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Difference Between Regular Sugar And Icing Sugar

Asked by foram. Answered on 15th April 2016

Full question

I just have the normal sugar and I've read we need to have icing sugar in the no bake Nutella Cheesecake. Can you please explain the difference to me?

Our answer

There are several different types of sugar, but the most commonly used ones in baking and desserts are caster/granulated sugar and icing sugar (also called confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar). In the UK granulated sugar can be quite coarse so the finer-grained caster sugar is used in baking as the smaller granules dissolve more quickly. In many other countries the regular granulated sugar is fine enough to be used in most baking.

Icing sugar is very finely ground white sugar. It is ground to a powder and commercial varieties often have small amounts of cornflour (cornstarch) or another anti-caking agent added to stop it forming into clumps. This sugar dissolves instantly and is used in glace icings, simple buttercreams and some meringues. It is also often sprinkled or dusted over desserts just before serving for an attractive presentation. Icing sugar can usually be bought in most supermarkets but if it is difficult to find then you can grind regular sugar down to a fine powder in a food procesor or a clean coffee grinder.

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