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PD: Herbal sugars.

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The PD stands for product development, in case you were wondering.

I've done two separate product development thingies in two weeks (one lasted three days, the other two), and I told everybody to put their recipes, as made, onto paper (that's 8 sheets with one group, and 4 sheets with the other), to be copied to everybody by the end of the day.

So we made herbal sugars, with dried herbs. Very nice ones, too:

1. Strong peppermint sugar
2 dl (20 g) dried peppermint
3 dl (300 g) white sugar
Blend in a blender, package.
Very strong, this is. So they made a weaker version:

2. Weaker peppermint sugar
1/2 dl (5 g) dried peppermint
2 1/2 dl (250 g) white sugar
Blend in a blender, package.
Quite nice.

And the same with brown sugar, which works as well. Don't use the very dark brown sugar with this - some of these sugars are so strong in taste that they'll even kill the taste of the strongest peppermint you can lay your hands on. Waste of good herb, that is. And expensive sugar, of course.

And the same with xylitol sugar and dried black currant leaf. This results in a very nice sugar ... but unfortunately xylitol is laxative. We were mulling over the idea of making a plum candy with dried sulphured plums, agar-agar and xylitol sugar. That'd be a triple whammy, and anybody who's constipated after eating enough of that is a hopeless case.

The other group also made sugars:

3. Strong black currant leaf sugar
2 1/2 dl (18 g) black currant leaf
3 dl (300 g) brown sugar
Blend in a blender, package.
Very nice.

And the same with white sugar.

4. Strong peppermint sugar
2 dl crushed dried peppermint
3 dl white sugar
Blend. A tad too strong, cos I'd forgotten to take my notes, and thus didn't remember that peppermint is strong, if it's this year's crop.

The strong peppermint sugar would still be dandy for things like black currant berry jam, or apple jam or jelly, or rhubarb pie. And you can of course dilute it by adding unspiced sugar to it. And it'll grow weaker in time.

Sugared frozen Finnish (sour!) cranberries rolled in black currant leaf sugar was exquisite, sugared frozen cranberries rolled in peppermint sugar was just a teensy bit too fresh.

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You can of course make herbal sugars with fresh herb, too, but you end up with a sticky mess that you'll then need to dry out -- and which interests flies very much. Extremely much. A lot. So much that you'll have to cover the drying mess with something, which of course means that it won't dry as fast.

Believe me, it's easier to dry the herbs first and add the sugar to the dried herb.

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Related entry: Peppermint sugar

Comments

I don't understand why you have to use processed food when sugars are available naturally as stevia and zica and that such use allows otherwise excluded people such as diabetics to drink them.

Dunno about you, but I quite like my meringues with a hint of peppermint or similar.

Also, sweet taste doesn't equal sugar. Try to make a jam with stevia as the preservative (instead of sugar) and you'll see what sugar really does. Now, an apple jam with a herbal sugar ... mmmm.

Finally, I've never even heard about zica ... neither has google, if "zica sugar" or "zica sweet" is any indication.



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