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Old 02-11-2005, 07:29 AM   #1
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How much to sweeten unsweetened chocolate?

I want to try to convert some of my favorite chocolate recipes to lc but always have the same issue. When replacing the semi-sweet chocolate called for in the recipe with unsweetened chocolate, how much sugar substitute should I use? I use a mixture of splenda, erythritol and stevia but need a measure for a sugar equivalent. I am also expecting the decrease the amount of chocolate because the unsweetened should be more chocolatey with no sugar making up some of the bulk.

I checked some of my unsweetened choc versus semi-sweet (Bakers) and unsweetened versus dark (Giardelli). I looked at the cal and carb numbers for possible combos and came up with:

4 oz unsweetened chocolate + 110 g of sugar (1/2 cup + 2.5 teaspoons) = just under 8 oz sweetened choc

Does this sound reasonable to anyone? Do you have a ratio that you use when converting?
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:17 AM   #2
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In regular baking, the following conversions are pretty standard, they may give you something to go on:

Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, can be substituted for 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips. When substituting for chocolate chips, make sure to use the same type of chocolate (i.e. semi-sweet, milk).

Chocolate, Semi-Sweet
3 tablespoons chocolate chips OR 1 square (1-ounce) unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoon sugar can be substituted for 1 square (1-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate. 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 7 tablespoons sugar plus 1/4 cup fat can be substituted for 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate can be substituted for semisweet chocolate. There could be a slight difference in texture and flavor.

Chocolate, Sweet Baking (German's)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/3 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons fat can be substituted for 4 ounces German's sweet baking chocolate.

Chocolate, Unsweetened
1 2/3 ounce semisweet chocolate (reduce sugar in recipe by 2 teaspoons) OR 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening can be used instead of 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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dizneegirl - Thanks for the response. The one that seems the closest to what I am looking for is:

1 square (1-ounce) unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoon sugar can be substituted for 1 square (1-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate

I might just melt, mix and taste and see how it does -
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #4
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Hmmm now you got me thinking that maybe i can use one of these convertions to make the valentine candy that linda sue posted. But which one would I choose?
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Old 02-13-2005, 06:33 PM   #5
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The other problem is, Splenda and chocolate is bitter; Erythritol and chocolate is grainy, Stevia and chocolate tastes weird, Maltitol or Lactitol and chocolate is Ex Lax, Polydextrose doesn't sweeten very much... clearly this calls for the synergy of many sweeteners. Has anyone come up with a really good combination for sweetening chocolate? Maybe this is a good place for Xylitol?
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:02 PM   #6
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Binki, the soft texture/need for refrigeration of melted untempered unsweetened chocolate is almost a dead ringer for a ganache. That's why I always recommend a ganache over trying to melt/sweeten unsweetened chocolate. The cream portion gives you the option of heating/melting the erythritol and allows for the use of liquid splenda. And, if you want some sugary texture, it can handle some polyd too.

If one were dead set on melting unsweetened chocolate and attempting to add sweeteners, I'd say powder the erythritol/granular splenda/stevia or ace k in a blender first and then combine that with the melted chocolate.

Still, though, a ganache is a much more reliable method. Either make a ganache or melt pre-sweetened chocolate. Those are the only two options I recommend.
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:39 PM   #7
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I like the idea of using lc pre-sweetened chocolate.

So...now I have a reverse-question: If I am starting with a lc recipe that asks for unsweetened choc and splenda -- do I replace one-for-one with sweetened? (i.e. recipe calls for 2 oz unsweetened baker choc -- do I use 2 oz of lc sweetened?)

Thanks!

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Old 02-14-2005, 05:09 AM   #8
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Lynn, going by Dizneegirl's handy conversion info, I'd say for every ounce the recipe calls for, I'd sub:

1 2/3 ounces pre-sweetened chocolate

and subtract

1 T. equivalent of splenda
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:40 AM   #9
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I was expecting to melt the chocolate and thought adding some cream (aka ganache) or butter would be warranted as well. I was hoping to get a ratio to make my favorite brownies (which call for melting sweetened choc) or chocolate cookies, etc. The ratio from dizneegirl doesn't sound quite sweet enough.

