India Tree Dark Muscovado Sugar is an unrefined cane sugar. The so-called unrefined sugars, are in fact partially refined in cane growing countries, in Sugar Mills, which are always located close to cane fields. Historically, they have been produced in small batches around the world using hundreds of years old know-how, and so, are known as traditional artisan brown sugars. The refining process used vary with the manufacturer, but a typical unrefined cane sugar is not centrifuged to remove the original cane molasses following crystallization.
Learn more about unrefined sugars in a previous post titled What is Unrefined Sugar, Anyway?
To compare cane sugars, read this Cane Sugar: Unrefined, Raw & Refined
Read about muscovado and a variety of other brown sugars here: What is Brown Sugar?
Brand: India Tree
Ingredient: Cane Sugar
Product of: Mauritius, a volcanic island off the southeast coast of Africa
Type of sugar: Unrefined cane sugar with about 10% molasses
What Sugar Is It?
88-92% sucrose, max 4% invert sugar (glucose & fructose)
Max 4% water, 1% minerals & protein, 3% other trace substances
Crystals size: 0.3 to 0.4 mm
Same calories as table sugar (which contains 99.95%)
4 calories per g
16 calories per teaspoon (4g)
48 calories per tablespoon
900 calories per cup
Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 100g of dark muscovado = 348 calories; 95g total carbohydrates; 710 mg potassium; 12.5 mg phosphorus; 86.6 mg sodium; 2.03 mg Iron
Taste & Appearance
Same sweetness as table sugar and strong, lingering molasses flavor; with chocolate and tropical fruit overtones
Slightly coarser than most widely available brown sugars; retains the original cane molasses, which results in moist, sticky, very dark sugar crystals, that feels like wet sand
Has small firm dark clumps of syrup coated sugar crystals; different batches of muscovado may have slight differences in color and flavor (refer to images below).
Certifications & Special Diets
Non-GMO Project Verified (Note: All cane sugars are non-GMO)
Fair Trade Certified
Kosher Certified (Note: all sugars are considered Kosher)
Suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and Halal
For tips, read this: The Right Way to Measure Brown Sugars
1 cup of India Tree dark muscovado (firmly packed) = 227g = 8oz
1 unpacked cup of dark muscovado weighs about 2 ounces less than a cup that is packed
Use in recipes calling for dark brown sugar
Can be substituted by table sugar in recipes; use an equal amount of firmly packed measure of muscovado & slightly reduce liquid content by 1 to 2 Tbsp
Store tightly closed in a cool dry place indefinitely
If it hardens, place muscovado in a bowl, cover with a wet cloth, and leave overnight
If it cakes, add a slice of apple or lettuce leaf to the pail, till it absorbs the moisture back
Read my previous blog post: 5 Best Ways To Soften Brown Sugar
Its strong, lingering molasses flavor goes well with other rich flavors (gingerbread, coffee, chocolate cakes, and fudge)
Adds a rich molasses flavor to beverages, baked goods, and savory dishes
Goes well with whole grains, vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, cinnamon, and ginger
In coffee, on hot cereals, and over French toast
Use to flavor ice cream, hot chocolate, granola bars, and cinnamon rolls
Adds depth to rib rubs, barbecue sauces, beef stews, and hot chili
Cookbooks with Muscovado
Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean is 700 square miles, 40% of which is planted with cane. Mauritius sugar is certified as Fair Trade and is cultivated on a combination of large family-owned plantations and small farms.
The entire sugar industry on Mauritius is highly regulated, being overseen by the government and the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate. Every mill has its own laboratory and quality controls are strictly enforced.
No pesticides are used. Only herbicides are applied to the cane before it is planted. Efficient irrigation systems have been devised to save water.
The two mills that India Tree buys from - Belle Vue Mill in the north & Deep River Beau Champ on the east coast - are highly mechanized. Every part of the cane plant is put to good use. Nothing is wasted.
The leaves are used for thatching roofs or covering the fields after harvesting to conserve moisture. The bagasse (fiber left after cane juice in extracted) is burned for fuel. The scum from the purifying of the sugar is used as fertilizer.
The vapor produced in the evaporation process generates energy needed to process the sugar and the excess is sold to the national grid accounting for almost half of the island's energy need.
Cane is harvested from September through December. Then the rains arrive and the cyclone season begins. During harvest, the narrow roads are clogged with trucks, large and small, full of cut cane, on their way to the mill.
The cane is cut into small pieces and crushed to extract the juice. Impurities (which are residues naturally present in the plant and soil) are removed from the juice by adding lime or calcium to the juice. Lime and calcium bond with phosphate and other undesirable elements to form a scum which is removed by a skimming process.
The remaining syrup is heated, the water is evaporated and sugar crystals form. A series of evaporators contains sugar at a different stage of refinement.
The first sugar to be produced in the evaporation process is demerara. The second is light muscovado, and the last is dark muscovado. The dark sugars contain the most molasses.
Once the sugar has reached the desired stage, dark muscovado, light muscovado, and demerara are spinned in a turbine to separate the crystals, then into a dryer.
Canister 2.8 lb
Sourced & Distributed
By India Tree Gourmet Spices & Specialties, Seattle, WA
Sells a variety of cane sugars such as demerara sugar, light muscovado, white sugar cubes, brown sugar cubes, fondant & icing sugar, caster sugar, and decoratives sugars.
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