Baking (rec.food.baking) For bakers, would-be bakers, and fans and consumers of breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, bagels, and other items commonly found in a bakery. Includes all methods of preparation, both conventional and not.

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Old 16-11-2005, 12:20 AM posted to rec.food.baking
baker1
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

I just picked up some C&H powdered sugar, which I've used for decades
and realized there is cornstarch in it. Will this effect recipes? When
a recipe calls for powdered sugar, does it presuppose there is
cornstarch in it?

Thanks

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Old 16-11-2005, 12:38 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Jenn Ridley
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

baker1 wrote:

I just picked up some C&H powdered sugar, which I've used for decades
and realized there is cornstarch in it. Will this effect recipes? When
a recipe calls for powdered sugar, does it presuppose there is
cornstarch in it?


Yes. There's been cornstarch in powdered sugar for *years*, probably
since it became commercially available. (I remember asking my mom
about it 30+ years ago, so it's been that long.) It keeps the sugar
from caking. Modern recipes assume the cornstarch is there.

If you're doing historical baking or confectionary, it *might* affect
(note correct word usage) the end result. If you don't like the
result using purchased powdered sugar, you might try powdering your
own sugar. A friend of mine who does medieval confectionary powders
his own sugar, and says it's a lot of work, but for what he does it's
essential.

jenn
--
Jenn Ridley :
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Old 16-11-2005, 01:31 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Vox Humana
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?


"Jenn Ridley" wrote in message
...
baker1 wrote:

I just picked up some C&H powdered sugar, which I've used for decades
and realized there is cornstarch in it. Will this effect recipes? When
a recipe calls for powdered sugar, does it presuppose there is
cornstarch in it?


Yes. There's been cornstarch in powdered sugar for *years*, probably
since it became commercially available. (I remember asking my mom
about it 30+ years ago, so it's been that long.) It keeps the sugar
from caking. Modern recipes assume the cornstarch is there.

If you're doing historical baking or confectionary, it *might* affect
(note correct word usage) the end result. If you don't like the
result using purchased powdered sugar, you might try powdering your
own sugar. A friend of mine who does medieval confectionary powders
his own sugar, and says it's a lot of work, but for what he does it's
essential.


Not all powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. That is particularly true in
Europe.


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Old 16-11-2005, 03:35 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

Jenn Ridley wrote:

own sugar. A friend of mine who does medieval confectionary powders
his own sugar, and says it's a lot of work, but for what he does it's
essential.


Is it really that hard? I haven't bought powdered sugar or brown sugar
for at least a dozen years -- buzz it in the blender to make powdered
sugar, and stir in molasses to make brown sugar.

Or is he not allowed to use a blender?
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Old 16-11-2005, 07:21 AM posted to rec.food.baking
jacqui{JB}
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

"Vox Humana" wrote in message
.. .

Not all powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. That is
particularly true in Europe.


It *is* particularly true in Denmark, where I can't get the damned stuff
without cornstarch (this is a major peeve, the lack of choice of staple
products). I can't determine whether it's the sugar itself which is somehow
more coarse or whether it's the cornstarch (where I'm placing my first bet)
that makes my uncooked frostings (butter, powdered sugar, flavoring) gritty.
But I haven't found a solution to it yet (beyond making a cooked-type
frosting, which I don't really want to do) and it really does irk me.

I wonder if it really is as simple as buying sugar in another country. :P
-j




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Old 16-11-2005, 02:39 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Vox Humana
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?


"jacqui{JB}" wrote in message
. dk...
"Vox Humana" wrote in message
.. .

Not all powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. That is
particularly true in Europe.


It *is* particularly true in Denmark, where I can't get the damned stuff
without cornstarch (this is a major peeve, the lack of choice of staple
products). I can't determine whether it's the sugar itself which is

somehow
more coarse or whether it's the cornstarch (where I'm placing my first

bet)
that makes my uncooked frostings (butter, powdered sugar, flavoring)

gritty.
But I haven't found a solution to it yet (beyond making a cooked-type
frosting, which I don't really want to do) and it really does irk me.


My bet would be on the sugar making it gritty. Cornstarch is not gritty in
itself and there is very little included in the sugar. Not all sugar is
ground to the same coarseness. The sugar that I get at Sam's or Costco is
not as fine as that sold at the cake supply store. I also don't think one
can come close to producing very fine, uniform powdered sugar at home in the
blender or food processor. I have tried and it doesn't work well. Perhaps
if you have something akin to a Vitamix blender it works, but not with a
generic home unit.


