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Friday, December 11, 2009

When Not to Use Erythritol


I like Erythritol in combo with Splenda Granular in much of my baking, however, here's the thing. Erythritol will often have a tendency to recrystallize and at other times if one uses too much of it, the cooling effect on the taste buds is way too noticeable.

I have found powdered Erythritol to be more useful than the granular type, but have found uses for both.

Erythritol is horrible in any kind of oatmeal cookie or even peanut butter cookie. It does not pair well with oatmeal especially - simply for reasons of taste. The cooling effect will be extremely noticeable and will almost taste bitter.

Erythritol should not be used in cheesecakes where there is no other liquid ingredient - no bake cheesecakes or baked or for cream cheese frosting without enough liquid ingredients, as it tends to recrystallize. Ever eaten something where the sugar has not dissolved - it's crunchy in a "sandy" sort of way. Ugh! Not too pleasant, hey? Same thing happens with Erythritol in these applications.

I have used it in some fudge-like confections with cream cheese (recipes on my blog) - in this case the confection gets frozen. It was not a problem in those cases, however, in any other cream cheese application, I'd be wary to say the very least.

Erythritol is super as it has hardly any carbs or calories and has little or no effect on blood sugar, plus the added benefit of no intestinal distress. It is not the sweetest (only 70% as sweet as sugar) or most successful sugar alcohol to use in baking, however, combined with Splenda Granular, the sweetness level is raised and the synergy and texture the two provide is satisfying. Other sugar alcohols might be better in confections and baking, however, I cannot tolerate the intestinal distress. No thanks! I boycott any products containing other sugar alcohols, as I've learned the hard way that they don't agree with me. If you do a search at the top left-hand corner for Erythritol, you'll find a more in-depth discussion about Erythritol.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read that the endothermic cooling effect of erythritol occurs when it's combined with water, so if it is in solution in water before you eat it, you won't feel that in your mouth. I don't know how much water must be LEFT in the recipe to avoid having it happen though. (see Wikipedia)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing that. The Wikipedia article is very interesting.

Carolyn said...

I haven't had too many problems with erythritol re-crystallizing, but I use it in small(ish) quantities, and usually in combination with stevia. The one time I used a lot of it and really felt the cooling sensation was in my chipotle pecan brittle, and it was kind of cool, the heat of the chipotle combined with the cooling of the erythritol!

Jennifer said...

If we mix the erythriol well in the wet ingredients and then bake - usually there is no problem. I can't imagine a hot-cool pecan brittle. lol However, since it's coming from you, Carolyn - it's probably something I would try - once!

Stacy said...

Any idea how it does with fiberfit (liquid splenda with fiber) or "Just like sugar" or "Sugar Not?" Just wondering. Many people pair it with stevia, but stevia does not agree with me. Thank you.

Jennifer said...

I can't see why it wouldn't be a good fit. Stevia does not agree with me either. So strange...I thought it was benign.