Liquid sweeteners and syrups are often used in your baking and candy making, today a quick look at the most popular.
a selection of liquid sweeteners
Treacle is a twice boiled syrup made from a by-product produced in the process of refining sugar cane.
Treacle is called Molasses in the US. However, black strap molasses (the same syrup boiled a third time during processing) is called Black Strap Molasses in the US, UK & Oz.
If you love Harry Potter, you will know 'Treacle Tart' is his favourite dessert, but treacle tart is not made from treacle... it's made from Golden Syrup (see below).
Availability in Australia: Common, most supermarkets carry treacle. Black Strap Molasses is available in health food stores.
Golden syrup is the syrup produced in the process of refining sugar cane. The first boiling in production produces the light coloured syrup, which is a variety of treacle.
The essential ingredient for Treacle Tart in the UK and in Australia for our national biscuit (cookie) the ANZAC.
Golden Syrup can be replaced by honey in recipes, though this will alter the flavour. Golden Syrup has a distinct "lightly burnt sugar" taste.
Availability in Australia: Common, all supermarkets carry Golden Syrup
Glucose Syrup is a clear thick sugar syrup and a purer form of corn syrup (see below). Glucose syrup is derived from honey, fruits (usually grapes) and some vegetables.
Used in your confectionary work to help prevent crystallisation of sugar.
In most cases you can substitute light corn syrup.
Availability in Australia: Common, most supermarkets carry glucose syrup.
Corn syrup is a glucose syrup derived from corn with some additives. Karo Light Corn Syrup is the most popular brand and has according to the manufacturer 'is a mixture of corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup , flavored with salt and vanilla'. Also available as Dark Syrup.
There has been some bad press coming out of the US about corn syrup, it seems to be focused around obesity and the use of corn syrup in processed food. Any of liquid sweeteners mentioned today will cause obesity if over consumed. For anyone following a healthy diet & limiting processed foods the occasional consumption of corn syrup isn't a problem.
Corn syrup is used to help prevent the crystallisation of sugar in candy/sugar work, in frostings & some desserts.
Availability in Australia: Difficult, some supermarkets do carry it, otherwise you will have to hunt it out at delicatessens & speciality grocers. Consider substituting for glucose syrup if unobtainable.
Honey a sweet syrup food produced most commonly by Honey Bees. Most honey in Australia is mixed honey, however do try single varieties of honey in your baking for a flavour treat. Clover leaf honey is the best mild tasting honey for baking.
With the same relative sweetness as sugar, honey adds a distinct flavour to your baking. Cakes containing honey brown more quickly.
Availability in Australia: Common for mixed honey, single variety honeys are available in some supermarkets, speciality food stores & farmers markets will often have varieties such as lavender honey.
Maple Syrup is a thin sweetener syrup made from the sap of maple trees. Most commonly used on pancakes, waffles & in desserts.
Availability in Australia: Limited to good, pure maple syrup is in some supermarkets... it's usually always CAMP brand. Avoid the less expensive artificial syrups, the flavour is not comparable.