Learn how to craft natural jaggery sweetener from fresh sugar cane and discover how sweet it can be to make your own. Chef Jayson demonstrates how to turn sugar cane into delectable jaggery from start to finish. Harvesting, pressing, straining, and boiling, get inspired by his eco-conscious approach to cooking and reducing waste, while making your own sweet treats.
0:00 Welcome to the (Outside) Kitchen!
0:34 Our Equipment
1:26 Let’s press some Sugar Cane
2:59 The Boiling Point
3:36 Straining the Sweetness
4:05 The Spent Material
5:03 Thank You Jayson B
5:45 Jaggery is Finished
6:10 The Next Day
7:04 Cured Jaggery
8:04 Chef’s Final Thoughts
TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO:
Chef Jayson (00:03):
All right, welcome back to the kitchen. We’re outside because we are processing sugar cane today. This is a big pile of sugar cane that we have cut off the plant. We have split it in half to make it easier for our sugar cane juicer to juice the sugar cane. We are trying to make jaggery. We use this here instead of white sugar or brown sugar, which is just white sugar with molasses in it. Don’t be fooled.
Chef Jayson (00:34):
This is the equipment that we need, obviously a juicer. I think this is a, this is a manual version. You put it in this end, you can see in there those big grindy grind wheels and it just crushes that sugar cane down. So when it comes out, it collects in this little bin down here, and then we will pour it into this container. This is a fine mesh screen that we’re gonna dump our sugarcane through to get out all the debris and chunks and all that stuff. Once we get all of our sugarcane juice down, then we’re going to come over here to our little boiling station, and all we’re going to do is boil it down. You could do this on your stove inside if you want to. We have this cool induction burner, so we’re gonna do it outside and just kind of let the heat stay in the heat.
Chef Jayson (01:26):
So we are gonna get started. Here we go.
Chef Jayson (02:25):
All right. We have basically reached our capacity. By the end of this, this is gonna be almost 16 liters. So we’re gonna take four gallons of liquid and probably reduce it by about 80 to 85%, if not a little bit more than that. I’m gonna dump this last one. Sugar cane oxidizes very, very quickly. So we’re gonna dump this in here. We’re gonna strain that out. You can see all that garbage that’s in there there.
Chef Jayson (02:59):
Beautiful. Let it drain. You know, doing the double filtration really helps. You know, this layer on top, if you’ve ever made jam or you’ve ever made spaghetti sauce, there’s a layer of scum on vegetables that as you boil it floats to the top. So we’re, as we’re cooking this down, we’re gonna get rid of that stuff too.
Chef Jayson (03:36):
Check this out, that is all fiber dirt. This is a pretty crucial step. And now we can crank this thing up, but I put it at four 20. So we are trying to hit 380 degrees, 385 really. And what’s cool is there is a 380 degree temperature there, but I’m just speeding it up until it gets boiling and then I’ll put it down to three 80 and then it’ll just kind of do its thing.
Chef Jayson (04:05):
All of this, we could do a few things with. Actually What we’re doing is investing in a wood chipper. Actually, I think you can hear these guys doing palm trees. Welcome back to the actual kitchen, not the outside sugarcane kitchen. We were talking about the spent materials on the ground, but they were trimming the palm trees across the street and it got real loud, so we decided just you saw it. What we want to do is get a wood chipper, chip that stuff down and add it to our compost. That material is awesome, green material that we can add in addition to the yellow material compost so we can even out the nutrients. With the compost the, all the sugar cane stuff, you know, we’re trying to keep as little or send as little amount to the dump or the trash as possible, keeping it out of the trash. So that’s the whole goal here.
Chef Jayson (05:03):
And so I wanted to thank Jayson B. He helped out a lot today. He actually harvested all the sugar cane and then suffered through what must have been a hundred thousand rotations of that machine <laugh>. So this is what we do here on the farm and you know, we couldn’t do it without this guy. And we really do appreciate you.
Jayson B (05:22):
Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. But it’s also very cool to learn all the things that Jayson’s taught me and just kind of all these processes.
Chef Jayson (05:29):
Yeah, I mean we even improved today upon the last time that we did it for sure. And I think we cranked out about triple the amount and probably an hour less time. No joke was expecting a lot less because it’s been so hot. But I’ll be damned, what do I know?
Chef Jayson (05:45):
The final product, you’ve seen the jaggery go into the pot, it’s gonna boil down. I mean, with that much, it’s probably gonna boil down for two or three hours. Pour it into molds, silicone molds. So I can have different sizes I want to be able to have, okay, I can grab a two ounce chunk of jaggery and throw it into a recipe. I need four ounces. I can grab one of these.
Chef Jayson (06:10):
Welcome back to the kitchen. So the last you saw was the jaggery probably boiling down, me stirring the ever loving hell out of it to get it to temperature. The main reason I’m stirring it is to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. So lemme show you what it looks like. So now this isn’t as tacky. You see what I’m saying? Has a totally different sheen from the top. So the top just has soaked up a little bit of the water in the air, but this is really what it should look like. Pretty cool.
Chef Jayson (07:04):
Jaggery bar. See, it’s a little bit soft like that. You can bend it pretty cool. So we actually want it to be a little harder than this. See, that’s a little soft. That’s like cutting a caramel. So we want to, that’s still fine. This is still gonna dissolve in whatever you put it in. And honestly, it is a little bit easier to cut than just trying to hack pieces off. So I’m pretty happy with this. I’m gonna keep ’em in these silicone molds just to keep their shape so they don’t kind of like just turn into a puddle. But I’m pretty happy with these. This is gonna go a long way. This was four gallons of sugarcane juice that we boiled down to… To 10%. My math is like pretty close, I think. That’s about 10%. That’s a lot of liquid gone to concentrate this sugar.
Chef Jayson (08:04):
I think the tips that I could give you if you’re doing it, one, don’t do four gallons at a time. I think that was my main mistake. So the timing and everything, all the timings that I read were totally off just for the sheer amount of sugar cane that I did. I think if I batched it out, maybe into one gallon batches, I probably could have gotten it done in a third of the time. So in total, by total time probably would’ve been about three hours if I would’ve batched it out, compared to literally six and a half hours of just staring at boiling a boiling pot, which it’s not fun <laugh>. So anyway again, I hope you enjoyed it. I’m pretty excited to use these and I hope that you can find a use for your sugar cane too. Take it easy and we’ll see you in the kitchen next time.