Brown sugar is a unique addition to any recipe but for best results, it should be soft, never hard as a rock. However, if you reach for your brown sugar and find that it is not of the desired softness, you don't need to panic! This hardness is caused by a common mistake and it can easily be reversed. Below, we explore five simple tricks that pro chefs use to soften brown sugar and how you can avoid it next time.
Before learning the ways you can soften brown sugar, it's crucial to know what causes it to go hard in the first place.
Brown sugar gradually hardens as its natural moisture continues to escape via evaporation. To avoid this, it has to be stored properly. If it is not, the fluffy sugar granules harden into dense brown lumps nobody would enjoy getting stoned with. It is safe to eat, but it is pure hell to work with.
There are a number of methods you can use to soften brown sugar so you can measure it accurately for a recipe. Below are five common household items and how you can easily use them to soften brown sugar like any pro chef.
1.Using a microwave to soften brown sugar
This method can help you soften brown sugar very quickly. Put some of the brown sugar into a microwave-proof bowl. After that, dampen a paper towel and cover the bowl with it. Leave it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until the sugar is all softened up. You can break up the lumps by poking it with a fork in between the 10-second bursts. Avoid microwaving it for too long to avoid complete melting.
2.Using an oven
Heat the oven to 250° F (120 degrees C), then place the hard sugar in an oven-proof bowl and put that in the oven. Check on it every few minutes and break the lumps with a fork until the sugar is desirably soft. Be cautious of the sugar as it will be hot.
Place a fresh slice of bread in an airtight container with a lump of brown sugar. After one day, most of the moisture from the bread will have been absorbed by the sugar, which will have softened it once more. Remove the bread afterward to avoid molding.
4.Using an apple slice
Put a slice of fresh apple and the lump of brown sugar in an airtight container and leave for almost 24 hours. The moisture from the apple will also be absorbed Remember to remove the apple slice afterward.
5.Using Terra Cotta
Soak a piece of terra cotta in water for nearly 20 minutes, then put it in an airtight container with the hardened lump of brown sugar. In about 24 hours, the terracotta will soften the sugar and prevent it from hardening again by keeping it at an ideal moisture level.