Orange flavored sugar is wonderful accompaniment to a cup of tea or way to perk up a favorite recipe. Orange sugar cubes would be a simple but impressive addition to high tea, or bottled gift for a tea lover.
To make regular sugar cubes you add a tablespoon of liquid to a cup of sugar and mix it so it feels like wet sand, shape it, and bake at 200 degrees to dry them out. The principle was so simple! So I tried it out using orange juice instead of water. I added some zest for kicks and giggles. The cubes were lovely, but didn't really have the zing I was looking for. It was time for round two: why not use an orange juice reduction? Et voila!
I'm already in LOVE with adding this orange sugar to my pomegranate tea, and all this week I'm going to be using it to bake into recipes! So excited to experiment with my newest ingredient!
Can be used for:
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. dried orange peel or 1 tblsp. fresh orange zest
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 200.
In a small pan over medium heat, simmer orange juice and zest. Cook down until the mixture measure one tablespoon.
In a stand mixer, on a medium speed add sugar and a few drops of the orange juice reduction at a time. From here you can get creative. Using molds, ice cube trays or, as I did, shape into a rectangular disk about a fourth of an inch thick and place on a cookie sheet, cutting into cubes and gently spreading out to about two inches apart. Bake for at least 15 minutes.** Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.
**I GENTLY flipped my sugar cubes after about 13 minutes so that the bottom of the cube was exposed and able to dry more completely, but I did loose a few sugar cubes in this manner. Be very gentle!
Disclaimer: My understanding through learning to can, is that 200 degree cooking kills bacteria and that sugar is a preserver in any event. So long as the cubes are thoroughly dried out I can't foresee the cubes going bad. Sugar and dehydrated orange juice seems like it should have a healthy shelf life. I'm keeping a few cubes in my cupboard to see if anything goes amiss with them. I'll update this post when I have a conclusion. If you're leery store the cubes in the freezer. :)