You know what bothers me about piloncillo? The fact that it always comes in the shape of a cone! In case you’re not familiar with piloncillo, it’s an unrefined cane sugar that is cooked until caramelized then molded. It also happens to be a staple in Mexican Kitchens.
Most stores only carry the medium sized cones though. It’s a rare occasion when I see the smaller ones. Those are easier to cook with because they dissolve much quicker, and it’s a little easier to control the amount of sugar you are using in a recipe when using the smaller cones. The truth of the matter however, is that nine times out of ten, you will find the large ones at the grocery store.
No need to worry about that any longer my friends (I don’t know why I didn’t think about this sooner!) Instead of storing piloncillo cones in tupperware or ziploc bags, why not grate them all at once with a cheese grater so you can actually measure how much you use?
Storing Piloncillo this way has been super beneficial because it allows me to use exactly how much I want, whenever I need it.
Another great thing about grating it is discovering that not all piloncillo cones have the same sugar density or flavor.
These two for example came from the same bulk bin. The grated piloncillo on the right was much easier to grate, and had a much deeper rich flavor. The piloncillo on the left was so difficult to grate, it took two people to grate half the cone!
It also had way less moisture, resembled white sugar, was drier, the quickest to dissolve in liquids, and tasted lighter in flavor. When I get two different ones like this, I always store them separately. Once it’s all grated and stored in an airtight jar or container, you can use it in your oatmeal, make syrup, use it in your coffee or Mexican hot chocolate, simply experiment with it. Just be careful when you are grating each one. I’ve hurt myself grating cheese, so you can imagine how careful I was with the piloncillo!
I hope you find this post to be helpful. Next up…cafe de olla my way.