||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the English-speaking world and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (July 2012)|
confectioner's sugar or icing sugar, is very fine sugar which contains a small amount of anti-caking agent. It is made by milling normal granulated sugar into a powdered state. Although most often produced in a factory, it can also be made by putting normal sugar in a coffee grinder, or crushing it by hand in a mortar and pestle.
In industrial food production, it is used where a quick dissolving sugar is required. Domestically, it is principally used to make icing or frosting and other cake decorations. It is often lightly dusted onto baked goods to add a light sweetness and subtle decoration.
Powdered sugar is available in different degrees of fineness, most commonly XXX, XXXX, and 10X, with more Xs indicating finer grains. Powdered sugar is generally mixed with corn starch, wheat flour, or calcium phosphate to improve its flowing ability, and thus it is not generally used to sweeten beverages. Industrial grades without these additives are available. However, icing sugar in the UK does not have cornstarch or wheat flour added.
Caster sugar (also referred to as superfine or baker's sugar) has a larger particle size, up to approximately half that of granulated sugar.
Snow powder (or snow sugar) is a non-melting form of icing sugar usually consisting of dextrose, starch and anti-binding agents, useful for retaining its structure when dusted onto cakes or pastries that require refrigeration. It is mostly used for decorative purposes.
- "The Crushing Difference Between Granulated & Confectioners' Sugar". O Chef. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
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