I am sharing on this page, my true and tried homemade golden syrup recipe that is not only easy to make but also super delicious.
There are many dessert recipes out there that call for the use of golden syrup. While you can find golden syrup in most groceries or baking supplies stores, its never the same as making your own golden syrup. One thing for sure, you save quite a bit of money by making your own, and not to forget the freshness and exclusiveness of it being made at home, with all the TLC.
What is Golden Syrup?
I do not quite know why golden syrup is called as such, but I believe it could be from its color. Golden syrup is form of inverted sugar syrup made in the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into sugar, or by treatment of a sugar solution with acid (source: Wikipedia).
This syrup is commonly used in a range of baked goods and also desserts and has a deep golden due to it (or amber), similar to honey and maple syrup. Depending on the recipe, golden syrup can be used to replace honey and maple syrup.
Difference between golden syrup, honey, corn syrup and maple syrup
Golden syrup has a deep golden hue to it (or amber), similar to honey and maple syrup. While all three might look the same, the difference is definitely noticeable in the taste. Honey has a more intense taste while maple syrup is normally a little lighter. The golden syrup, on the other hand, has a slightly caramelized and tangy taste to it while corn syrup is clear and sweet.
The main difference between all these syrups lies in the ingredients used to make them. Golden syrup is a sugar solution thickened with lemon juice. Honey, on the other hand, is derived naturally from bees, while corn syrup is made from the starch of corn and maple syrup from sugar maple trees.
Some of these syrups have geographical origins too. Golden syrup is more widely used in the UK and Europe while maple syrup in North America. Corn syrup is more widely used for commercial purposes and is generally cheaper. Honey, on the other hand, though available in almost all regions can be costly due to it being derived from natural sources. Hence you will often find recipes that originate from the UK use golden syrup but not maple syrup. And similarly, recipes from the US often hardly ever use golden syrup but are more inclined towards maple syrup or honey.
On a general note, though you may be able to substitute these syrups with one or the other, you need to be aware that the final results might not be exactly as it is intended to be unless the recipe clearly provides so.
And since golden syrup is vegan, it is definitely a great substitute for honey.
Difference between golden syrup, treacle, and molasses
Unlike the above, golden syrup, treacle, and molasses are somewhat similar in that they are all made using sugar.
In can also be generally concluded that molasses and treacle are essentially the same with molasses being used more widely in the US while treacle in the UK. They are both a more caramelized version of golden syrup and therefore have a more intense caramel taste as compared to golden syrup. Light treacle is the same as golden syrup and can be substituted accordingly.
How long does this syrup last?
The good thing about golden syrup is its generally long shelf life. It keeps very well in a cool, dark place in our pantry and can be easily kept for about a year.
The syrup can also be refrigerated for longer shelf life. I have not personally tried keeping my homemade golden syrup for longer than a year. This syrup is so easy to make, you can even make it instantly when you need to use it. Hence, it is probably easier to make the golden syrup in smaller batches and remake as your stock depletes.
How to Make Homemade Golden Syrup
Here is my video on how to make your own homemade golden syrup:
There are only 3 ingredients required to make golden syrup:
- White sugar
The proportion of white sugar to water is 2:1 which means for every one part water, you need to add 2 parts of sugar. As for the lemon, a thin slice is sufficient for a reasonably large batch of syrup, unless of course you prefer the syrup to have a more intense lemon taste to it. The purpose of adding the lemon is not so much for the taste but more for preventing the sugar from crystallizing. So you get the idea. I have come across recipes that require lemon juice to be added into the syrup but I find popping a slice of lemon in is all that is needed for perfect homemade golden syrup.
You can make golden syrup in 2 different methods:
The first method, which is also the most common one you will find on the internet when you search for a homemade golden syrup recipe requires the syrup to be prepared in 2 parts. The first part involves caramelizing a small part of the sugar in the recipe with very little water. Once the sugar turns into deep amber, the remain sugar and water is added in. The solution is then heated again over very low flames until it reaches the desired thickness.
The second method, which is what I always use is a simplified version of the above method. Instead of dividing the sugar and water into 2 parts and boiling them in 2 stages, I do it all at once.
- I begin by adding all my sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and then add all the water to it. I stir it over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved
- Toss in a lemon slice. I continue to cook the syrup over a very low flame until the syrup gradually turns amber.
- At this point, the lemon slice becomes transparent. I then remove the lemon slice
- Let the syrup cool down to room temperature before straining and storing it in a jar.
I have also come across a few recipes which require absolutely no stirring during the caramelizing process to prevent sugar crystallization. I always stir mine (though not too often) and have never had the problem of crystallization, which I believe is solved by adding a lemon slice into the syrup.
Sugar caramelization can be a bit tricky. Once the sugar starts to brown, it can really happen very quickly. At one point, you will have a very light golden syrup, and the next minute, you can end up with overly darkened syrup. The key is too keep the fire very low and keep watching the syrup.
How to Check is the Syrup is Done
If you have never made golden syrup, deciding when to remove the syrup from heat can be a bit tricky. This is because the syrup is very runny when its hot and get pretty thick once it reaches room temperature. So, if you keep your syrup on the heat until it thickens to honey-like consistency, you will end up with hard candy once it has cooled down.
There are 2 ways in which you can check if the syrup is done.
- One is by using a candy thermometer. Once the sugar temperature reaches between 230 degrees F to 240 degrees F, you can remove it from the heat. If you do not have a candy thermometer, the best way to gauge if the syrup is done is by observing its color. Once it turns light amber, and the lemon turns transparent, remove the syrup from heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
- The other way is to remove the syrup from heat once it reaches the softball stage (pour a few drops of the syrup in a bowl filled with water and try to push the syrup with your fingers. If it melts away, you need to cook it longer. If the syrup does not readily dissolve and forms a softball in the water, that means it is ready and can be removed from heat).
If, after the syrup has cooled down to room temperature and is still a bit too runny, you can always return it to the heat and let it thicken for a few minutes.
On the other hand, if you find that your syrup is overcooked that it has turned too thick, you can always add a little boiling water to it and reboil the syrup. As soon as the syrup starts to boil, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
Quick Easy Homemade Golden Syrup Recipe
Homemade Golden Syrup
- 500 g Sugar
- 250 ml Water
- A slice of lemon
- Measure sugar and water in separate containers. Cut a thin slice of lemon.
- Place the sugar in a deep pan and add water to it. Stir both ingredients on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add in the lemon slice and reduce the heat to a very low flame. Let the syrup boil and thicken over the low heat until the lemon has turned transparent and the syrup starts to change its color to a light amber tone.
- Remove the syrup from heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Remove the lemon slice and strain the syrup into a clean jar to remove any residual lemon pulp in it.
- The syrup will still appear runny when you remove it from the heat and will thicken after it has cooled down.
- If, after the syrup has cooled down to room temperature and is still a bit too runny, you can always return it to the heat and let it thicken for a few minutes.
- On the other hand, if you find that your syrup is overcooked that it has turned too thick, you can always add a little boiling water to it and reboil the syrup. As soon as the syrup starts to boil, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
And that’s pretty much my homemade golden syrup recipe for you.
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