A guaranteed success.
This recipe is essential if we want to step up our pastry-making and baking skills.* We’ll prepare it and keep it in the refrigerator, appropriately covered. It won’t keep forever, but it keeps very nicely for months and months.
First let’s explore the how and why. First we should know what happens to the sugar in order for it to become inverted sugar syrup, and our best friend in any sweet-toothed recipe. The sugar undergoes a chemical reaction between a molecule of water and another molecule, in which the water molecule divides and its atoms change their chemical make-up. This reaction is important because of the many cases in which the water acts as a solvent. Now that we know what happens, let’s go over the recipe to put it into context.
Inverted Sugar Syrup is a mix of fructose and glucose, and it is obtained through the hydrolysis of sucrose. This can be achieved in various ways, but we’re going to do this by introducing citric acid to the sugar syrup at a high temperature. Then we’ll neutralize the pH with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) once at about 70 degrees C.
What is inverted sugar syrup used for? Mainly, for three things, first to accelerate the fermentation process in dough with yeast, and to stabilize the dough, second, it greatly prevents the formation of crystals in ice cream recipes, and third it has a higher level of sweetness. It seems worth the effort to prepare it now, doesn’t it?
In bread recipes, inverted sugar syrup replaces regular sugar and you only need 50% of the required amount. In pastries, 20-30%, and in ice cream, about 25%.
In a casserole pot, that the flames reach but don`t surround (so we don’t caramelize the drops of sugar as they boil) heat the water. When it starts to get hot, add the sugar and stir continuously. Once the temperature reaches 100 degrees C, take off heat and add the citric acid, stir well and let the syrup cool to 60-70 degrees C; then add the baking soda and stir until well-mixed. Let the mix rest, and then we have our inverted sugar syrup. Duly covered in the fridge, this will last for a long time.