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Old 11-16-2007, 03:19 AM   #1
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Question Confectioners Sugar vs Granulated - What's the Difference?

What is the difference between sugar and confectioner's sugar and why would you actually sift confectioner's sugar before it's use? I'm not in the pastry chef field but I am trying to understand.

Obviously the confection sugar is lighter than regular sugar as far as the grain. A silly question, when you sift that type of sugar what does it do, expand it for a smoother texture of your final product?

As I said silly question but hopefully it made sense.

Thanks everyone!

Sue

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Old 11-16-2007, 08:03 AM   #2
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Confectioners suger differs from granulated sugar in two ways. First, it's milled to a much finer grain as you said. Second, it has added cornstarch.

You sift confectioners sugar to eliminate any lumps and to aerate it.
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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I make my own confectioner's sugar. I just put sugar into an electric spice mill/coffee grinder and give it a whirl. That's all it takes. That way, I can make just what I need. I also used this method with the more natural sugar products that I prefer to use.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:21 AM   #4
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Corn Starch, really. I did not know this. I have, as stated above, ground sugar to a fine powder but used it mainly as a duster for doughnuts etc.

I learned something new today. Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:41 PM   #5
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Wow!

That's all it takes? WOW!! I have a coffee grinder. Now I have a question. What type of setting do you use? I can set my grinder on espresso, automatic cup, etc. Another question is does a certain amount of regular sugar make confection sugar; have you determined that? I'm guessing the same amount but not sure. Oh, one more question. I was wondering, how long do you grind the sugar? Is there like a particular length of time (10-20 seconds, etc)?

Thanks for your help!

Sue

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Originally Posted by Green Lady View Post
I make my own confectioner's sugar. I just put sugar into an electric spice mill/coffee grinder and give it a whirl. That's all it takes. That way, I can make just what I need. I also used this method with the more natural sugar products that I prefer to use.
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:55 PM   #6
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Thanks Andy! I was speaking with my husband about this last night and he used to be a prep cook at a restaurant so he had some experience working with this sort of thing. He mentioned exactly what you said about the lumps needing to be removed. I didn't know that it had cornstarch in it though, that is interesting. I learned something new and I appreciate the insight!

Sue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Confectioners suger differs from granulated sugar in two ways. First, it's milled to a much finer grain as you said. Second, it has added cornstarch.

You sift confectioners sugar to eliminate any lumps and to aerate it.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:03 PM   #7
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You want to set your grinder to the finest grind possible. When confectioners sugar is called for in recipes, the presence of cornstarch is assumed. There may be some recipes where the cornstarch is an important part of the recipe.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You want to set your grinder to the finest grind possible. When confectioners sugar is called for in recipes, the presence of cornstarch is assumed. There may be some recipes where the cornstarch is an important part of the recipe.
All I know is the confectioners sugar with corn starch makes for a better thickened whipped cream.If you whirl sugar in a food proccessor it makes the sugar finer which makes a better merinque as the sugar disolves better into the egg whites making a firmer meringue and making it more stable as well
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew View Post
All I know is the confectioners sugar with corn starch makes for a better thickened whipped cream.If you whirl sugar in a food proccessor it makes the sugar finer which makes a better merinque as the sugar disolves better into the egg whites making a firmer meringue and making it more stable as well
Interesting.. I'm already investigating options on food processors. I appreciate that tip about meringue, I did not know that.
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