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White sugar is usually a medium grain sized, bleached (or purified), general-purpose sugar such as granulated sugar. It can also refer the set of all white sugars of every grain size (see White Refined Sugars).
Superfine sugar is also known as bar sugar (so-named for use in mixing alcoholic drinks), baking sugar, or caster/castor sugar. It is granulated sugar with unusually small crystals, and it dissolves more quickly than standard granulated sugar. Sold as caster sugar or castor sugar, this is the standard type of sugar in some parts of the world.
Superfine sugar crystals are easy to dissolve in cold liquids. This property also causes doughs, meringues and batters made with superfine sugar to be of a finer texture than is usually achieved with granulated sugar.
Superfine sugar is not the same as powdered sugar, confectioners' sugar, and icing sugar. A blender can be used to create a decent approximation of superfine sugar from granulated sugar. Depending on the recipe, it may be acceptable to simply substitute either granulated sugar or powdered sugar.
Powdered sugar is a type of highly refined, finely powdered sugar. It is also known as confectioners' sugar and icing sugar.
In North America, powdered sugar usually contains about 5% cornstarch to prevent clumping. This can have a thickening effect in recipes that are heated.
Powdered sugar can also be made at home by mixing 1 part cornstarch with 20 parts sugar.
Granulated sugar is a refined white sugar containing pure sucrose. Chemically, it is the same as superfine (also known as caster or castor) sugar, though the crystals are not as fine. Typically one type may be substituted for the other.
Superfine sugar more easily dissolves in cold liquids. This can help to make meringues of a finer texture. In some cases, this property is undesirable. For example, the coating on Saucepan Fudge Crackle Cookies is specified to use regular granulated sugar; superfine sugar might dissolve.
Pearl or Nib sugar is a form of sugar common in Scandinavian countries often used for decorating pastries. Pearl sugar is made from sugar which has been crushed and then compressed into grains that are approximately 2 mm in diameter.
Not as sweet as regular granulated sugar, rock sugar comes in the form of amber-colored crystals, the result of sugar being cooked until it begins to color. It's used to sweeten certain Chinese teas such as Chrysanthamum tea, Chinese desserts such as red bean soup, and meat glazes.