Infused Sugars Take Taste to a New Level

By Cat Rooney, Epoch Times
July 31, 2013 12:31 am Last Updated: July 31, 2013 12:31 am

Infused flavoured sugars are delightfully aromatic and often colourful.

The flavours from infused sugars transfer into whatever you are making, and work well in desserts, sauces, drinks, jams, and even homemade ice cream. The sugar can also be sprinkled on cookies prior to baking, on berries, and on cut-up fruit in place of regular granulated sugar.

The best part is infused sugars are simple and fun to create. Here are my favourites!

Lavender Bud Infused Sugar

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon zest
15 ml (1 tbsp) orange zest
250 ml (1 cup) granulated sugar
40 ml (3 tbsp) dried lavender buds (reserve 15 ml (1 tbsp) to add after making superfine sugar)

Zest Instructions
Wash and dry fruit. Peel the fruit’s outer rind with a vegetable peeler or peeling knife, minus the white pulp. Finely chop the rind in a spice grinder, small blender, or food processor. Spread on wax paper and let dry for several hours or overnight, and then add to the sugar.

Basic Instructions
Pour sugar into a jar with airtight lid and then add the other ingredients. Shake the jar well to mix ingredients. Every couple of days, shake the jar periodically to prevent clumps of sugar forming from the moisture. On the third day, pour out contents onto wax paper and let dry completely. Break up any clumps of sugar. Then place everything back into a clean jar and let sit for two weeks, shaking occasionally.

After the two weeks of infusion, keep as is, or remove lavender buds or dried mint by putting the sugar through a mesh strainer. For superfine sugar (which is great in drinks), blend the ingredients in a spice grinder, food processor, or small blender. If using to make drinks, after dissolving the superfine sugar in the liquid, strain with cheesecloth to remove the tiny fibres.

Lavender bud sugar can be enjoyed in iced or hot teas or other drinks, desserts, and in making jams.

Vanilla Bean Infused Sugar

1 vanilla bean
250 ml (1 cup) granulated sugar

Slice down the length of the vanilla bean and scrape seeds into an airtight container with the sugar. The dark pulpy insides are seeds,which are so tiny that they become specks in the sugar. Break the bean up and place in the jar, but remove before using the sugar. Follow the basic instructions for Lavender Bud Infused Sugar.

Citrus Infused Sugar

Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
375 ml to 500 ml (1 1/2 to 2 cups) granulated sugar (depending on jar size)

Follow zest and basic instructions for Lavender Bud Infused Sugar. The rinds will make the sugar damp, so shake often and on the third day dry as per the basic instructions. This sugar adds extra sparkle to lemon-flavoured baked goods and desserts.

Lime Mint Infused Sugar

Zest from 3 limes
50 ml (1/2 cup) mint or spearmint, finely chopped
375 ml to 500 ml (1 1/2 to 2 cups) granulated sugar (depending on jar size)

Finely chop the mint or use herb scissors; bruise or crush the mint to release oils. Follow zest and basic instructions. Good in tea and alcoholic drinks. If making a Key lime dessert or drink, make lime sugar with Key limes minus the mint.