The Corn Syrup Swap That'll Add A Buttery Taste To Homemade Treats

If you've ever looked at the ingredients on the back of packaged sweets, syrups, and frostings, corn syrup is probably on the list. High fructose corn syrup is a cheaper, more durable alternative than cane sugar with the same sweet profile. Corn syrup may be acceptable for packaged food, but golden syrup is the corn syrup swap that will sweeten and enhance homemade desserts with a luxuriously buttery taste.

A popular sweetener in the UK where it originated, golden syrup is a byproduct of sugar refinery. In the U.S., we're familiar with the darker, less refined sugar cane product known as molasses. Also known as light treacle, golden syrup is the residual sugar syrup left over after converting sugar cane juice to sugar crystals. Molasses and dark treacle are cruder versions that are more bitter than they are sweet. In contrast, golden syrup is ultra-sweet and thick like honey, with a distinctly buttery finish.

Most golden syrup brands are British imports that you can find online and at national grocers like Walmart. A lighter form of golden syrup called cane syrup is another widely available sweetener in the U.S. However, you can make golden syrup by effectively reversing the refinery process; You essentially make a simple syrup, boiling refined sugar in water until it reaches a thicker consistency and amber hue. Heating sugar in the water caramelizes it, resulting in that characteristic buttery taste.

Best recipes for golden syrup

While golden syrup is thicker than corn syrup, you can still use a one-to-one ratio when using golden syrup as a corn syrup substitute in recipes. A buttery sweetener would work especially well in dairy-laden desserts and caramels. Golden syrup is the primary sweetener in treacle tart, a classic British pie in a rich buttery pastry crust filled with lemon-infused syrup and heavy cream.

You can use golden syrup to make caramel sauce, caramel chews, or any type of nut brittle. Buttery, creamy toffee would benefit from a blend of golden syrup and brown sugar. The buttery sweet taste of golden syrup would pair well with cream, nut, and butter-based pie fillings, from butter tarts to chocolate cream pie, to pecan pie. It'll also stand up to bold flavors like chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove.

You can make golden syrup the star ingredient by baking it into a sweet bread or pound cake, with eggs, butter, milk, and flour. A lemon or lime glaze would complement the sweetness of a golden syrup cake with some much-needed tanginess. You can also add lemon juice or peel to homemade golden syrup.