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Maybe it's because I'm Belgian and grew up with the Graeffe brown sugar, but I've always found it superior to the hard/crystalline brown sugar you find in stores in the US. Is there a brand close to the Graeffe one that comes close or do I have to order it from Europe?

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Here you can find a picture of said sugar (on the left; the right is granulated sugar, for comparison).

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Is it a soft, dense sugar? –  ElendilTheTall Jan 6 '12 at 21:19
    
@ElendilTheTall it's soft indeed. It has rather small crystals/particles (or whatever is the right term). There are also a few larger darker brown crystals in. –  Mien Jan 15 '12 at 21:58
    
After a bit research, my hunch was right: the few larger crystals are molasses. (I didn't know they aren't always liquid) –  Mien Jan 16 '12 at 23:16
    
Where the heck do you shop in the US? Everywhere I've lived, "brown sugar" has by default meant the soft stuff, which is regular old refined (white) granulated sugar with molasses mixed back in. You have to go to specialty stores to buy granulated brown sugar, i.e. crystalline sugar that's brown because it's less refined. –  Marti Jan 19 '12 at 18:36
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Normal cassonade is cane or candy sugar with added molasses (I don't know what the exact difference is with brown sugar, I think cassonade is just a type of brown sugar.), however this cassonade is from sugar beets.

My best guess to replicate it is to put some regular granulated sugar for a couple of seconds in a blender, so the size of the particles is smaller. Then add some molasses and if you can find it, a drop of inverted sugar syrup. I've also found that there is caramel added in Cassonade Graeffe, but I don't know whether they add that flavour or they caramelize the sugar for a short amount of time. If I find the time, I will try to find out more, but it's not a product with a lot of information about.

If you just want a close alternative, I would advise you to just buy different kinds of brands of brown sugar. Perhaps, one will be softer than the other (I don't live in the US, I can't speak to that). Try to find brown sugar from beets, not from cane sugar (not sure if this is available). Or if you're willing to pay the taxes and shipping costs, I can send you a package.

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I'm not familiar with the brand you mention, however given it's description perhaps you could look for the following brand (which can be ordered through Amazon and no doubt other places):

http://www.billingtons.co.uk/

I use this brand regularly and it is relatively soft. I also came across the following article which may help with substitutions:

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/11/french-sugars/

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It sounds a little like demerara sugar which is softer than some.

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I've found out that it's not cane sugar. –  Mien Jan 19 '12 at 14:18
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