Hopped Sugar

Hopped SugarHopped Sugar is a great ingredient for Beer Cuisine.  Hops have unique flavors, ranging from citrusy, fruity, tropical, spicy, earthy, dank to pine/evergreen and herbal, all depending on the variety being used. While not cooking with beer, it is cooking with brewing ingredients.

When brewing, the malted and mashed barley (or other grains used in conjunction with the enzyme rich barley) creates sweetness, to add a counterpoint to the hops bitterness, depending on how long they are boiled in the wort. The longer the hops are in the kettle, the more bitterness they impart to the wort (pre-beer or before yeast is added) and the less flavor they carry into the finished beer, as the boiling wort removes the aromatic and flavor elements of these flower cones.  The amount of hops added and when they are added will affect the overall bitterness of the brew, depending on its style being brewed.  This bitterness level can be calculated, in knowing the alpha and beta acids in the hop variety and how long they are in contact with the wort. This bitterness is referred to as IBU’s or International Bittering Units.

Hopped SugarUsing this brewing knowledge lead me to creating hopped sugar.  Sugar replaces the wort or malted barley, while still adding sweetness and allowing the hops flavor to come through, keeping the bitterness in check, depending on the culinary use.  This isn’t as exact as IBU’s in this sugar, yet it can be calculated.  It’s important to think about the purpose of using this Hopped Sugar into a recipe. The applications are endless. Think about a shortbread cookie, made with English infused Hopped Sugar or to macerate strawberries, creating Hopped Strawberries for a Cuisine à la Biére version of Hopped Strawberry Shortcake with Witbier Curd. This hopped sugar can be added to a pancake or waffle recipe, accentuating the hop flavors found in a beer, used to make the recipe. So many dessert recipes can be modified with hopped sugar, to make the cooking with beer experience even more powerful.

I recommend using whole hop cones instead of hop pellets, as I find that the whole cones retain more flavor as they are less processed. If pellets or cryo hops are all that are available, by all means, use them.

Depending on the hop variety used to flavor the sugar, the flower cone contain the same flavor chemical that makes grapefruit (cascade), lemon (sorachi ace), orange (Amarillo), tangerine (CashmereMandarina Bavaria or Mosaic) and the list goes on and on. Using the hops flavors, not in beer, but to be blended with sugar, creates a whole new flavor combination and opens up so many flavor possibilities.

Here is a list of different hop varieties, that can be used, to create different flavored hopped sugars, to use in your Beer Kitchen:

As the varieties of hops are always expanding, there are new varieties of hops not mentioned above. Look at the flavor elements that the hops possess. If they peak your interest, try blending them into your sugar.

As this recipe a hopped sugar, the type of sugar will play a major role in the flavor and texture of the final pantry staple. I am a firm believer in using organic sugar as a base for this recipe. As white sugar is bleached, so is some of the nutritional content and the flavor. Organic sugar, must be processed from chemical free | pesticide free fields, with the whole process from sugar cane | sugar beets turning into sugar within a 24 hour period. This captures more of the flavor compounds and results in a superior flavor. As with sugar in the older days, sugar has a slight vanilla, caramelized flavor, made from the processing of the plant material. Molasses, is the by-product of sugar, and showcases some of the other flavors unbleached sugar has.

This recipe can use many types of sugar: Organic Granulated Cane Sugar, Organic Grade A Maple Sugar, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Date Sugar, Organic Sugar In The Raw, Granulated Honey Powder (crystallized honey granules). Each type of sugar will add a unique twist to the recipe, ranging from coconut, date, honey, maple or sugar cane for the most neutral flavor.

This Hopped Sugar adds another element that the Beer Cuisine Chef can manipulate the ingredients being used to cook, to pull out flavors in a beer being used in the dish or as a beer pairing when the final dish is being served. Think about using this sugar in an iced tea, your morning coffee, Beer infused Pastry CreamBeer PuddingIce CreamCake Selection or Beer Cookies recipe, replacing some or all of the sugar for this hopped sugar. Use to sweeten other berries or fruits, like blackberries, peaches or melon for a dessert or fruit salad…

As this recipe only makes 1 pint, you can be adventurous and create different hop sugars to play with other ingredients in your beer kitchen.

And remember, Eat Beer!

 

Makes: 2 cups or 1 pint

Hopped Sugar
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Infusing hops and sugar to create a Hopped Sugar that is added to the Beer Cuisine pantry, with endless applications, both sweet and savory.
Servings Prep Time
2 cup 5 minute
Servings Prep Time
2 cup 5 minute
Hopped Sugar
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Infusing hops and sugar to create a Hopped Sugar that is added to the Beer Cuisine pantry, with endless applications, both sweet and savory.
Servings Prep Time
2 cup 5 minute
Servings Prep Time
2 cup 5 minute
Ingredients
  • 2 cup sugar, organic or other type of crystallized or granular sugar, see above
  • 1 teaspoon hop cones, whole, variety depending on application of sugar, see above
Servings: cup
Units:
Instructions
  • In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a blade attachment, add the sugar and hops of choice. Depending on the hop variety, more or less can be used, again designing the sugar for its application and recipe being use.
  • Seal the work bowl with the lid and pulse several times until the hops are dissolved into the sugar, giving the final product a light green color. Try not to over-process the sugar, as the friction of the blade hitting the sugar will create heat. Transfer the finished Hopped Sugar to a pint size canning jar and seal tightly with a lid.
  • Store the Hopped Sugar in a cool dark place, preventing the hops from light contact. This sugar will last for 6 months, then it will begin to change, as the luplin in the hops oxidizes, creating parmesan cheese like aromas.
Sean Paxton

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