Can I use regular Spleanda or new Splenda for baking to make a simple syrup?
For simple syrup, you will probably be OK.
For recipes where you will be using A LOT of splenda...be careful...
Here is the SF gate article on cooking with splenda, and you can also go to the splenda web site for more tips, tricks and traps.
re: Anne in SF
It noted: "Splenda is the first no-calorie, no-carbohydrate sweetener whose sweetness doesn't change when it's heated. Unlike aspartame (Equal) and saccharin (Sweet 'N Low), it can be used in cooking and baking . . . ."
I wondered if they were also referring to the sweetener "Xyletol" in that reference. Then, they addressed that at the very end of the article.
...it might depend on what the simple syrup is used for...like if it used in the recipe below for a liquor thing like making your own limoncello or to use in mojitos, it might be OK. (or if it is used in just a small amount).
But for cooking and baking, splenda is a completely different animal with totally different properties than sugar (and sugar adds so much more than just "sweetness" to food...like texture, browning, something for the butter to hold onto, etc.).
This is definitely uncharted territory...but definitely interesting from an experimental standpoint (though the boo-boos can be quite costly financially and epicuriously disasterous).
I found by trial and error last year that when you are making cranberry sauce and want to use Splenda you need to cook the berries with what ever seasonings you want to sue, cinnamon etc. and then when they have popped and are off the heat and cooling add the Splenda. Start with about a half cup and taste. If you feel you need to add more do it by 1 Tbs. at a time. Boiling the Splenda in the sauce makes it very bitter. This year I used a recipe posted on Chowhound that called for substituting red wine for the water. It was wonderful but I used just a half cup of regular sugar and then just a couplke of TBS. of Splenda. Lovely stuff
I wouldn't expect this to work. Simple syrup depends on the particular chemical/physical properties of the sugar molecule, which Splenda doesn't share.
Davinci Gourmet even has small sample-size bottles of some of those flavors at Cost Plus/World Markets. Maybe other stores as well. They offer both suger-free and regular in many flavors. Personally, I don't prefer the sugar-free of those two choices, but if sugar-free in mandatory, they are not bad.
The syrups include Aspartame and celulose gum.
If you can find a sugar-free sweetener that you like the taste of, you might consider adding a clear thickener to the syrup -- such as corn starch if using immediately, or tapioca starch or something. There are many.
I usually keep a squirt bottle of simple syrup in the fridge for iced tea, coffee, etc.
When I bought my first package of Splenda, I naturally wanted to try using it.
However, I was also trying to ration my Spleda because it is so expensive, so I did half Splenda and half sugar.
The result was fine for my purposes, but after a few weeks in the fridge some white crystals started forming at the bottom of the bottle. Since that never happens with sugar, I can only assume it was the Splenda settling.
So, like others have said, it really depends what you're going to do with the syrup.