Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Differences and Considerations Between Honey and Cane Sugar
1. Honey adds moisture that table sugar does not have.
2. Honey is much more dense (weighs more per cup)
3. Honey adds its own flavor to the finished product
4. Honey adds acid to a recipe, and honey can cause baked foods to brown more quickly.
Moisture: If you just swap honey for sugar the finished product would likely be rather soggy and sticky. But, if we examine the rest of the ingredients in a recipe, we can determine which items will absorb some of the water in the honey and increase those to compensate. Or we can take the opposite approach and reduce some liquid from the recipe.
Density: A cup of granulated sugar weighs 8 ounces (1/2 lb or 1/4 kg; 250 grams). A cup of honey weighs 12 ounces (3/4 lb or 340 grams). So if you were to substitute honey in a recipe that calls for brown sugar, you’d be adding twice the amount of food. A cup of brown sugar weighs only 6. But a cup of maple syrup weighs 11 ounces and it slightly less sweet than honey; so you should use about 10% less honey than maple syrup.
Flavor: Honey has its own unique flavor. General it is a light and pleasing flavor, but if it conflicts with the desired taste of your recipe, there's not much you can do about it. However, most people seem to like the flavor that honey adds!
Acidity: Since honey adds acid to a recipe, if the recipe is sensitive to that you would have to neutralize with the addition of a pinch of baking soda. Adding 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of honey is advised in baking, but since most canning recipes prefer acidity, no action is needed if you are using honey in place of sugar in canning.
Faster Browning: Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning.