Cooking and Baking with Erythritol
As mentioned on previous threads, I dislike using Splenda because of its taste and other factors. I've been using erythritol, a polyol sugar substitute derived from corn, in many savoury and sweet recipes. Depending on the application, I often substitute erythritol one-to-one for sugar, or I may add up to 25% more (erythritol is said to be 70% less sweet than sugar).
Until now, I've been using erythritol in place of sugar in sweet-and-sour savoury dishes and in fruit pies and cakes. On another thread, I was told that I would have disastrous results if I used erythritol when baking with chocolate and/or coffee.
I just made a batch of my chocolate espresso brownie cookies and they came out great. Granted, they do contain some sugar (in the semi-sweet chocolate chips; I used the real thing, along with 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate), but the majority of the sweetness comes from the erythritol which I substituted for all of the sugar (plus 25%) called for in the recipe. Now that I've seen these results, my next batch will use unsweetened chocolate and erythritol exclusively.
My brownie cookies do exhibit a slight bit of the cooling effect that sometimes occurs with erythritol. To me, this is much more tolerable than the taste and after-taste of Splenda.
I'm curious about other people's use of erythritol. How do you use it?
No, it's not stevia. Erythritol is the chemical name, and Cargill, its major manufacturer, uses the trade name "Eridex." Here's some info from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythritol
Its closest "relative" is xylitol.
I discovered it a few months ago at the Low Carb Grocery in Toronto, and have gotten a couple of natural food stores that I frequent to carry it, as well. One of the major North American distributors is NOW Foods ( http://www.nowfoods.com/?action=itemd... )