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Thread: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

  1. #1
    Steve Freides Guest

    Default Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Hi, new poster here (I think - may have been here before a few months
    ago).

    I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.

    I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.

    Thanks.

    -S-



  2. #2
    notbob Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    On 2010-05-03, Steve Freides <[email protected]> wrote:

    > sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.


    Different brands use different names. Bar sugar, fine sugar, extra
    fine sugar, superfine sugar, castor sugar, etc, are finer than regular
    sugar and disolve quicker. Don't use powdered sugar, as it has added
    talc to prevent caking.

    http://www.foodsubs.com/Sweeten.html
    http://tinyurl.com/22wo7gd

    nb

  3. #3
    Sky Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Steve Freides wrote:
    >
    > Hi, new poster here (I think - may have been here before a few months
    > ago).
    >
    > I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    > to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    > tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    > sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.
    >
    > I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    > e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    > We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    > sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.


    I think the 'sugar in the raw' you describe is nearly regular refined
    white sugar except it's less processed. I believe it still has a degree
    of molasses still in it since it has that light tan color ???? But,
    don't take my work for it since I don't definitely know

    Sky

    --
    Ultra Ultimate Kitchen Rule - Use the Timer!
    Ultimate Kitchen Rule -- Cook's Choice!!

  4. #4
    brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    notbob wrote:
    >Steve Freides wrote:
    >
    >> sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.

    >
    >Different brands use different names. Bar sugar, fine sugar, extra
    >fine sugar, superfine sugar, castor sugar, etc, are finer than regular
    >sugar and disolve quicker. Don't use powdered sugar, as it has added
    >talc to prevent caking.


    Thre's no talc in powdered sugar, there is usually a small quantity of
    corn starch to prevent clumping. Talc used to be added to rice but no
    longer.

  5. #5
    Ed Pawlowski Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup


    "Steve Freides" <[email protected]> wrote
    > We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of sugar
    > that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.
    >
    > Thanks.


    If you really tried to eat healthy, you'd not add any sugar. Use what it
    readily available.


  6. #6
    notbob Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    On 2010-05-03, brooklyn1 <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Thre's no talc in powdered sugar, there is usually a small quantity of
    > corn starch to prevent clumping. Talc used to be added to rice but no
    > longer.


    Ahh!... thnx for the correction.

    nb

  7. #7
    aem Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    On May 3, 12:55 pm, "Steve Freides" <st...@kbnj.com> wrote:
    > ....
    > I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    > to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    > tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    > sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.
    >
    > I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    > e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    > We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    > sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.
    >

    The stuff called "sugar in the raw" is usually turbinado sugar. It is
    basically cane sugar that has been washed of some of the natural
    impurities but is unrefined. Usually light tan in color. Being less
    concentrated, it has slightly fewer calories per given volume but so
    far as I know it's still just sugar. I don't thnk it's any more or
    less healthful than any other sugar, but there's always somebody who
    will be willing to charge you a premium price while he claims it is
    "better for you." Google will find you people arguing about it. -
    aem

  8. #8
    Jean B. Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    aem wrote:
    > On May 3, 12:55 pm, "Steve Freides" <st...@kbnj.com> wrote:
    >> ....
    >> I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    >> to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    >> tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    >> sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.
    >>
    >> I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    >> e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    >> We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    >> sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.
    >>

    > The stuff called "sugar in the raw" is usually turbinado sugar. It is
    > basically cane sugar that has been washed of some of the natural
    > impurities but is unrefined. Usually light tan in color. Being less
    > concentrated, it has slightly fewer calories per given volume but so
    > far as I know it's still just sugar. I don't thnk it's any more or
    > less healthful than any other sugar, but there's always somebody who
    > will be willing to charge you a premium price while he claims it is
    > "better for you." Google will find you people arguing about it. -
    > aem


    I find it does have a wee bit of a molasses flavor.

    --
    Jean B.

  9. #9
    J. Clarke Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    On 5/3/2010 3:55 PM, Steve Freides wrote:
    > Hi, new poster here (I think - may have been here before a few months
    > ago).
    >
    > I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    > to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    > tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    > sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.
    >
    > I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    > e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    > We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    > sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.


    Try it. If you like it then keep doing it. If you don't like it then
    don't keep doing it.


  10. #10
    merryb Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    On May 3, 12:55*pm, "Steve Freides" <st...@kbnj.com> wrote:
    > Hi, new poster here (I think - may have been here before a few months
    > ago).
    >
    > I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    > to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    > tapioca starch. *It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    > sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.
    >
    > I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    > e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    > We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    > sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > -S-


    You probably should stick with what you are using...

  11. #11
    Doug Freyburger Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Steve Freides wrote:
    >
    > I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    > to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    > tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    > sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.
    >
    > I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    > e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    > We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    > sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.