I am off even legal treats for a while because a slice of real key lime pie jumped into my mouth on Saturday night but once I get back under control, I will start with dizneegirl ratio and taste and see what ends up tasting sweet enough. I will stick with my combo of splenda, erythirol and stevia but will take the suggestion to pulverize first for faster melting.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:53 AM   #10
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I'm a little confused. The ganache is just for texture and sweetener dissolvability issues, yes? I have no problem adding cream and butter to things, but the bitterness issue remains.

Since MiniCarb chips aren't available locally, and since I have a fridge full of Valrhona and Callebaut, I don't want to give up on unsweetened chocolate!

I think this means it's time to find some Diabetisweet or Sweet One, and get over my fear of AceK, huh?
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:39 AM   #11
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Binki, I've noticed that although splenda has issues with chocolate on it's own, the moment a second sweetener enters the picture, the problem is usually resolved. 3 sweeteners is great for saving money/providing a better quality of sweetness, but as far as the chocolate issue is concerned, 2 will work in a jam. Have you tried splenda and erythritol? By the time I started working with E, I was already working with ace k, so I can't say for certain that E and splenda work with chocolate, but I know that splenda and sorbitol do. Splenda and xylitol I'm sure will work as well. As far as I can tell, it's splenda plus anything else, just not splenda by itself.

Btw, I found ace k online for $2.75 for a 50 packet box with free shipping. I can't give you a link, obviously, but it's definitely worth seeking out. If you can get past your ace k phobia of course Just look at it the way I do - when you add a packet to a cup equivalent of liquid splenda, it's only a microscopic amount of ace k you're adding to a recipe and even less per serving.

Last edited by scott123; 02-14-2005 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:15 AM   #12
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Makes sense to me. Guess it's time to face my AceK fears once and for all.

So of course an answer leads to more questions. Xylitol is in the same family as erythritol, but does it have the grainy crystallization issues with chocolate as erythritol does? I like Splenda and Erythritol fine tastewise, but the way erythritol reacts with melted chocolate has been an issue in the past.

And where does sorbitol fit into the picture in terms of synergy? I know you said once that xylitol and erythritol don't multiply each other, what with the being in the same family thing, but how about sorbitol?

One more question. Would you classify sorbitol as one of the CYP SAs like lactitol, maltitol, etc?
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:20 PM   #13
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Using a ganache cream base (like Scott suggested) and Splenda packets helps in sweetening unsweetened chocolate - about 16 packets per 1 square of unsweetened chocolate. Melt cream, Splenda and chocolate together and use this in your chocolate brownie recipe - just may need more bake mix, vital wheat gluten or ground almonds or ground pecans or whatever you use for "flour", as this will be more wet ingredients due to the cream (about 1/3 cup cream for 3 oz unsw. choc). Splenda pkts deliver more sweetness than Splenda Granular, I think. This is usually enough sweetness for chocolate, although adding a little erythritol or maltitol, while melting choc with cream would not hurt at all and can only raise the sweetnening index more.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:33 PM   #14
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Scott - Would you please post your preferred ganache measurements in this thread? Amount of cream, unsweetened chocolates and sugar equivalents?
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by binki
So of course an answer leads to more questions. Xylitol is in the same family as erythritol, but does it have the grainy crystallization issues with chocolate as erythritol does? I like Splenda and Erythritol fine tastewise, but the way erythritol reacts with melted chocolate has been an issue in the past.
Binki, don't forget that melted chocolate has zero water content and that all sugar alcohols (and sugar as well) require both water and heat to dissolve. Like Sue recommended, cream helps. All sugar alcohols will dissolve in heated cream. Or, omit the cream, accept that fact the they won't dissolve and powder them first.
Quote:
Originally posted by binki
I know you said once that xylitol and erythritol don't multiply each other, what with the being in the same family thing, but how about sorbitol?
Sorbitol is the same family as well. It's still just a theory, but sugar alcohols shouldn't have synergy with each other.
Quote:
Originally posted by binki
One more question. Would you classify sorbitol as one of the CYP SAs like lactitol, maltitol, etc?
When it comes to CYP, I see three different classes of sugar alcohols: erythritol, lactitol and everything else.

Erythritol - no laxation
Lactitol - horrible enough to deserve a class by itself
Everything else - medium - similar laxation threshold ballpark

Sorbitol falls in the everything else category (along with maltitol, isomalt, xylitol, etc.)
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:16 AM   #16
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VAmomof2, here is my ganache recipe. I've made it a couple of times and it's excellent. It dates back to my pre-polyd/ace k/erythritol days. Since I know it works, I'm posting it as is. I've you want to fiddle with polyd/E/ace K (or stevia) I'm adding ballpark versions of those at the bottom of the post.

