Sugar Talk Sugar Talk
Wintertime applications of golden syrup
Golden syrup is one of the most widely-used sugar products across the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Its popularity means it has distinct applications across the four seasons. In this blog, we explore the golden elixir’s wintertime applications from both a traditional and modern perspective, explaining how its unique flavour and extensive functional properties enhance production.
Traditional applications in breakfast markets
Golden syrup’s amber appearance and unique mellow flavour make it the ideal condiment for a warming breakfast on a cold winter morning. From a consumer’s perspective in the UK, it brightens porridge’s bland colour while developing the cereal’s savoury flavour, releasing an instant energy to the body to complement the cereal’s slow release of energy. More popular across the Atlantic in North America, consumers often drizzle golden syrup on breakfast pancakes, with the syrup providing balance to the saltiness of bacon or tartness of the fruit that usually partners the dish.
Drizzling the golden elixir on American-style pancakes.
In these applications, golden syrup’s functional qualities prevent it from crystallising, which means it can be stored and used as needed. This allows consumers to buy the product from supermarkets and use it over a longer duration of time. Artisanal food services, such as cafes, are more likely to buy golden syrup in larger volumes from wholesalers and decant the syrup into smaller pots for customers.
Modern applications in breakfast markets
In recent years, convenience breakfasts have become particularly popular in the UK as today’s consumers often want easier, faster options that travel well and can be eaten at their desks. As a result, golden syrup has a subtly different application in breakfast markets as single-portion pots or sachets of porridge that are easily prepared with hot water or microwaved milk.
For these quick and simple porridge packs, golden syrup is one of the most popular flavours and comes pre-mixed in the porridge oat sachets. So, while the golden elixir may be a 138-year-old formulation, its unique and much-adored flavour means it continues to be used in new and creative ways.
Traditional applications in bakery markets
Golden syrup’s flavour profile, and its ability to withstand high baking temperatures, mean it is a highly popular sugar ingredient in winter baking in the UK – for industrial, artisanal and domestic purposes.
Treacle tarts and syrup sponge puddings are two of the most popular applications of golden syrup in the winter season. Both desserts are favoured in the winter months because of their warming qualities, which are principally developed by the caramelised taste of the golden elixir.
Golden syrup’s unique caramelised flavour and diverse range of functional properties make it an ideal ingredient for winter baking.
In terms of golden syrup’s functional qualities, artisanal bakers take advantage of golden syrup’s natural shine and amber colour to craft appetising appearances for these desserts while industrial bakers rely on their humectant properties to prevent microbial spoilage, meaning their end products have a longer shelf life.
Modern takes on traditional applications in vegan markets
Vegan diets are primarily plant-based but also depend on viable substitutes to products produced through the involvement of animals. This is where golden syrup plays an important role – it is often used as a substitute for honey. Indeed, when first formulating golden syrup, our founder, Charles Eastick was aiming to create a sugar product that would replicate some of honey’s qualities, such as its colour and flavour. In addition, he later adjusted the formulation of golden syrup in the Second World War when honey was not widely available to the public at large.
So, using golden syrup as a honey alternative is not a new concept. However, it now has a growing application in the winter months because of the Veganuary campaign, which is the pledge to undertake a vegan diet for the 31 days of January. The campaign’s 500,000 sign-ups this year is a new record, serving to underline the growing role that Veganism is playing in British life.
As a result, vegan alternatives are now a key target market for many industrial food and beverage manufacturers, who are consequently investing significant sums into golden syrup-based new product development, such as vegan cereals and sauces.