Q: What is turbinado sugar, and can you suggest a substitute?
A: Turbinado sugar originates from the US, with some of the trendier American cookbooks now using it in their baking recipes. Turbinado sugar looks and tastes similar to a light brown sugar, but with larger and crunchier crystals. Despite having "Sugar in the Raw" as one of its brand names, turbinado is more refined than raw sugar. It's hard to track down in New Zealand stores, but in most cases you can substitute it with brown or demerara sugar.
Q: If a recipe calls for vegetable stock, is it okay to use cooking water drained from vegetables?
A: Usually, but be aware how much salt has been added, and note that potato water makes cloudy stock. It's easy enough to make fresh vegetable stock: Slice a large onion, 2 celery stalks and 1 or 2 carrots, place in a large saucepan along with a few peppercorns, some fresh parsley and a bay leaf. Add 4 cups cold water, bring to the boil and simmer 30 minutes.
Strain and use as required.
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