Imagine this: You measure your ingredients before embarking on a culinary or baking adventure, but by the time you get to the sack of brown sugar, it appears to have hardened into a solid rock-like substance. Chances are, if you are a frequent baker, you have found yourself in this situation. But can this problem be remedied? Fortunately, the answer is yes – there are some tried and true tricks to bring brown sugar back to life. In this article, we read about How to soften brown sugar?
To understand these methods, it is first essential to understand why brown sugar hardens.
Unlike regular granulated sugar, brown sugar is enriched with molasses, which gives it a unique flavour and gives the brown sugar that unique moist quality. It is when brown sugar loses that moisture and dries up that the sugar becomes hard.
Therefore, to revive the cane sugar, it is a matter of returning the moisture to the sugar, which will make it soft again.
Knowing this helps make the sometimes unusual methods a little more sensible – basically, they’re all designed to reintroduce moisture into the mixture. Here are a few different ways to soften brown sugar, depending on how long you have.
1) If you have 2 or 3 days:
If you have a few days to revive your brown sugar, the results will last longer. The moisture is gradually reintroduced into the sugar, and the sugar will remain soft as long as you store it in an airtight container.
How to do it:
Place the hardened brown sugar in an airtight container. Before putting the lid on, cover the sugar with a sheet of cling film (to form a slight barrier). On top of this, place a piece of damp (but not dripping) blotting paper. Place the lid on the container and seal tightly. After two or three days, the sugar should have absorbed the moisture, and you should be able to stir with a fork and separate it. Store in an airtight container; the sugar should remain soft.
Variation to soften brown sugar:
Repeat the above steps, but instead of a wet paper towel, insert a slice of bread or an apple (it’s okay to have up to half an apple sliced, so they fit). Why white bread? Because it is moist, it will add some moisture to the mixture, which will re-moisten the sugar; Also, because white bread is rather bland, it won’t give a strong sugar flavour. Why apple? Like bread, the moisture in the apple will regain the sugar, and the imparted flavour is generally harmonious with brown sugar and tastes well with items cooked with brown sugar (as opposed to a more robust flavour like lemon).
2) If you have about 20 minutes:
This method is quick and efficient but requires attention as you will be working with hot sugar and don’t want to burn yourself. Since the sugar will harden once it cools, it is best to use sugar-sweetened with this method right away.
Oven method to soften brown sugar:
If you need to use your hardened brown sugar soon enough, preheat the oven to 250 F. Remove the brown sugar from the package and transfer it to a baking sheet that has some space so the sugar can’t fly. When you break it once taken out of the oven.
Once the sugar is in the oven, monitor it closely, checking it every two minutes. You will begin to notice that its texture begins to soften. Remove from the oven and test the brown sugar for breaking with a spoon. If it’s soft enough, measure the amount you need right away. Be very careful when measuring as the sugar can get quite hot. But don’t wait for the sugar to cool because, unlike the 2-3 day method, the sugar will harden rather quickly after this method.
3) If you need it now to soften brown sugar:
This method is effective and fast, but the results are not the same as the previous two methods. As with the oven method, the sugar will harden after being revived, so sweetened sugar is best used immediately.
Remove the brown sugar from the package. If the sugar has formed into a large brick in the bag, you may want to break it up a little, like you would a large piece of ice. Put it in a microwave-safe bowl with ample space so that it has a small room, so the sugar doesn’t fly when you break it when it comes out of the microwave.
Cover the sugar with two pieces of damp (non-dripping) absorbent paper. On top of the paper towels, cover the bowl with microwave-proof plastic wrap. Heat on high in the microwave in 30-second increments until soft. This can vary depending on the microwave and how hard the brown sugar has become. Remove from the microwave and mix with a fork, but be careful, as the sugar can be pretty hot. As with the oven method, be careful with hot sugar but measure it as quickly as possible, as sugar rehydrated with this method will harden quickly as the sugar cools.
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