    If you want to go for more healthy you want to go for less. Changing
    types won't have effect on health just on flavor. Interested in trying
    to powder some dried fruit and using the powder instead of sugar?

  12. #12
    Chemiker Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    On Mon, 03 May 2010 15:45:23 -0500, Sky <[email protected]>
    wrote:


    >I think the 'sugar in the raw' you describe is nearly regular refined
    >white sugar except it's less processed. I believe it still has a degree
    >of molasses still in it since it has that light tan color ???? But,
    >don't take my work for it since I don't definitely know
    >
    >Sky


    Yup. That's called Turbinado sugar, and it's just less refined than
    the stuff we buy at the market by Domino and others.

    Nice light molasses like flavor, which works well when using it for
    cobblers, crisps, pies and other baked goods. Although I've never
    tried it, I bet T-sugar made into simple syrup would be dynamite in
    rum drinks. I find it useful for sprinkling on top of pies and other
    baked goods after brushing them with butter. It makes a sort of
    crunchy topping with a rich flavor. Great for baked apples.

    HTH

    Alex

  13. #13
    Steve Freides Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    > "Steve Freides" <[email protected]> wrote
    >> We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    >> sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it
    >> is. Thanks.

    >
    > If you really tried to eat healthy, you'd not add any sugar. Use
    > what it readily available.


    My interest is in finding a less-processed sugar that will still make a
    simple syrup or otherwise finding something sweet in which to soak the
    boba for my bubble tea. If you'd like to debate my lifestyle, feel free
    to ask about it before you pontificate. Sugar is what's available in my
    panty; based on what I've read here - and I thank everyone for their
    replies - I'll try sugar in the raw next and see how that does.

    We really try to eat healthy but most of us strike some sort of
    compromise in our diets - mine includes bubble tea.

    -S-



  14. #14
    Doug Freyburger Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Steve Freides wrote:
    > Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    >
    >> If you really tried to eat healthy, you'd not add any sugar. Use
    >> what it readily available.

    >
    >... Sugar is what's available in my panty


    There's Splenda in my pantry. The texture isn't right to make it a
    syrup but DaVinci's does make a Splenda based syrup so it's clearly
    doable. I think in a bubble tea the tapioca beads give most of the
    texture so texture might not matter.

    Maybe go for better flavor and punt on healthy.

    I like Lyle's Golden Syrup which is an item common in the UK that seems
    to be a byproduct of refining cane sugar sort of like very mild
    molasses. In a pinch it works to mix a third molasses with two thirds
    Light Karo. It's not the same flavor but it is the same color. I see
    Lyles at import stores like Cost Plus World Market.

    I also like sorghum syrup. Whenever I am travelling in the countryside
    I look for country stores and I find sorghum there. A bottle a year is
    more than I use so finding one on most vacations works for me. I also
    brew sorghum into something like mead.

    Maple syrup is easy to find in the US and is likely that some is already
    in your pantry.

  15. #15
    Steve Freides Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Doug Freyburger wrote:
    > Steve Freides wrote:
    >> Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    >>
    >>> If you really tried to eat healthy, you'd not add any sugar. Use
    >>> what it readily available.

    >>
    >> ... Sugar is what's available in my panty

    >
    > There's Splenda in my pantry. The texture isn't right to make it a
    > syrup but DaVinci's does make a Splenda based syrup so it's clearly
    > doable. I think in a bubble tea the tapioca beads give most of the
    > texture so texture might not matter.
    >
    > Maybe go for better flavor and punt on healthy.
    >
    > I like Lyle's Golden Syrup which is an item common in the UK that
    > seems to be a byproduct of refining cane sugar sort of like very mild
    > molasses. In a pinch it works to mix a third molasses with two thirds
    > Light Karo. It's not the same flavor but it is the same color. I see
    > Lyles at import stores like Cost Plus World Market.
    >
    > I also like sorghum syrup. Whenever I am travelling in the countryside
    > I look for country stores and I find sorghum there. A bottle a year is
    > more than I use so finding one on most vacations works for me. I also
    > brew sorghum into something like mead.
    >
    > Maple syrup is easy to find in the US and is likely that some is
    > already in your pantry.


    Maple syrup - we always have that, so I think I'll give it a try, maybe
    part maple syrup and part simple syrup, probably need to add water to
    the maple syrup. The downside here is that maple syrup is _expensive_.
    My simple syrup for my usual batch size is 1-1/4 cups of water and an
    equal amount of sugar - that's probably $20 worth of maple syrup instead
    of $1 worth of sugar.

