No Hammer: A Better Way to Break Up Unrefined Sugar

Compressed discs of unrefined sugar like piloncillo and palm sugar add a distinctive depth to dishes, but they are also extremely difficult to break apart. The LA Times Test Kitchen shared a tip for breaking up these sugar blocks without having to resort to a hammer.

They use a box grater to break down the sugar before using it, a trick they say "works like magic" and is a lot less messy than taking a swing at the sugar with a hammer. Simple and ingenious!

We wonder if a microplane might also work for this. When grating hard items like certain cheeses, the microplane is the safer, easier choice for us — and our poor knuckles.

Check it out: Test Kitchen tips: Grating piloncillo and solid sugar blocks at the LA Times

Have you ever tried this? Do you have any tips for breaking up blocks of compressed sugar?

Related: What's the Difference? Muscovado, Demerara, & Turbinado

(Image: Flickr member waywuwei licensed under Creative Commons)