you considered buying it from Amazon or some other online store because you just can’t find it anywhere else?
So why is this sugar important? For the simple reason that it melts so fast. It’s best for sweetening cold drinks, cocktail recipes, sorbets and sprinkled over fresh fruits. It’s also good with puddings and sauces because it melts faster than regular sugar.
A lot of recipes require caster sugar precisely because of this quick melting property. It incorporates more quickly in creamed mixtures and whips. It is also used in pastry dough because it’s more workable than granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Some even say that it’s sweeter to the tongue than both sugars combined. Maybe it’s subjective but who can blame this sugar for its popularity?
So if your recipe requires caster sugar, can you use regular sugar instead? Yes, but you would definitely feel its graininess. Inversely, you can use caster sugar in lieu of regular sugar because it always performs better.
Make Your Own Caster Sugar
So what are you suppose to do if you can’t find caster sugar from the grocers? And if this sugar is so important, why is this so hard to find? Wouldn’t you think that an ingredient as important as this one would be easier to find? Read on to find out.
If you can’t find caster sugar, the simple solution is to make your own. In most cases, a simple coffee grinder will do the trick but if you want to make an ample amount, you can go with a full-pledge food processor.
Depending on the amount you’re making, the process will take 1 to 2 minutes in a coffee grinder or food processor.
Chefs and hobby culinary artists are a bunch of creative people. If we can’t find the ingredients that we need, we either find a substitute or make our own version of what we need. Are you ready to make your own caster sugar?
Thing You’ll Need in Making Caster Sugar
Don’t be surprised if the things you’ll need for making caster sugar are already right in your kitchen. There’s really nothing dramatic about this kind of sugar except for the name. Making it is even less dramatic because all you need to do is grind regular sugar to a fine consistency. Here are the things that you need:
- Granulated sugar (If you don’t have this in your kitchen, regular sugar would do just fine)
- Food processor/coffee grinder (Any chef worth his or her salt will already have this equipment at home.)
- 2 to 3 minutes of your precious time (Yes, it might be precious but we all have this, don’t we?)
Steps in Making Caster Sugar
As simple as the ingredients, so is the procedure in making caster sugar. All you need to do is put the granulated sugar into the food processor and there you have it. After following the procedure listed here, you will have all the caster sugar that you need in the world.
- Put the granulated sugar into the food processor. Make sure to put more than what you need because some of it will be pulverized in the process. I suggest adding increments of ½ cup until you have the amount that you need. Don’t create in bulk because you might end up having more than what you need. Remember that this kind of sugar melts fast.
- To prevent the sugar dust from flying out of the food processor, cover the lid with a clean hand towel. Doing this will keep the dust down and confine it in the food processor. If you miss this part, you will end up having sugar dust all over your work area and it can be messy.
- Turn the food processor on pulse setting. This setting allows better control in achieving the level of granularity without falling over into powdered sugar territory. If you immediately turn the power to high speed as some would suggest, you could easily turn your caster sugar to powdered sugar. This process will only take a couple of minutes, but if you’re making huge quantities, it might take longer.
- Wait for the dust to settle before opening the processor lid. Again, remember that you’re trying to avoid having sugar all over the place. Make sure to have a super tight container ready for your caster sugar. If moisture can get inside your container, the sugar will melt and you’ll end up wasting what you’ve just made.
That was easy, wasn’t it? Probably one of the reasons why you can’t find it in the grocery store is that manufacturers know it’s too easy to make. So the next time you need it, just make your own.
Caster sugar is just a fancy name for superfine sugar. And when all else fail, you can just take matters into your own hands and make your own. The procedure is next to child’s play and you won’t be looking for this kind of sugar even again in the grocery store.
So the next time your recipe needs caster sugar, you just put some in the coffee grinder and give it a spin. No need to look around because you might only end up not finding anything in the grocers.
Have you tried needing caster sugar lately and can’t find one in the grocery store? What did you do? Have you tried making your own caster sugar at home? Share your success story in the comment section below.