At least once a year (during the holidays usually) someone asks me which brown sugar they should use for a recipe. I am, personally, a fan of dark brown sugar. But, unless it’s otherwise noted in the recipe, I usually recommend light brown sugar.
So, what’s the difference?
Let’s start with “table” sugar. It’s made from sugar cane or sugar beets. In the US, it’s usually made from sugar cane.
They crush the stalks of the sugar cane and remove the liquid. Then, they add a few things to make it clearer and to make it a syrup and then basically dry it out and then you have table sugar.
Brown sugar is this process with an added one. They add molasses and, voila, you have brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has more molasses. Therefore, it is heavier, has more moisture and has a little bit more acid in it. I love the rich taste of dark brown sugar. A lot of people associate it with the taste of caramel.
You can usually substitute one for the other without a whole lot of problems as long as you remember the difference and you are ok with it.
So, see? There’s no mystery!
Peace, Love & Sweetness
Hoosier Barn Chick