It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, but sometimes abundance plays a part in the process, too. I was furious at myself a few months ago when I needed brown sugar to make waffles but didn’t have any on hand. I knew that brown sugar was just sugar blended with molasses, but I thought that there must be more to the process for sure. Luckily for me, that isn’t the case. It really is super simple to make your own brown sugar.
But then I started thinking: why stop there? I had an abundance of dried Candy Cap mushrooms on hand that weren’t doing anything, so I ground some of those into a powder and added it to the mix. The result isn’t only the best, freshest and most intense brown sugar I’ve ever had in my life, but the maple earthiness of the Candy Caps were a natural partner for the deep, rich tones of the molasses. Use it in lieu of regular brown sugar in any number of baked goods, waffles/pancakes, sauces, cocktails or do what I do: use a tablespoon to punch up a glass of your morning coffee.
Sea Ranch Brown SugarDifficulty: Easy
1 cup raw cane or granulated sugar
1-4 tablespoons of molasses (less for lite brown and more for dark, but don’t use Blackstrap!)
3 tablespoons dried Candy Cap Mushroom powder
- Add all of your ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well blended, occasionally stopping to scrap down the sides of the bowl. Or, if you’re a glutton for punishment: add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and vigorously stir with a fork until well combined (but really now, while mixing it by hand is totally doable, it takes forever and is kind of a pain.)
- Use immediately, storing the remainder in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Stored properly, your sugar should last at least a few weeks before loosing its freshness.
- Unfortunately, Candy Cap mushrooms only grow in the Western areas of the country, so you might have to search online to find some. I would recommend starting with the fine folks at Far West Fungi but other online retailers will carry them, too. Worst case scenario: you skip the Candy Caps altogether and you’ll still end up with some of the best brown sugar you’ve ever had in your life.