Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A "Sweet" treat you can make (Sugar cubes)

Sugar cubes - simpler to make than you think!

I know we are all trying to move away from sugar, fat, and salt, but at least if you are going to enjoy it - make sure it looks great! 

When I lived in the UK, it was really common to go to a coffee shop and have a bowl of white and brown sugar cubes on the tables.  The sugar cubes looked a bit more artesianal and I found it fun to figure out what size of sugar cube that I wanted in my coffee or tea. I thought it would be fun to try making these at home. 

What you need for White Sugar Cubes
1/2 cup sugar*
1 tsp water

To make: Place the sugar in a bowl and add the water. Stir with a spoon and mix the water evenly. It helps to use your hands as well because then you can get a feel for how well the sugar is sticking together. You may need to add another tsp or two, but don't get too hasty - you don't want to dissolve the sugar! 

You have enough moisture in the sugar when you can form squeeze it together and it retains its shape.  For the shape above, I used my hands and hand-shaped all the sugar and placed them on wax paper to dry. They were hard in about an hour.

*if you want to make more, just use more sugar and based on the feel of the sugar, add more water. And vice versa - if you wan to make less cubes, use less sugar and less water. 

What you need for Sugar in the Raw Cubes
1/2 cup turbinado brown sugar + 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp water

In this case - the turbinado is not fine enough to form nice cubes (doesn't pack well), so you need to add the brown sugar to essentially "fill in the gaps" and keep the cube together when moistened. Otherwise you don't have enough contact points for the sugar to hold together against itself.

Mix in the same was as above and form.  Allow to dry on the wax paper.

Fun Options to personalize your sugar cubes: 
 - Use food coloring to color your sugar
- Store new (or used) vanilla bean pods in the sugar. The beans will add a lovely vanilla flavor to your sugar.
- Add edible glitter (found in speciality cake shops) to your cubes

Place them in a fun jar, add a ribbon, attach some tongs, and share with a friend!

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