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Golden Syrup Substitute

Asked by DeniseS. Answered on 17th January 2012

Full question

Nigella's recipe for the salted caramel sauce calls for golden syrup. Is that light corn syrup or light molasses?

I live near Cancun (Mexico), and have searched for an adequate substitute for golden syrup. The only things I can find are either maple syrup or syrup of maiz. Can you tell me if these would work as substitutes?

Our answer

Golden syrup is made from sugar cane and is a natural by product of the cane sugar refining process. It can also be made from sugar beet by adding an acid or an enzyme but the cane variety is the most common type seen in stores. It has a fairy thick treacle-like consistency but lacks the molasses falvour of treacel and is a good sweetener. It is useful in baking as it is an invert sugar so does not cryastallize and if added to baked goods it will tend to make them more moist.

Lyle's golden syrup is probably the best known brand globally and is available in many places. If it is not available the the next closest comparative is light corn syrup (syrup of maiz). Corn syrup is slightly thinner than golden syrup though generally we have found that you can substitute corn syrup for golden syrup without having to change the quantities. If you are making gingerbread cake then you can also use dark corn syrup if you prefer. Maple syrup and honey both have quite distinct tastes and are more expensice than corn syrup so are not the best substitutes for golden syrup.

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