Caster sugar and muscovado sugar in UK cookbook = Superfine sugar and dark brown sugar in US kitchen?



lifestooshort March 8, 2011
When I lived in the UK, after spending an hour in a grocery store (translation: shop) looking for corn starch (translation: corn flour), I bought a book that helped to translate many of these terms. I no longer have it but I think this is it: It was a bit outdated even then, but it had a lot of helpful information, including a long American-style rant about the way the English wash their dishes...but that's a story for another day. But if you're cooking from British cookbooks a lot, it might be worth picking one of these up.
innoabrd March 8, 2011
Yup. Ordinary white sugar in much of the world has really, really big crystals, making it damn near impossible to cream for baking. There is a range of brown sugars out there and while there are, supposedly, some brown sugars that aren't just refined white sugar with molasses added back in, the reality is that most of what I've come across around the world is just white sugar with molasses added back in. Turbinado is meant to be a raw sugar, demerara is a light brown sugar (and the bag I've got in my cupboard makes no bones about it being sugar with added treacle, aka molasses) and muscovado is generally darker. So, yes, I think you've got the substitution correct.
susan G. March 7, 2011
Turbinado sugar has long had the reputation of not being what it seems to be -- often believed to be refined sugar with molasses reintroduced. As far as I can determine, demerara sugar is the least refined with more of the naturally occuring minerals intact (which end up as molasses -- with the dark color and flavor) at several late stages of refinement. Rapidura, Sucanat, maybe a few others, are true dried cane of the highest quality, but I don't know if they are really different that demerara. Billington's is an English sugar company which sells "Light brown Muscovado sugar" and "Dark brown molasses sugar" in the US, other varieties as well.
pierino March 7, 2011
Caster sugar is superfine, and sometimes labled baker's sugar (as opposed to confectioner's sugar or granulated sugar). I have nifty new technique involving sugar and oranges that I'm looking forward to inflicting on food52 when the opportunity arises.
Merrill S. March 7, 2011
Panfusine, I removed your double answer. And I believe demerara is actually the equivalent of raw sugar (turbinado) -- it doesn't contain molasses the way brown sugar (or muscovado) does.
Panfusine March 7, 2011
oops, sorry for the double post, how do I delete the extra?
Panfusine March 7, 2011
Light brown sugar i believe is called demerara sugar (at least according to this ancient baking book I have by Mary Norwak - circa 1980's),
Merrill S. March 7, 2011
Yes! Although muscovado can be either dark or light -- does it specify? That's more about taste, though.
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