Invert sugar also known as trimoline is a sugar that is sweet with a thick and viscous texture. Invert sugar is used by professional bakers and pastry chefs plus it is a useful ingredient for preventing crystallization. It gives ice cream and sorbet a pleasant creamy texture plus it can be applied to smooth ganache and candy. It is also used on cookies for gaining a chewy and moist crumb and for a longer shelf life. At home people are becoming more adventurous with their use of ingredients, and products such as invert sugar are popping up in more recipes. It is important to note that invert sugar is used in recipes as more than just a sweetener. Its combination of fructose and glucose make it much more effective at absorbing moisture than regular sugar. It also has a much higher relative sweetness than most of the everyday sugars. However, if you do not have invert sugar in your kitchen or cannot find some in your regular supermarket there are some alternatives you can consider.
Liquid honey is one of our best substitutes for invert sugar. It has a similar consistency to invert sugar plus it is an excellent substitute for any application where invert sugar is used. Liquid honey is essentially a man-made version of honey, only that it does not have the extras that give honey its uniqueness. One of the major differences with honey and invert sugar is its flavour. While invert sugar is flavourless, honey incorporates a fruity, spicy, and herbal notes which vary depending on its type. Some recipes will include ingredients that overwhelm the taste of honey, but if you’re working with subtle ingredients, honey may not be your best option. However, liquid honey can be used in almost any dish that requires invert sugar.
Another good substitute for invert sugar is glucose syrup. Glucose syrup can reduce sugar crystallization significantly in syrups and confectioneries. It is one of your best alternatives when it comes to replacing invert sugar. It is good for making fudge, taffy, ice cream, and ganache. Glucose syrup also has a relative sweetness which is comparable to invert sugar so you can use similar ratios as you would the original ingredient. Although this replacement is a useful sweetener, remember that glucose syrup will not always mimic invert sugar well in every recipe. You may need to experiment with what works and what does not work but you can use the ingredient in almost any recipe that requires invert sugar.
Also on our list of alternatives that are suitable for invert sugar is molasses. Molasses is a product of refined sugar beets or sugarcane. It is a great option for adding a delicious texture to dark bread, cookie batter, and pie filling. It can also add aroma and colour to your food plus you can add it to almost any recipe that requires invert sugar. Keep in mind that not every dish works well with molasses although most recipes will work just fine. Molasses is also relatively available and also an affordable substitute you can use in place of invert sugar.
Another great alternative that you can consider in place of invert sugar is brown sugar. Brown sugar also contains molasses which gives it a distinctive shade of brown to your recipe. It is a sucrose-based product that also contains invert sugar. As such brown sugar makes an ideal option for producing soft, chewy baked goods. However, it will not work very well in ice creams as its different colour is not suitable for many flavours, for this reason, you can use honey or glucose syrup for ice cream in place of invert sugar.
Corn syrup is another great substitute for invert sugar you can consider. It is a sweetener that comes from processed corn cobs and behaves in a similar way to invert sugar. You can use corn syrup in making smooth sorbet and ice cream. It is also a great option for improving candies, jellies, and sweets. In baking, corn syrup provides moisture and sweetness, although it is much less intense than invert sugar. Baked goods like brioche and Madeleines gain increased moistness and a more tender crumb when corn syrup is added plus you can use corn syrup in almost any recipe that requires invert sugar.
Home Made Invert Sugar
Lastly, if you have time as well as the right ingredients you can make your own invert sugar. Invert sugar is fifty percent sucrose, twenty five percent fructose, and twenty five percent glucose. You can make your own invert sugar at home, it is easy to make your own version by simply following these steps.
You will need;
- two cups of water
- About four cups extra-fine granulated sugar
- A quarter teaspoon of citric acid
- First add all your ingredients to a large pot and stir them occasionally over a medium-high heat until the pot starts boiling,
- Use a pastry brush dipped in water to clean away any sugar crystals on the inside of your saucepan.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let the solution boil without stirring until it reaches about 236°F (114°C).
- Remove your pot from the stovetop and allow it to cool.
- Transfer your home made invert sugar in an airtight container. You can refrigerate it for about 6 to 12 months.
Invert sugar is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, whether it is meant for commercial or at-home use. Invert sugar does a great job for improving the texture in a range of a lot of baked goods, desserts, and confectioneries. However, If you do not have some invert sugar in your kitchen then liquid honey or glucose syrup among other alternatives already mentioned can be great substitutes. Molasses, brown sugar, and corn syrup are also suitable for so many recipes as a substitute for invert sugar, however keep in mind that they have characteristics which may not work in some recipes.