Ganache

1 oz. Callebaut unsweetened chocolate
1 oz. Cocoa Butter
1/4 C. Heavy Whipping Cream (Not ultra pasteurized!)
1 T. butter
2 T. Sorbitol
2 T. Splenda equivalent (3 drops concentrated liquid splenda)
1/8 t. lecithin

Microwave cream until bubbling (about 1.5 minutes). Let sit 30 seconds. Add sweetener/lecithin. Stir. Add chocolate/cocoa butter. Let sit 30 seconds. Stir gently until cocoa butter is dissolved. If necessary, return to microwave for 5 seconds, stir gently. Repeat, if necessary. Taste. If using a liquid/easily dissolvable sweetener, it can be adjusted at this point. Once chilled, the sweetness will be slightly harder to perceive, so the warm ganache should be fairly sweet.

Let cool until room temp, chill. After the ganache is completely chilled, it can be eaten as is (with a spoon) or rolled into balls. Always served chilled.

Notes:

Callebaut unsweetened chocolate is my favorite unsweetened chocolate. Some people prefer Scharffenberger (too raisiny for me). Vhalrona is popular as well. If these are hard to find/out of your price range, I'd recommend Nestle's Baking Chocolate. Baker's brand, imo, is vile and to be avoided at all costs.

Cocoa butter makes this a little more milk chocolatey/not quite so dark tasting. Make sure your cocoa butter is food grade and packed in plastic. Cocoa butter absorbs odors extremely easily so don't ever buy it packaged in paper. If you like very dark chocolate, unsweetened chocolate can be subbed for the cocoa butter. Just make sure you add more sweetener.

Ultra pasteurized cream is a scourge. The higher temps give it a tan color/cooked flavor. It'll be harder to find, but try to get cream that's just been pasteurized, not ultra pasteurized. And make sure it's fresh, since old cream will sometimes curdle when boiled.

There are a few different forms of soy lecithin out there. I buy the granules and then blend them to make a powder. Liquid lecithin might work, although I'd taste it on it's own first to make sure it isn't bringing any strong flavors to the table. Lecithin is an emulsifier. Without it, this ganache has a tendency to have a layer of melted butter floating on the top. If you cool the cream enough (120 degree realm) you might be able to incorporate the chocolate without the need or lecithin. It will take a lot of patience, though.

Erythritol/Ace K version:

1 T. E
2 T. Splenda equivalent (3 drops concentrated liquid splenda)
1 t. sweetening equivalent of ace K or stevia (1/2 packet - 3/16 t. Sweet One Ace K)

PolyD/Erythritol/Ace K version:

3 T. polyd
1 T. E
2 T. Splenda equivalent (3 drops concentrated liquid splenda)
1/2 t. sweetening equivalent of ace K or stevia (1/4 packet - 3/32 t. Sweet One Ace K)

With both of these versions, add sweeteners to cream before heating. Heat cream until hot (180 degrees), but not boiling.
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:10 AM   #17
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Scott - Thanks so much. I like darker choc so will try that twist. Given that I am going to try this first in a brownie recipe, I will forgo the lecithin (because I don't have it). The resulting ganache will be mixed with other wet and dry ingredients so it 'should' be fine. Looking at the quantities, I would estimate that this would replace 4 oz of sweetened chocolate. Do you agree?
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:00 AM   #18
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VAmomof2, a ganache is pretty sweet so if you try to sub it for unsweetened chocolate in a recipe, it might throw the sweetening balance off. The additional cream in the brownie recipe might be problematic as well. I would use the unsweetened chocolate that the recipe calls for, and, if you feel like making ganache, use the ganache to ice the brownie. Or add extra cream to the ganache and make a wonderful chocolate sauce. Chocolate sauce, a scoop of lc ice cream and a brownie? Watch out!
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:26 AM   #19
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Thanks for the clarifications and the recipe for your ganache, Scott. It looks good. I'm gonna try it! I like the idea of chocolate sauce over ice cream too.
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Old 02-15-2005, 04:41 PM   #20
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Scott - Don't want to be a pain but I want to sub this for 'sweentened' chocolate in recipes. If the recipe called for unsweetened chocolate, I wouldn't have any issue at all. Adding the sugar and fat will up the volume so I was expecting the 2 oz of unsweetened chocolate plus additives to end up contributing what @ 4 oz of sweetened chocolate would. I guess I will just try it and find out.
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Old 02-15-2005, 10:35 PM   #21
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VAmomof2, I totally misread your post, sorry about that!

