Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Cassonade

French

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 tan319

tan319
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,074 posts
  • Location:southwest usa

Posted 24 January 2005 - 07:28 PM

I have a new French pastry book where this product is all over the place.
A French friend of mine says " it's KIND of like brown sugar...
Can anybody elaborate?
Any info sincerely appreciated!
Thank you.

Edited by tan319, 24 January 2005 - 07:29 PM.

2317/5000

#2 artisanbaker

artisanbaker
  • participating member
  • 667 posts
  • Location:North America usually

Posted 24 January 2005 - 08:29 PM

kind of like a white sugar with a little impurities in it (mainly molasses). it's not like our brown sugar, as it's much more free flowing.

#3 Kareen

Kareen
  • participating member
  • 34 posts

Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:58 AM

I can't answer from a French point of view... but from a french-canadian point of view, brown sugar and cassonade are virtualy the same thing.

#4 Andy Lynes

Andy Lynes
  • participating member
  • 7,462 posts
  • Location:Brighton, UK

Posted 25 January 2005 - 09:06 AM

Here's what UK member The Greek had to say about the subject.

#5 David Lebovitz

David Lebovitz
  • participating member
  • 146 posts
  • Location:Paris

Posted 25 January 2005 - 12:25 PM

Much of the brown sugar sold in the US is not true 'brown sugar' but is white refined sugar that has a bit of raw sugar syrup added back, then centrifuged (or spun) to attach it uniformily to the crystals. That action fluffs up the crystals, which is why most often you need to pack it into a measuring cup, as indicated in recipes. Sometimes you can even rub the grains between your fingers and the brown coating comes off. During the 60's, often people advocating eating brown sugar instead of white sugar, believing it was better for you, when in fact it has marginally more nutritional value. C and H brand is a true brown sugar. Much of the sugar produced in the US, and in France, in beet sugar. In France, although a great deal of sugar beets are raised, cane sugar is more prized and packaging, such as yogurt, will often promote itself as containing 'cane' sugar.

True brown sugar (such as turbinado, demerara, and cassonade) are the unrefined grains/crystals of sugar, ie crystallized syrup from sugar cane.

The softer brands of cassonade (like Daddy) are not dried out like the more free-flowing brands, like Saint-Louis. (some US manufacturers have tried introducing 'free-flowing' brown sugar, which is dried to be free flowing and to prevent it from clumping together).

You can use cassonade like brown sugar in any recipe. The Daddy brand of soft, moist dark cassonade sugar is sublime, but for some reason, a bit more difficult to find. Auchan carries it.

Edited by David Lebovitz, 25 January 2005 - 12:27 PM.


#6 tan319

tan319
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,074 posts
  • Location:southwest usa

Posted 30 January 2005 - 11:26 AM

Thanks for your replies, for some reason notices aren't getting emailed to me even though I'm tracking the subject.
Anyways, what do you think are the chances of me finding it in the US?
Just for jollys?
Is there a shop in NYC for French food like, say. Myers of Kiswick is for UK foods?
Thanks for any info.
T
2317/5000

#7 mzimbeck

mzimbeck
  • participating member
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Paris

Posted 31 March 2005 - 06:10 AM

Thanks for your replies, for some reason notices aren't getting emailed to me even though I'm tracking the subject.
Anyways, what do you think are the chances of me finding it in the US?
Just for jollys?
Is there a shop in NYC for French food like, say. Myers of Kiswick is for UK foods?
Thanks for any info.
T

View Post


You can find turbinado sugar in the bulk section or baking section of most co-ops in the U.S. It's definately at Whole Foods. At coffee shops, you see it in those little brown packets called "Raw Sugar."

Good luck!
Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

#8 Susan G

Susan G
  • participating member
  • 867 posts
  • Location:New Mexico

Posted 31 March 2005 - 06:38 AM

Welcome to the forum, mzimbeck!

I thought turbinado was *unprocessed* sugar?

Edited by Susan G, 31 March 2005 - 06:39 AM.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

#9 mzimbeck

mzimbeck
  • participating member
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Paris

Posted 31 March 2005 - 07:05 AM

Welcome to the forum, mzimbeck!

I thought turbinado was *unprocessed* sugar?

View Post


Thanks!

I suppose it's all processed, since it doesn't drift off the cane in granular form. But I think turbinado is from the "first pressing," before they remove the molasses that, as David Lebovitz says in his posting, is subsequently put back in to make what Americans know as "brown sugar." Cassonade in France, as far as I can tell, is no different from the turbinado or "Raw Sugar" that I used in the States.

I've never substituted cassonade/turbinado in recipes that call for US-style brown sugar (like for the oatmeal brown sugar cookies I adore), but someone on this thread said it's fine so I'll give it a try.

Meg

Edited by mzimbeck, 31 March 2005 - 07:09 AM.

Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

#10 Ptipois

Ptipois
  • participating member
  • 1,616 posts

Posted 31 March 2005 - 07:49 AM

A complex question.
This is what I understand of the French unrefined sugar situation:

CANE SUGAR
Cassonade: partially refined cane sugar, medium-sized powder, more or less free-flowing according to the brands. Not a totally appropriate name though: it seems that cassonade, originally, is dried raw cane sugar. This one is lighter-colored. Turbinado sugar is rather close to cassonade. Color: light brown.

Sucre roux: similar to cassonade. May be free-flowing or pressed into rectangular rocks (or into squarish, irregular rocks, i.e. La Perruche sugar rocks).

Sucre brun: the name is not commonly used. Should be used though for raw cane sugar (sucre brut).

Sucre brut, sucre muscovado, sucre mélasse, sucre brun, vergeoise de canne: THAT is the real sucre brun, and sometimes it is called "cassonade". Identical to piloncillo, panela, cane jaggery. It is the raw cane sugar, i.e. evaporated cane juice, containing the molasses. Color: from medium brown to dark brown. Comes as as granulated mass, more or less moist. May be pressed into cakes.

The best qualities of sucres roux, bruns or cassonades may be found in health food stores and "épiceries fines". Sometimes Demerara sugar may also be found there.

BEET SUGAR
I won't mention the white refined versions, only the two local, interesting varieties:

Vergeoise blonde: raw powdered sugar, fine-textured and moist, not free-flowing, obtained from beets. Much used in the North of France and Belgium. Color: light brown.

Vergeoise brune: absolutely the same, only dark brown. Often, it is simply called "vergeoise".

To make things more complicated, brown cane sugar may sometimes be called "vergeoise de canne".

#11 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,312 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 31 March 2005 - 08:31 AM

I phoned a friend who is from France who does a lot of baking and asked her what she uses as a substitute for cassonade. She says the brown sugar we get here is not the same. She will use turbinado in a pinch, but prefers to get a "cone" of jaggery and grates it off the cone with a fine wood rasp to get the granular structure that is her preference, i.e. uneven granules.
She buys the jaggery at an Indian market. She says it has a lot of flavor, not just the sweetness and contains a lot of minerals that contribute to the "wholeness" of it.
She says that cassonade in a recipe is intended to add texture and subtle flavor, not just sweeten it.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: French