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Old 16-11-2005, 04:32 PM posted to rec.food.baking
jacqui{JB}
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

"Vox Humana" wrote in message
.. .

My bet would be on the sugar making it gritty.


You could very well be right, I suppose, although it's not the outcome I was
hoping for. I can see it now -- I'm going to have to start buying powdered
sugar when I travel ... and try to explain that strange white powder in my
carryon or suitcase. *chuckle* Sometimes, life is complicated.

-j


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Old 16-11-2005, 04:56 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Vox Humana
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?


"jacqui{JB}" wrote in message
. dk...
"Vox Humana" wrote in message
.. .

My bet would be on the sugar making it gritty.


You could very well be right, I suppose, although it's not the outcome I

was
hoping for. I can see it now -- I'm going to have to start buying

powdered
sugar when I travel ... and try to explain that strange white powder in my
carryon or suitcase. *chuckle* Sometimes, life is complicated.


In the USA, you can find powdered sugar without cornstarch in "natural" or
"health" food stores.


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Old 16-11-2005, 05:59 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Chuck
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

On Tue, 15 Nov 2005 19:35:00 -0800, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to
send wrote:

Jenn Ridley wrote:

own sugar. A friend of mine who does medieval confectionary powders
his own sugar, and says it's a lot of work, but for what he does it's
essential.


Is it really that hard? I haven't bought powdered sugar or brown sugar
for at least a dozen years -- buzz it in the blender to make powdered
sugar, and stir in molasses to make brown sugar.

Or is he not allowed to use a blender?

When out of confectionery sugar,, I grind sugar in my coffee grinder.
(then again.. I didn't need much..)
Chuck
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Old 16-11-2005, 08:05 PM posted to rec.food.baking
jake
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

jacqui{JB} wrote:

"Vox Humana" wrote in message
.. .


My bet would be on the sugar making it gritty.



You could very well be right, I suppose, although it's not the outcome I was
hoping for. I can see it now -- I'm going to have to start buying powdered
sugar when I travel ... and try to explain that strange white powder in my
carryon or suitcase. *chuckle* Sometimes, life is complicated.

-j


My mother used to grind sugar i a coffee grinder. Don't know if powdered
sugar would become finer using that method, though, because my mother
ground crystals/


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Old 24-11-2005, 01:36 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Geoman1
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?


"Vox Humana" wrote in message
.. .

"jacqui{JB}" wrote in message
. dk...
"Vox Humana" wrote in message
.. .

Not all powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. That is
particularly true in Europe.


It *is* particularly true in Denmark, where I can't get the damned stuff
without cornstarch (this is a major peeve, the lack of choice of staple
products). I can't determine whether it's the sugar itself which is

somehow
more coarse or whether it's the cornstarch (where I'm placing my first

bet)
that makes my uncooked frostings (butter, powdered sugar, flavoring)

gritty.
But I haven't found a solution to it yet (beyond making a cooked-type
frosting, which I don't really want to do) and it really does irk me.


My bet would be on the sugar making it gritty. Cornstarch is not gritty
in
itself and there is very little included in the sugar. Not all sugar is
ground to the same coarseness. The sugar that I get at Sam's or Costco is
not as fine as that sold at the cake supply store. I also don't think one
can come close to producing very fine, uniform powdered sugar at home in
the
blender or food processor. I have tried and it doesn't work well.
Perhaps
if you have something akin to a Vitamix blender it works, but not with a
generic home unit.


Just stopped in for a brief moment and read your post.

I heard and just tried making fine sugar in my Vita Mix. The sugar comes out
very very fine but still not that of cakes. The problem I had is to get the
sugar to travel into the center and recirculate you have to do at least four
cups at a time. It did a great job but not for 2 cups or less, at those
amounts the sugar begins to heat and smell like cotton candy :-)

Rich





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Old 24-11-2005, 02:15 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Dave Bell
 
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Default Powder Sugar...w/Cornstarch?

Geoman1 wrote:

I heard and just tried making fine sugar in my Vita Mix. The sugar comes out
very very fine but still not that of cakes. The problem I had is to get the
sugar to travel into the center and recirculate you have to do at least four
cups at a time. It did a great job but not for 2 cups or less, at those
amounts the sugar begins to heat and smell like cotton candy :-)

Rich


Vitamix is a great blender, but I agree, it's too big for this kind of
job. I use a little whirly-blade coffee mill my wife keeps for grinding
herbs and flax seed. (I use a burr grinder for coffee.) It takes about a
cup at atime, and in 30-60 seconds, reduces granulated sugar to a very
fine powder.

Dave


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