Vermont Grade B Maple Syrup is described, along with Grade A Dark Amber or Grade A Extra Dark Amber, as pure maple syrup with dark color and robust taste. Because this maple syrup grade is so widely known as "Grade B", we have elected to keep a category of its' own, rather than combining it in a category along with Dark Amber. The two grades are indeed close in flavor, with Grade B having a substantial maple flavor that is slightly stronger than that of Dark Amber. But, Grade B syrup should not be confused as inferior syrup, nor the strongest maple flavor produced. There are "processing grades" of maple syrup that are suitable as an ingredient in food products only.
These darker grades of syrup, including Grade B syrup, are produced at the end of the maple sugaring season in late March into early April. This syrup flavor is the ideal choice for cooking, and is used to make traditional Vermont baked beans, breads, cookies, beverages, and main dishes from beef stew to maple glazed chicken kebabs.
Here's a wonderful example of what can be done with the robust maple flavor of Grade B - Carrot Cake with Maple Frosting! Since as far back as PIECES OF VERMONT owner Rick Smith can remember, Carrot Cake has been a family dessert recipe at Thanksgiving. Pumpkin Pie is fine, especially Maple Pumpkin Pie, but there's something about the creamy taste of a moist carrot cake topped with maple frosting. YUMMY!!
Maple Frosting Ingredients -
2 C. confectioners' sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 C. pure Grade B Maple Syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. whole milk
Frosting Recipe -
In a medium bowl with a mixer set on medium speed, beat first four ingredients until combined. Continue beating while slowly adding the maple syrup. Add the vanilla. Increase speed to medium high and continue to beat while slowly adding milk until frosting reaches the desired light and fluffy consistency. After you remove the carrot cake from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes, spread on maple frosting and enjoy!
Note: Add milk slowly, and only use what is necessary to achieve the desired consistency.