Consider cooking with syrup if you want to avoid using plain sugar in your recipes. Some of these syrups are natural and they can fill an important role when cooking sweet dishes or when baking. We are going to look at 5 main syrups:
Golden Syrup is a by-product from sugar refining and it is made from concentrated liquid white sugar. Another variation is dark syrup which is less refined, darker in color obviously, and it has a stronger taste.
Golden syrup is easily available in supermarkets. You may have to look at little harder for Dark syrup, perhaps going to one of the large supermarkets.
Some eat golden syrup spread on toast or tea cakes. But generally it is using in baking or in sweet dishes.
Here are some examples using golden syrup in sweets and desserts:
Treacle Tarts: mix golden syrup with breadcrumbs and lemon juice to form the filling. Flapjacks: Mix the golden syrup with the rolled oats for a chewy texture. Sponge Pudding: Golden syrup gives the sponge pudding it’s flavor and color.
A note on storage: It keeps for up to a year and even if you notice it starts to crystallize it is still usable.
Corn syrup is derived from sweetcorn. It is not so flavorfull as golden syrup and it is a little thinner but (especially in the USA) it can be used just the same as golden syrup.
It is commonly used over pancakes rather than the expensive maple syrup.
Maple syrup comes from the sap of certain Maple trees, especially in Canada, and it is reduced through boiling until it becomes a pale, thin syrup.
The process is quite involved and pure Maple syrup can be quite expensive. For those who have tasted it though, nothing else will do! Especially on pancakes.
You can get cheaper varieties which contain a lesser percentage of pure Maple syrup. It’s always good to check the label. If it seems cheap, it probably is not 100% Maple syrup.
Apart from using it on waffles and pancakes, some like to pour it over ice cream or on sponge puddings.
Molasses is heavy, thick and dark, rich in iron and vitamins, and therefore very good for you! It is a natural syrup taken from cane juice.
Molasses has a natural acidity and for that reason some recommend using bicarbonate of soda (half a teaspoon to 8 oz of molasses) in order to counteract the acidity.
It can be used in fruit cakes, and it is particularly good in gingerbreads.
You can store it for about a year and it is generally easy to find in most supermarkets.
Black treacle is derived from sugar refining and it is a man made product. If you prefer a slightly sweeter taste in your baking or sweet dishes, use black treacle rather than molasses. It is not so bitter and thick as molasses.
Well, that’s the round up of the five most commonly used syrups. Start experimenting the next time you start baking or preparing a sweet dish and instead of reaching for the sugar, see how you can start cooking with syrup.