I have an american cake recipe which includes 'granulated sugar', would this be uk caster sugar? It is for the stage when you beat in with the butter?
I'm not familiar with the naming conventions for sugar in the UK so I apologize if I become patronizing.
Granulated sugar is the every-day table sugar here. It's what I grab a spoonful for my cereal and such, and it is the kind used in almost all of the baking I've done. Is caster sugar what you usually have around?
Caster sugar is called "super-fine" sugar in the States. It is finer that granulated sugar but not as fine as powdered sugar (icing sugar for the UK right?).
Honestly, I can't say that I've ever bought any as I usually only see granulated and powdered, but Wikipedia tells me that "Castor sugar can be prepared at home by grinding granulated sugar for a couple of minutes in a food processor."
That being said, if you're just beating it into butter than I would think the caster sugar should be perfectly reasonable for the job. Though I agree with bikeboy that you should go by weight if you use a substitue.
Running around This Site, I found that there are aprrox 7oz(200g) per cup granulated sugar, and 6.5oz(190g) per cup caster sugar. So you would actually need more sugar if using caster sugar, as it is less dense. Obviously not a lot though (200/190=1.053).
Caster sugar is also known as superfine sugar. Superfine sugar is ground finer and resembles sand in an hourglass. It is particularly good for applications where it needs to dissolve quickly and thoroughly (e.g. meringues).
Superfine sugar has come to my area in the past six months and while it is better, I also got excellent results with regular granulated sugar even when the recipe called for superfine. You can make superfine sugar by putting it in a food processor but I found it was not worth the hassle.
Surprised you mention it's an American recipe. Granulated sugar in Britain is coarse white sugar used for tea/coffee etc - usually loads sold in white packs with blue colouring. Caster sugar is basically the same stuff just ground finer, usually sold in white packs with orange colouring it's what you would use for baking (warning if you use this for hot drinks it's much sweeter - because it's finer). Icing sugar - usually sold in white packs with pink colouring - is used for making butter cream and icing for cakes/buns/cupcakes and again is the same stuff just ground up even finer into a powder.Apologies if this does sound patronizing but it's one of those things if you don't bake you won't know. Happy baking.
No, it's not the same thing. Granulated sugar is normal table sugar and caster sugar has a coarseness between granulated sugar and powdered sugar. You can get it in the baking aisle and it's called baking sugar. This type of sugar definitely gives a better texture in recipes that require it. I've tried making fudge with normal sugar since I could not find the castor sugar here in the USA, and it was a total disaster as the texture of the fudge was very coarse. I'm glad I found the baking sugar now.
Caster Sugar has the same consistency as our Baker's Sugar (or superfine sugar) but the main AND THE MOST IMPORTANT difference between the two is what constitutes the sugar. In America we generally use the sugar beet to make our sugars. But Caster Sugar - in order to be classified Caster Sugar - is made from Sugar Cane (Cane Sugar.) [Baker's Sugar is made from Cane Sugar as well so it is the same product as caster sugar in the U.K.] Cane Sugar has a much more multifaceted and deeper flavor than sugar beet sugar or corn syrup. If you can find Cane Sugar - if the package specifies that it is cane sugar - the specification is often hard to find in the USA - then you should always buy cane sugar instead of sugar beet sugar. (Do a side by side taste test of Lyle's Golden Syrup versus Karo Corn Syrup one day and you will see quite clearly why the added flavor provided by the minerals that constitute sugar cane make it the far better choice for baking/cooking.)
In NZ (which tends to use british terms), granulated = white table/everday sugar. Caster sugar is finer / more powdered down. We (personally) use 'raw sugar' for most day to day things - it's exactly like our white 'table sugar', but is browner as it hasn't been bleached as much. So just use your bog standard 'normal' sugar :)
Australian here. I believe "granulated sugar" is what we call raw sugar. We often use the British terms for stuff, so that may be it.
It's crunchier than brown sugar (and not as brown, but not white either) and, well, granulated (it's made up of granules). It's not as "fine" as white sugar (which is not as fine as icing sugar, which I think Americans call powdered sugar, as it is powdered).
1.) Caster Sugar is closer to (US) Powdered Sugar than (US) Table sugar. (AU) Raw Sugar is more coarsely ground than (US) Table Sugar; Close relative to Turbinado in color and granule size. Powdered Sugar is what you will find on the outside of Donuts, funnel cakes, zeppoli's, beignets and pfeffernusse cookies. (I don't think that's what you're looking for.)
2.) What is packaged here in the US as RAW SUGAR is actually bleached completely white and then tinted towards brown by adding back some molasses. I'm not sure if it's the same process overseas.