Monday, January 10, 2011

Orange Sugar

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. 
Orange Sugar recipe from cherryteacakes.com
For a while now I've been wanting to make flavored sugars (it counts as a condiment for tea right?) and this weekend I finally had all of half an hour to try it out, in between the farmers markets and a glass blowing class (yes, I went to a glass blowing class and it was SO fun). I tried to do some reading on how to make flavored sugars and it turns out....there really isn't any. Okay, there is, but it can be summed up in a few words "add zest to sugar and let it sit for a few weeks." I actually did that a few weeks ago, and was not incredibly impressed by the results. Sure, the sugar had a little hint of orange...but it just wasn't enough. So, I had a little epiphany. You have to make sugar cubes by adding liquid so why not use orange juice!

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!

Cheers!

Can be used for:



Orange Sugar

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. :)

26 comments:

  1. Genius! I can't wait to try this!

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  2. This is such a great idea! I could imagine using that sugar for a whole number of things.

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  3. A lovely idea for tea. I'd love a few mixed into my morning oatmeal.

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  4. That is such a great idea! Perfect to warm and perk you up!

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  5. Ingenious! What a great thing to have on hand for friends who drop in for tea...so impressive!

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  6. What a terrific and unusual gift this would make!

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  7. what an interesting idea! they must be very tasty! :D

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  8. What a neat idea!! My daughter will love this one!

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  9. How fun! I'm going to pass this along to my mom, she's a huge tea drinker and I think she'll love this!

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  10. Nice! Goes well with my afternoon tea :)

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  11. I'm liking this.. and I'm liking the idea of using all sorts of different juices to make new flavors as well! ps. I totally think a glass blowing class sounds fun!

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  12. That's a brilliant idea! Thank you for sharing!

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  13. this is new to me and I have never tried this combo- thanks for sharing, will love to try this out!

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  14. This looks great - I never would have thought to make flavored sugar cubes, but will probably try them out now. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  15. Wow, I've never seen anything like this! Thanks for such an informative post.

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  16. I have an orange tree in my backyard (Florida) and I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy the oranges. Thanks for doing all the trial and error work for us and coming up with a great recipe! I look forward to trying this soon.

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  17. TOTALLY counts as a condiment!

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  18. I love the idea of this. I will have to try this. Thanks :D

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  19. What a great idea...the possibilities could be endless with other fruit juices. Luv how you used the orange sugar in your macaron filling. You are definitely on to something great with this!

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  20. You are so creative with your recipes and your pics are gorgeous. I love the orange sugar with your macrons!

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  21. Wow - genius! Sounds like a great gift option, too.

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  22. I wonder if you could use grapefruit? Grapefruit this season is divine.

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  23. I was thinking that pomegranate cubes would be amazing too. Imagine the red color spreading through a cup of herbal tea. I love the orange though. Makes me wish I actually drank tea (I'm a coffee kinda gal).

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  24. I used your recipe for orange sugar in oatmeal craisin cookies. Made such a difference!

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