    -S-



  16. #16
    Jean B. Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Steve Freides wrote:
    > Doug Freyburger wrote:
    >> Steve Freides wrote:
    >>> Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> If you really tried to eat healthy, you'd not add any sugar. Use
    >>>> what it readily available.
    >>> ... Sugar is what's available in my panty

    >> There's Splenda in my pantry. The texture isn't right to make it a
    >> syrup but DaVinci's does make a Splenda based syrup so it's clearly
    >> doable. I think in a bubble tea the tapioca beads give most of the
    >> texture so texture might not matter.
    >>
    >> Maybe go for better flavor and punt on healthy.
    >>
    >> I like Lyle's Golden Syrup which is an item common in the UK that
    >> seems to be a byproduct of refining cane sugar sort of like very mild
    >> molasses. In a pinch it works to mix a third molasses with two thirds
    >> Light Karo. It's not the same flavor but it is the same color. I see
    >> Lyles at import stores like Cost Plus World Market.
    >>
    >> I also like sorghum syrup. Whenever I am travelling in the countryside
    >> I look for country stores and I find sorghum there. A bottle a year is
    >> more than I use so finding one on most vacations works for me. I also
    >> brew sorghum into something like mead.
    >>
    >> Maple syrup is easy to find in the US and is likely that some is
    >> already in your pantry.

    >
    > Maple syrup - we always have that, so I think I'll give it a try, maybe
    > part maple syrup and part simple syrup, probably need to add water to
    > the maple syrup. The downside here is that maple syrup is _expensive_.
    > My simple syrup for my usual batch size is 1-1/4 cups of water and an
    > equal amount of sugar - that's probably $20 worth of maple syrup instead
    > of $1 worth of sugar.
    >
    > -S-
    >
    >

    That might be interesting.

    To change the subject... I have not tried making (or rather
    cooking and storing) boba at home. I thought the boba's texture
    would deteriorate rapidly, thus making it impractical to do. How
    long does the boba remain a decent texture? Do you cook all of
    it to a proper texture, and then store it? Would it make sense
    for it to have a tiny uncooked core? How long can one store it
    successfully (i.e., before it is too mushy)? I assume you like
    boba to be the perfect texture!

    --
    Jean B.

  17. #17
    dsi1 Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    On 5/3/2010 9:55 AM, Steve Freides wrote:
    > Hi, new poster here (I think - may have been here before a few months
    > ago).
    >
    > I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in which
    > to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little ball of
    > tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water, heated until the
    > sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.


    Hiya Steve - I can't help you with your sugar question but perhaps you
    could tell me what I'm doing wrong. When I soak my large pearls, they
    just expand and fall apart. Heating this nasty potion makes a big goopy
    mess. This happens with any batch of pearls that I buy. I've been trying
    to do this for about 5 years. I'm beginning to think that I've been
    hexed by a witch or given the gypsies' evil eye. What's my problem?

    >
    > I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other kinds,
    > e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the grocery store.
    > We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    > sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > -S-
    >
    >



  18. #18
    Steve Freides Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Jean B. wrote:
    > Steve Freides wrote:
    >> Doug Freyburger wrote:
    >>> Steve Freides wrote:
    >>>> Ed Pawlowski wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> If you really tried to eat healthy, you'd not add any sugar. Use
    >>>>> what it readily available.
    >>>> ... Sugar is what's available in my panty
    >>> There's Splenda in my pantry. The texture isn't right to make it a
    >>> syrup but DaVinci's does make a Splenda based syrup so it's clearly
    >>> doable. I think in a bubble tea the tapioca beads give most of the
    >>> texture so texture might not matter.
    >>>
    >>> Maybe go for better flavor and punt on healthy.
    >>>
    >>> I like Lyle's Golden Syrup which is an item common in the UK that
    >>> seems to be a byproduct of refining cane sugar sort of like very
    >>> mild molasses. In a pinch it works to mix a third molasses with two
    >>> thirds Light Karo. It's not the same flavor but it is the same
    >>> color. I see Lyles at import stores like Cost Plus World Market.
    >>>
    >>> I also like sorghum syrup. Whenever I am travelling in the
    >>> countryside I look for country stores and I find sorghum there. A
    >>> bottle a year is more than I use so finding one on most vacations
    >>> works for me. I also brew sorghum into something like mead.
    >>>
    >>> Maple syrup is easy to find in the US and is likely that some is
    >>> already in your pantry.

