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Everyone’s Favorite – Sugars, Chocolate, and Confectionary

When it comes to food, people have a natural weakness to sugars to include cookies, candies, desserts, any type of confectionary food.  For some reason, sweets put a smile on our face, making us feel good.  The great thing about making sweet treats today is that in addition to using processed sugars, you can also go with natural sweeteners such as honey, spices, etc, or even artificial sugars to include brands like Sweet n’ Low, and Splenda.

The benefit to using natural or artificial sugars over processed is that people with diabetes can enjoy cookies, candy, and desserts without worrying about blood sugar climbing.  In addition, these sweeteners provide the sweet flavor we crave but with a huge reduction in calories.  Therefore, if you love sweets but hate the weight gain, you could switch out traditional sugar for natural or artificial sweeteners.

Baking has never been so good.  Over the years, various types of chocolates have been processed so they can be used in making favorite sweet foods.  Whether you love dark, semi-sweet, white, or other types of chocolates, you will have options found at your local grocery store.  You will also find literally thousands and thousands of confectionary recipes that can be made at home.  Instead of spending money on confections, you can now come up with your own beautiful creations for birthday parties, housewarming gatherings, picnics, entertaining, or whatever the occasion.

In this article, we wanted to provide you with information about the various types of sugars and chocolate baked with, showing you the difference in flavor each offers.  Keep in mind that sugars are also used in soda, tea, coffee, and other types of cooking.  In fact, the average person living in the United States consumes approximately 175 pounds of sugar every year, which equates to 46 teaspoons daily!  Unfortunately, sugar has zero nutritional value but it certainly tastes good.  Remember, natural sugar does contain nutrients, making it a healthier choice.

Processed Sugars
• Granulated Refined – This sugar is pure, made without moisture or dyes.  In most cases, granulated refined sugar is used for confectionary purposes.
• Amorphous Refined – This type of processed sugar has a little bit of color but real fine particles.  For that reason, you often see amorphous refined sugar used in candy, cookies, cakes, and syrups.
• Castor – More commonly called powdered or confectioner’s sugar, this is extremely fine but not refined.  Made at a plant, castor sugar is usually the choice for beverages, pastries, and even biscuits.
• Inverted Syrup – In this case, the processed sugar is made from 1/3 fructose, 1/3 glucose, and 1/3 sucrose, making it the ideal choice for ice cream, toffee, jams, liqueurs, soda, and syrup.
• Simple Syrup – This type of sugar is clear, most often used for making candy and clear drinks.
• Organic – Made without any chemicals or additives, organic sugar is a healthier choice.

Natural Sugars
• Maple Syrup
• Molasses
• Sugar Cane Juice
• Honey
• Corn Syrup

Artificial Sugars

• Splenda
• Nutrasweet
• Sweet ‘n Low


• Baking – A number of different chocolate types can be considered baking chocolate.  However, it is important to know the type of baking chocolate required for a recipe, whether unsweetened, bittersweet, semi-sweet, or sweetened.
• Bittersweet – This type of chocolate is made with a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor in addition to sugar and cocoa butter.  This too is a common type of chocolate used for baking.
• Cacao – Made from the cacao bean, this is crushed up into powder and of all chocolates, is the most healthy
• Chocolate Liquor – Made from ground up cacao making a paste with 53% cocoa butter added, this is the basis for all chocolates
• Cocoa – Cocoa is created by pressing out the fat such as the cocoa butter.  The leftover substance hardens, followed by a crushing process.  Because cocoa only has 10% to 20% fat, it is often the choice for baking low-fat cookies, candies, or other confectionary foods.
• Cocoa Butter – This is chocolate liquor that has had the fat pressed out
• Couverture – This type of chocolate is for coating, which is a dark chocolate that has cocoa powder added.  Typically, you would see couverture used for icing cakes, drizzling over pastries, or used as a coating for confectionary goodies.
• Dutch – Similar to cocoa, Dutch chocolate is made by having a potassium carbonate solution added to the powder, making it look black.
• Extract – If you love chocolate but hate the calories, you can add chocolate extract, which is made from cacao beans that have been soaked in alcohol
• Gianduja – With this, toasted hazelnuts are ground into chocolate powder, giving it a smooth texture and delicious taste, great for all types of baking.
• Ground – Ground chocolate is not cocoa.  Instead, it is actual eating chocolate, ground into a powder for baking or adding to drinks.
• Milk – Containing no less than 10% chocolate liquor, sugar, and cocoa butter, milk chocolate is creamy and smooth due to the 12% milk or cream added.
• Single Bean – This chocolate is made from one specific bean species grown in a particular region.
• Sweet – For this to be made, a minimum of 15% chocolate liquor mixed with sugar and cocoa butter are used.
• Unsweetened – This type of chocolate is commonly used for baking goodies in that sweetness and flavor are easily monitored and controlled.
• White – Interestingly, white chocolate contains no chocolate liquor so it is therefore, not an official type of chocolate but it still contains a minimum of 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk along with sugar, putting it into the chocolate category.
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