I would think this would sub nicely for sweetened chocolate. You'd probably want to omit the cream, though, as the extra moisture would probably mess up the recipe.

Without the cream, the sorbitol/splenda version should replace 3.5 ounces of sweetened chocolate in a recipe.

One other thing that I noticed is that Callebaut unsweetened chocolate has a much higher cocoa butter content, so if you're going with Nestle's that will require a little more sweetener. The Callebaut should work beautifully for your brownies, though.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:52 PM   #22
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Everything I bake using splenda, lecithin, sorbitol, etc. still does not taste right?! What am I doing wrong? Or is it just that artifical sweeteners can never taste as good as straight sugar?
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:58 AM   #23
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Takes practice? Have you been doing this long?

It really does take a bit of trial and error; starting with other people's successful recipes is great, it cuts a lot of the learning curve off, but your own taste has to come in to play, too.

The single most important base thing about sweeteners that I have learned over the 10 years or so I've been doing this is that you MUST use a blend to reduce/eliminate odd aftertastes and get the best possible synergy (use less total volume to get more sweetness) of sweeteners, to get that 'clean' sugar taste.

Hope this helps.

ps: oh, and try to avoid the lecithin or use very little if you can, it's got a pretty strong taste and you really don't need much; if your recipe has egg yolks, you may not need any at all...

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Old 10-26-2008, 12:28 PM   #24
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Everything I bake using splenda, lecithin, sorbitol, etc. still does not taste right?! What am I doing wrong? Or is it just that artifical sweeteners can never taste as good as straight sugar?
I've had really good results using xylitol and Not/Sugar or xanathan gum. The not sugar really helps with the cooling effect and recrystalization. I do not have any adverse affects from xylitol though, some people cannot tolerate it at all. I'm not able to use splenda, so xylitol and stevia are my preferred sweeteners (erythritol is good too, but I like xylitol better - it's less "cooling" to me). I made chocolate chips using Jaxedmixedtape's recipe by making a few tweaks. Maybe this will help?

1 3.5 oz bar of 100% chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)
2 tablespoons palm oil based shortening (Spectrum Organic or Jungle brand)
1/4 cup xylitol
1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract (NuNaturals)
2 teaspoons organic heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon xanathan gum (make sure to use this to help with the cooling effect)

Preparation:
Melt palm oil in a pan and add xylitol. Cook over medium low heat whisking occasionally until xylitol is melted. Add heavy cream and stevia and whisk to combine. Add xanathan gum - just a tinsy bit at a time and whisk like crazy to make sure it dissolves/incorporates completely. Remove pan from stove and add chocolate, stir constantly until chocolate is completely melted.
Spread into a pan lined with foil or parchment paper, and refrigerate overnight or until set. Cut or break up with your fingers into chunks, then chill again while you prepare your cookie dough. Best for use in cookies--not eaten out of hand!

These would probably work pretty well in place of semi sweet chocolate in recipes. I used them as chocolate chips and they did not melt into the batter and were really tasty. The palm oil is very important to this recipe because it's a hard oil and has a higher melting point than something like butter or coconut oil. It's trans fat free, I used spectrum organic (found it at Safeway).
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:19 AM   #25
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I keep running into the same problem once I decide to use ingredients like erythritol and xylitol. I can't find them! I am a beginner at all this, so I am at a total lost
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:15 AM   #26
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I found xylitol at QFC (Kroger) and Whole Foods. You can also order these things online at netrition.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #27
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I just sweetened some chocolate

I used:

2tbsp butter
1/3 cup xylitol
3.5oz of baking chocolate

I just melted the butter and Xylitol together and added the chocolate. I did all of this over medium/low heat. I poured it onto a small plate covered in foil to form it back into a bar form.

The preliminary taste tests proved favorable. I plan on using this just as a sweet treat every once in a while. It does have that dark chocolate bite still, but I like that.

*Edit: Just figured out that this turns out to be pretty melty. Using butter is probably not the best idea, unless you want it melty.

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Old 01-15-2011, 05:17 AM   #28
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This is an oldie, but a goodie..

Heal: How did the xylitol affect your tummy?
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