You Can Make: Sugar Cubes?

Now that we’re British tea drinkers, (we went to England, which makes it so.) and take our tea with milk and sugar, we (I) feel like we’re missing something. Hubbs and I ask each other, in our best British accents if the other would like “one lump or two?” before stirring a spoonful of sugar in the tea — the trouble is that a teaspoonful of sugar is just not nearly as fancy as an actual lump of sugar. Yes, I could get a box of diorama-style generic white sugar cubes. But they’re just… so…. square.

What I like are the fancy brown and white rustic looking lumps of sugar. I’m pretty sure that will complete the tea drinking experience. I did find some, but they were $15 a bag (yah right!!).

So I did the next best thing – learned to make them myself. And it only takes about 15 minutes of effort. Here’s what to do:

Sugar: Put 2 cups of sugar in a bowl. This is the fun place to play around, since there’s so much variety in the colors and textures of sugar available. Look in the bulk aisle of your Whole Foods or natural food store to find the larger grained “sparkly” (not the official name) sugar. I think you could use just about any type.

Water: Mix in 2 T water, and stir till all the sugar is moistened. It should look and feel like wet sand.

Shape: I wanted rustic and irregular looking sugar, so I put a plastic baggie over my hand, grabbed a small bit of sugar (maybe 1.5 teaspoon sized?) and squeezed it tight. Then I set it on waxed paper to dry. As you can see from the picture, the sugar holds together fairly well, but once they’re set out, don’t try to move them till they’re dry. It took me about 15 minutes to get through forming all the sugar. Not too bad.

(This is an area to explore in the future also, since you can use a sugar molds to make fun shapes. I don’t have one of these molds, but will be looking!)

Dry: Leave overnight to dry. In the morning, they were surprisingly sturdy, and made a nice solid clink sound as I poured them into a bowl, instead of the shatter/breaking sound I kind of expected. Put your dried sugar cubes into a bowl and you’re ready for tea!

One idea to make them last longer:

At tea (in San Francisco) we opened the sugar bowl to find a few decorative sugars mixed into plain sugar. This way we got the effect of fun sugar, but didn’t use them all up in one sitting.

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