    >>
    >> Maple syrup - we always have that, so I think I'll give it a try,
    >> maybe part maple syrup and part simple syrup, probably need to add
    >> water to the maple syrup. The downside here is that maple syrup is
    >> _expensive_. My simple syrup for my usual batch size is 1-1/4 cups
    >> of water and an equal amount of sugar - that's probably $20 worth of
    >> maple syrup instead of $1 worth of sugar.
    >>
    >> -S-
    >>
    >>

    > That might be interesting.
    >
    > To change the subject... I have not tried making (or rather
    > cooking and storing) boba at home. I thought the boba's texture
    > would deteriorate rapidly, thus making it impractical to do. How
    > long does the boba remain a decent texture? Do you cook all of
    > it to a proper texture, and then store it? Would it make sense
    > for it to have a tiny uncooked core? How long can one store it
    > successfully (i.e., before it is too mushy)? I assume you like
    > boba to be the perfect texture!


    It's a good question - we first tried bubble tea at a place a couple of
    miles from where we live - made a nice walk each way, was a treat. They
    said they make fresh boba every day and since they weren't getting much
    call for it in the winter, they stopped a couple of months ago,
    promising to start up again in the May. My wife and I really like the
    stuff so I decided to see about making it at home.

    I make about 1-1/2 cups dry of boba at a time and store it in the
    siimple syrup. It keeps _very_ well here - we probably get two weeks
    out of a batch, and so far we have not noticed any degradation of
    texture or flavor as it gets older. It really does taste very good to
    us even after two weeks.

    The only proviso here is that you have to reheat the boba before using
    it, otherwise it's hard, but that takes about thirty seconds in the
    microwave, so that's what we do - take the container out of the 'fridge,
    put enough to make us each a bubble tea into a soup dish, microwave it
    (:15-20, stir, another :15-20), and then put it into our green tea,
    which we make by the pitcher and let cool so it's always available.
    (Again here, the tea shop makes fresh, hot green tea and just uses a lot
    of ice.)

    The only downside we've noticed is that the boba sometimes stick to one
    another, but this is easy enough to fix before or after you've reheated
    them, anyway. I could not tell you whether or not my taste is
    particularly sensitive to the boba being the perfect texture, but I
    honest can tell very little difference between a fresh and a reheated
    batch. Once in the glass of iced tea, I think most people would be
    hard-pressed to tell the difference.

    It's important to take your time making the stuff. I boil water, add
    the boba, simmer for 30-40 minutes after the water has returned to a
    boil, then leave the boba in the pot, off the heat, for another 30-60
    minutes.

    Then you rinse the boba - I use a metal strainer in the kitchen sink and
    luke-warm water, and along the way you make your simple syrup. Put the
    boba in the simple syrup and store, or use right away but I think you
    need to let the boba soak in the syrup for a while to pick up some of
    the sweetness. I tend to make it mid-day and then we have it in the
    evenings, so I haven't tried to figure out how long the boba needs to
    soak in the syrup before using, but I think probably 30 minutes again is
    the minimum.

    We use the same kind of tea they use, gunpowder green tea, which we get
    from here (where we buy our coffee as well):

    http://www.coffeebeandirect.com

    The rest of our boba supplies - boba, syrup, straws - we found by just
    Googling and ordering online.

    -S-



  19. #19
    Steve Freides Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    dsi1 wrote:
    > On 5/3/2010 9:55 AM, Steve Freides wrote:
    >> Hi, new poster here (I think - may have been here before a few months
    >> ago).
    >>
    >> I make bubble tea at home, and for this I make a simple syrup in
    >> which to soak the "boba," which are the "pearls," basically little
    >> ball of tapioca starch. It's just equal parts sugar and water,
    >> heated until the sugar has dissolved enough that the liquid is clear.

    >
    > Hiya Steve - I can't help you with your sugar question but perhaps you
    > could tell me what I'm doing wrong. When I soak my large pearls, they
    > just expand and fall apart. Heating this nasty potion makes a big
    > goopy mess. This happens with any batch of pearls that I buy. I've
    > been trying to do this for about 5 years. I'm beginning to think that
    > I've been hexed by a witch or given the gypsies' evil eye. What's my
    > problem?
    >>
    >> I'm using plain, old sugar right now, and I know there are other
    >> kinds, e.g., I see something called "sugar in the raw" in the
    >> grocery store. We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's
    >> another kind of sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please
    >> tell me what it is. Thanks.
    >>
    >> -S-


    See my other reply about how we make boba - let me know if that helps.

    -S-



  20. #20
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Re: Kinds of sugar for simple syrup

    Steve wrote:

    >>> We try to eat as healthily as we can and if there's another kind of
    >>> sugar that's somehow better for my purpose, please tell me what it is.
    >>> Thanks.

    >>
    >> If you really tried to eat healthy, you'd not add any sugar. Use
    >> what it readily available.

    >
    > My interest is in finding a less-processed sugar that will still make a
    > simple syrup or otherwise finding something sweet in which to soak the
    > boba for my bubble tea.


    Are you equating "less processed" with "more healthy"? If so, why?

    Bob


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