This section is from the book "A Book Of Recipes For The Cooking School", by Carrie Alberta Lyford. Also available from Amazon: A book of recipes for the cooking school.
(a) Sugar is used in cooking -
(1) To increase the carbohydrate in the diet.
(2) To add flavor to other foods.
(3) To aid in the preservation of other foods.
(4) To serve as the basis for candies and cake frostings.
(b) Sugar substitutes.
(1) Maple syrup, molasses, sorghum, honey, commercial glucose and corn syrup may all be used as substitutes for sugar. However, the syrups are only from 75 per cent to 85 per cent as sweet as sugar and must be used in larger quantities than sugar if the same degree of sweetness is to be secured.
(2) Syrups can be substituted for sugar in frostings and in all candies that are not to be crystallized, such as molasses candy and pulled white candy. In candies that are to be crystallized, syrups can be substituted for sugar to only a limited extent with the exception of maple syrup which readily crystallizes when boiled down. One part of syrup to three parts of sugar can safely be substituted in all candies. When some syrups are used even a higher rate of substitution is possible.
(c) Methods of cooking sugar.
(1) By dry heat, as in the preparation of caramel.
(2) By boiling with water - as in making syrups.
(3) By boiling with acids - whereby it is converted into a substance which is only half as sweet as cane sugar and which does not crystallize. For this reason cream of tartar is used in making fondant, and vinegar is used in molasses candy.
(d) Time for cooking syrups.
The time for cooking syrups is regulated by the thickness of the syrups to be used. Thickness of syrups increases with boiling and evaporation. The temperature of syrup also rises, hence the time for cooking of syrup may be regulated by the thermometer. When cooking at home, syrup tests are generally made by dropping a few drops of the syrup into cold water to determine the thickness of the syrup when cold. The relation between the two tests is given below.
238 degrees, used for boiled frosting and fondant. 260 degrees, used for nougat. 310 degrees, used for molasses candy 350 degrees, used for flavoring and for peanut brittle. 400 degrees, used for coloring gravies, soups, etc.
1 cup molasses 1 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter 1 tablespoon vinegar
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and boil them until the syrup is brittle when tried in cold water. Then pour into a buttered pan, cool, and mark in squares or break in pieces for serving. Serves 16 to 20.
1 orange peel
1/2 cup sugar or syrup
1/4 cup water in which orange was cooked
Wipe orange and remove peel in quarters. Cut in narrow strips and remove surplus white. Cook in boiling water until tender, changing water several times. Drain well.
Make syrup with 1/4 cup of the last water used, and the sugar. If syrup is used, no water need be added. When the sugar is all dissolved add orange rind, and cook slowly until most of the water has evaporated. Drain the rind, and roll each piece in granulated sugar. Serves 12 to 16.