Brown sugar is different from the regular white sugar for its higher content of molasses that is responsible for its brown colour and hence it is named so. It is available either in raw or processed form. The unrefined sugar form is derived from sugarcane and carries its distinct strong taste. This also contains higher molasses content compared to the processed form. The crystal structure of brown sugar is much larger compared to its refined white counterpart, which dissolves at much slower pace, hence require more effort while used in food preparation.
Demerara sugar is a large grained, light brown and partially refined form of brown sugar. This raw sugar is named after its place of origin, Guyana, a colony formerly known as Demerara. This particular kind of sugar was first adopted in European market and gradually became popular in US and all over the world. Demerara sugar is now being produced in India, Mexico, Hawaii and many other countries. This unrefined brown sugar is produced from the first crystallisation during processing of cane juice into sugar crystals. Unlike other brown sugars, demerara carries a natural caramel-like flavour instead of the molasses flavour, which imparts a warm caramel note into the food prepared from demerara sugar. This unrefined brown sugar is also referred to as turbinado sugar since the sugar is processed in turbines.
According to some dieticians, demerara sugar contains higher nutritional values for the elevated mineral content that could be retained due to lesser refinement process. Demerara is far more delicious than refined white sugar in terms of health and provides nutritional depth to different recipes and baked goods. The large crystals of this unrefined sugar provide crunchy taste to the top of cookies, muffins and cakes. Demerara sugar can also be used in the preparation of tea as a healthier substitute of table sugar.
Demerara sugar can substitute refined white sugar for baking purpose. Natural brown sugar complements well with taste of chocolates, as because the creamy texture of chocolates blends perfectly with the flavour of demerara. In addition to this, demerara sugar imparts rich aromatic flavour to cookies and cakes. It is also used in making caramel, as the strong burnt flavour of the sugar can be capitalised for the purpose. Using the unrefined sweeteners in baked good is recommended for its lower calorie count.
Organic demerara sugar is lower in calorie content in comparison with refined white sugar and can be safely used to prevent obesity. As per the recommendation of World Health Organisation (WHO), carbohydrates like rice, barley and sugar are best to use in its unrefined form for the higher content of nutritional value. Studies have revealed that unrefined brown sugar contains some useful natural minerals that aid in preventing abnormalities in mammalian body. The natural components of demerara sugar are beneficial for human health.
Generally the breakfast has higher sugar content compared to other meals of the day and hence use of demerara sugar can be considered as healthier option. Demerara is mostly used in the preparation of jams and spreads on bread toast. Natural brown sugar perfectly blends with the taste and flavour of coffee but less likely to complement the aroma of tea. Organic demerara sugar can also be used along with cornstarch and water to prepare homemade pancake syrup.
Demerara sugar have some other uses in food industry, like it can be used for preparing Asian sauces, such as Thai sweet chilli sauce, spicy tom yam soup bases and sesame dressings for salads etc. These unrefined sweeteners are served in the renowned cafes all over the world as diabetic friendly sugar substitutes.
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