Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Homemade Flavored Sugar Cubes

When I saw this beautiful picture of champagne with flavored sugar cubes on the Martha Stewart Weddings website, I knew I had to give it a try. My first couple of attempts at flavored sugar cubes was a disaster. My original idea was to reduce pomegranate juice to a thick syrup, cool and pour the syrup over premade sugar cubes. That attempt resulted in a sticky mess of sugar lumps. Next I though I would try a drop of candy flavoring and a drop of food coloring on the premade sugar cubes. The result was again a mess of sugar lumps. Giving up on my own ideas, I turned to Google for help and found this post from Always Order Dessert. I discovered that my problem was starting with already formed sugar cubes which fell apart every time I tried flavoring them. Armed with this new found knowledge, I purchased several of these silicone fruit ice cube molds from Wilton and successfully made strawberry, orange slice, and lemon wedge sugar cubes. You can use these sugar cubes to flavor anything you would use regular sugar for such as coffee, tea, or your breakfast oatmeal. I stuck with my original inspiration and used the cubes in tall glasses of champagne. 

Homemade Flavored Sugar Cubes
recipe adapted from Always Order Dessert

½ cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon extract of your choice (I used strawberry, lemon, and orange)
3-6 drops food coloring of your choice (I used red, yellow, and orange)

Pour the sugar into a large bowl. In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, combine the extract and food coloring. Pour the mixture into the sugar and stir thoroughly until evenly combined. The texture should feel and look like wet sand. If the mixture is too wet, add granulated sugar by the teaspoon until the texture is right, if it is too dry, add a bit of water.

To make molded cubes: pack the wet sugar mixture tightly into your silicone ice cube trays and let the sugar dry for 30 minute. Gently remove the cubes from the try by turning the tray upside down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow the sugar cubes to finish drying. The drying time will depend on how wet your sugar is and how much humidity is in the air. When cubes are completely dry you should be able to squeeze them gently without it falling apart. Repeat with the remaining sugar.

Store the completely dried sugar cubes in an air-tight container.