Granulated Maple Sugar and Maple Sugar Nuggets

30 Mar

You’ll need maple sugar and nuggets to make Martin Picard’s chocolate bars, both for the nougat and the chocolate crisp. Half this recipe is enough; however maple sugar is an excellent all-natural sweetener to have in the house for sweetening things like yoghurt, custard, baked beans and your morning latte.

1 L (4 cups) maple syrup

1. In a saucepan, heat the maple syrup over high heat until it reaches 124.5 C (256 F). Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath large enough to hold the saucepan.

2. When the syrup reaches the specified temperature, remove the saucepan from the heat and place it on a raised rack to let cool air circulate all around it. Let the saucepan sit at room temperature for 60 – 90 seconds without stirring the syrup.

3. Place the saucepan in the ice bath for 1 minute to help start the crystallization.

4. Gently stir the syrup in a circular motion using a wooden spatula, working the mass toward the centre. This allows the developing crystals to spread through the syrup. Make sure you scrape the sides and the bottom of the saucepan well, because that is where the crystallization starts. (For larger quantities of maple sugar, you can use a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment).

5. As the mass becomes opaque, stir a bit faster–but not too fast–until the texture is similar to granular, moist brown sugar.  (Mix on low speed if using a stand mixer)

6. When you have the right texture, spread the sugar on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set it aside until completely cooled. It’s best to let the sugar dry for a full day at room temperature. Do not put the sugar in the fridge, where it would absorb moisture.

7. When the sugar is completely cooled, sift to separate the sugar from the maple nuggets. Reduce sugar to fine sugar in a food processor.

Storage: The sugar will keep 4 or 5 months in an airtight container at room temperature.

Adapted from Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack, by Martin Picard.

Note: Use a very large saucepan, as the syrup bubbles up a lot. Make sure yours has a heavy base for even heat distribution. And you’ll need a candy thermometer!

One Response to “Granulated Maple Sugar and Maple Sugar Nuggets”

  1. Philip H Judd May 4th, 2012 at 1:14 PM #

    I already have a Reader’s subscription.

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