Complaint by Numbers

Sucralose: A Cautionary Tale | September 14, 2007

I can’t lie, I love artificial sweeteners. Something about the ability tohave consequence-free (science be damned!) sugar makes me giggle like a school girl. As wonderful as the concept is, using artificial sweeteners outside of a lab can be a project in itself. While it’s easy to sprinkle some on fruit, add it to coffee or applesauce (pretty much anything that only relied on sugar for sweetness, and not for texture), incorporating Splenda into an existing recipe for baked goods is a full-on scientific endeavor.

Up for a challenge, and craving cookies, this weekend past seemed the perfect time to try out replacing sugar in a recipe with Splenda. In short, this turned out to be a disaster. I had forgotten that the chemical properties that allow sugar to melt and become liquid under heat, do not apply in the same manner to its artificial cousin. Additionally, it seems that Splenda loses some sweetness in the baking process (it couldn’t overcome the other ingredients to be sweet). All in all, the product had a taste and texture akin to hardtack. I definitely should have substituted only half of the product, though I’m concerned that this will yield only slightly better results.

Also, my Canadian quest to find canned pumpkin/squash is still underway. So far, Metro, Provigo and IGA have failed. I’m starting to look in the little specialty stores, though it’s beginning to look like I’ll have to do this the old fashioned way.

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Posted in Baking, Food

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