Homemade Brown Sugar

Brown sugar adds wonderful flavor to many baked goods and savory dishes. It's always good to make sure you have enough of all the ingredients you will need before you start making a recipe, but if you find yourself without either light or dark brown sugar, there are ways to make them at home. Brown sugar is granulated sugar with molasses added; the darker the sugar, the more molasses and the stronger the flavor.1 Cup Light Brown SugarCombine 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses1 Cup Dark Brown SugarCombine 1 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup molassesSoftening Brown SugarWhen brown sugar is exposed to air it can solidify as it loses moisture and become very hard. You can prevent this by limiting brown sugar's exposure to air and dry conditions. Store it in the refrigerator or a cool, dark place in a nontransparent, airtight sealable container. If your sugar still becomes hard, here are a few ways to soften it.To Use the Brown Sugar Right Away1. Place brown sugar in a microwavable bowl.2. Drape with one or two damp paper towels.3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.4. Microwave on high for 10-second intervals until the sugar becomes soft.5. Break apart with a fork and use right away.To Use the Brown Sugar Later1. Cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap, and let sit overnight at room temperature.2. Place a wedge of apple or a slice of bread in the bag overnight. The sugar will absorb the moisture from these foods.ResourcesFor more baking tips and recipes, check out "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook."

Homemade Baking Powder

Makes about 1/3 cup.
1/4 cup cream of tartar
2 tablespoons baking soda
Sift both ingredients together into a small bowl; repeat process 2 more times. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 weeks; resift mixture before using.

Homemade Mustards
All of these mustards are made the same way; just substitute the ingredients you like best.
Each makes about 3 cups.
1/2 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup dark beer
1 1/4 cups white-wine vinegar
1 cup mustard powder, combined with 1 cup water (let sit 20 minutes)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup black mustard seeds
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons green peppercorns
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup black mustard seeds
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 1/4 cups white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons salt
In a nonreactive container, combine mustard seeds with alcohol (beer, wine, or sherry; according to recipe) and vinegar. Let sit 48 hours. Check periodically to make sure seeds are covered by liquid; add more if necessary.
Transfer seeds and liquid to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Process until seeds become creamy, 4 to 6 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 week before using to let the flavors develop. The mustard will keep for up to 1 month.

Emeril's Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
Use Emeril's homemade Worcestershire sauce in his Beef Tenderloin With Fresh Horseradish And Black-Pepper Crust recipe -- both have been adapted from "Emeril's Creole Christmas," written by Emeril Lagasse and Marcelle Bienvenu.
Makes 3 pints.
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chopped onions
4 jalapenos with stems and seeds, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 (2-ounce) cans anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 medium lemons, peeled and pith removed
4 cups dark corn syrup
2 cups Steen's 100 percent Pure Cane Syrup
8 cups distilled white vinegar
3/4 pound fresh horseradish, peeled and grated (about 3 cups)
In a large heavy stockpot set over high heat, combine oil, onions, and jalapenos. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, pepper, anchovies, cloves, salt, lemons, corn syrup, cane syrup, vinegar, 4 cups water, and horseradish; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture barely coats a wooden spoon, about 6 hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and let cool to room temperature. Use immediately or keep refrigerated indefinitely.
To store sauce at room temperature for future use, place 3 clean pint jars right side up on a rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the canner and jars with hot water, about 1 inch above the tops of jars. Boil jars over high heat for 10 minutes. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time, reserving hot water for processing filled jars. Place jars on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large saucepan filled with water, bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer, add clean lids and lid rings. Simmer for 10 minutes; do not boil, as this may cause problems in sealing jars. Drain lids and rings; set aside.
Ladle Worcestershire sauce into a jar up to the fill line. Repeat process with remaining jars. Put lids and rings on jars and tighten; do not over-tighten.
Reheat water in the canner until it reaches at least 180 degrees, within 10 minutes of filling the jars. Place filled jars into the canner one at a time, using a jar lifter that is securely positioned below the neck of the jar. Keep jars upright at all times.
Add more boiling water, if needed, so that water covers jars by at least 1 inch. Increase heat to high and cover. Once water begins boiling, heat jars for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and gently transfer jars to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and invert, spacing each jar at least 1 inch apart. Avoid placing jars on a cold surface or near a cold draft.
Let jars sit undisturbed until fully cooled, 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until jar has cooled completely.
Once jars have cooled completely, test to make sure each jar is completely sealed. Press down on the middle of the lid with a finger. If lid springs up when finger is released, the jar is unsealed. Store sealed jars in a cool place for at least 2 weeks. If any of the jars are unsealed, store in the refrigerator and use within several days. Always refrigerate sauce after opening.

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt
Makes 4 cups.
5 cups low-fat, whole, or skim milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt with active cultures
In a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan, heat milk, stirring frequently, over medium heat to 185 degrees. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees.
Place yogurt in a medium bowl. Using a whisk, gradually stir in cooled milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until smooth between additions. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, poking two or three holes for ventilation. Transfer to a warm place (about 90 degrees. until milk begins to thicken around edges and yogurt is set, about 5 hours.
Place bowl in refrigerator until completely chilled. Reserve at least 1/4 cup of this yogurt to begin next batch. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, the elderly, or anyone whose health is compromised.

Makes 1 cup.
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Wrap the outside and bottom of a 1-quart bowl in a damp towel to secure it in place on the work surface. Combine egg and salt with a large balloon whisk, mixing until foamy and pale. Whisking constantly, add oils a few drops at a time, and then in a steady stream as the mixture emulsifies. Add lemon juice; blend briefly. Add additional salt and lemon juice to taste. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

1 comment:

Karena said...

My brown sugar is always drying out...this will help. Thanks!

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