|12-19-2008, 01:29 AM||#1|
Junior LCF Member
scott123: Ketchup update?
I was reading your attempts at replicating Heinz ketchup both here and on egullet, and was wondering if you still use the recipe posted here: homemade low carb ketchup? or if you have gotten closer to the Heinz ketchup since then? I know you said you put it on the backburner as you could buy the Heinz low carb ketchup...
I am going to try your recipe tomorrow (I will also try Lindas Even Better Heinz Ketchup, but will try yours first as you seemed more intent on replicating the Heinz taste as closely as possible), so was wondering if you had any suggested improvements.
My other question relates to some of your other recipes... you often refer to synergies when using sweeteners. Can you please elaborate on this concept? I have pretty much been using Splenda by itself (I use the sachets instead of the granules to absolutely minimise carbs - just 1 gram sachet/packet of splenda instead of having to use 10g/2ts of the granular stuff which results in more carbs) to sweeten everything as I feel it basically has no aftertaste (but am willing to experiment with others if suggested).
Also, do you have any opinions or preferences on using sweeteners before or after cooking?
Finally, do you have much experience with Xanthan gum? I bought some but am finding it extremely hard to use... apparently you only need a tiny amount, but I can never seem to be able to incorporate it - it just clumps and expands into little pillows that float! (this is how I often make low carb replicas of sauces.. e.g. for thai sweet chilli sauce, I will puree onion, garlic, ginger and chillies, and cook with vinegar, splenda sachets and thicken with a little cornstarch/arrowroot).
|12-20-2008, 07:01 AM||#2|
Very Gabby LCF Member!!!
Join Date: Dec 2006
Start Date: September 2000
Not Scott, but I have found the best way to incorporate xantham gum is to follow Dana Carpender's suggestion. She recommends that you put it in a salt shaker, sprinkle it on your gravy mix, and whisk like crazy.Also, ues less than you think you need. It will thicken upon standing. There is a fine line between pleasantly thickened and slimy.
|12-22-2008, 01:30 AM||#5|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
WOE: Low Carb Maintenance
Start Date: May 2005
|12-22-2008, 03:53 AM||#6|
MAJOR LCF POSTER!
Wow, 4 years later and I'm still on the fence regarding nutmeg
Infernoo, it's funny you bring up LC ketchup. As the price of LC Heinz just went up for me recently ($2.49 for 14 oz.!), I decided that it's time to go back to making it myself. I've been mulling it over in my head which container to use. I think I'm leaning towards buying a large upside down supermarket ketchup and using that container. Besides being easier to dispense, it should be easier to refill.
That recipe is a bit dated. I don't have a new one quite yet, but I have learned some things since that time that will be incorporated into my new recipe.
Cooking vs. Non-cooking
One of the major obstacles to a Heinz knock off is tomato paste's lack of quality control. Beyond slight texture/density changes, the cooking level varies as well. Sometimes you get a very uncooked, light colored/bright/fresh tasting paste and sometimes it's dark. Most of the time when I work with paste, I'm making tomato sauce and I want it as bright and as fresh tasting as possible. Ketchup, though, is an entirely different animal. You're looking for those dull oxidized maillardy metallicy/iron-y notes that you get from well cooked tomatoes (which are then balanced by the bright vinegar). If cooking time didn't complicate things enough, aging oxidizes/'browns' tomatoes/paste/ketchup as well, even in the presence of browning inhibitors such as acid (vinegar), and, I think, even in the can.
Where am I going with this? Well... any good Heinz knockoff recipe will not be able to say 'simmer for x number of minutes' because the paste you're starting with will vary in color/taste. You're going to have to strive towards a particular shade of red. I am 100% certain that Heinz does it this way. A computer probably scans the ketchup as it cooks and then stops the cooking once it reaches a certain color.
The goal: brown-er paste. Ideally, it would be nice if we could find a dark paste that didn't require any simmering. I specifically buy a brand of paste (Contadina) that's consistently bright red (for saucemaking). It may be a matter of finding a brand that's darker. We have to be careful, though, as cheaper brands tend to have more water in them/be less concentrated, so we'll need to compensate by adding less water to the recipe.
If my theory of can aging is correct, we may be able to buy bright paste and let it sit on the shelf for a few months and it should darken.
If worse comes to worse, if we open the can and it's just too bright/fresh, we can always simmer it. If you have a jar of Heinz in front of you, that would be a good visual model, otherwise, I think you'll want to hit something like this:
One important aspect that I've learned since creating the recipe is that vinegar/acid prevents browning and is driven off by cooking, so simmering ketchup with vinegar is counterproductive/wasteful. You'll want to simmer the paste and water until you hit the right color, then add the vinegar and spices. One thing to bear in mind is that since you're no longer cooking the vinegar away, you'll need less (Linda's 1/4 C. vinegar to 6 oz. paste sounds about right, although I might even go slightly less)
I'm still on the fence regarding nutmeg I am absolutely certain, though, of cayenne. I also feel fairly confident in regards to white pepper. I was, and still am, 100% certain about allspice. Allspice is the cornerstone of good ketchup. The more that I think about it, I'm really leaning towards ketchup spice being pretty much the same as pickling spice. I can definitely picture some Pennsylvanian farmer's wife thinking to herself, 'Hey, I can pickle cumbers, why not pickle tomatoes as well?'
With that in mind, here's my spices (ranked by quantity)
My memory is a bit hazy, but I think Heinz talks about 10 or so spices (or is that KFC?)
I was thinking that, maybe, rather than measuring everything out, one could, in theory, maybe take
1 part pickling spice
1 part allspice
1 part white pepper
and grind it in a spice grinder. Maybe... the proportions might be a bit off, though- probably too much cloves. Perhaps once I have the proportions of the single spices down, I'll make ketchup spice in bulk so I have it on hand- measure everything once rather than having to measure all those ingredients every time.
I continue to contend that if there was garlic powder in ketchup, it would appear on the label, so, no to garlic. I also still believe that the 'natural flavoring' listed is MSG, although tomato paste itself is pretty high in MSG, so I might back off in my recipe a tiny a bit.
I like SF Heinz, but, regular Heinz, with it's small amount of corn syrupy gooeyness, tastes a bit better. To be truer to the original, I'll use a small amount of my corn syrup sub, polyd.
So that's where I'm at with my ketchup recipe The biggest breakthrough, imo, is color. My old recipe was very close, but I recall it was always a bit too bright tasting. I thought it was a spice issue, but it wasn't. It was a cooking issue.
Since this is primarily a ketchup thread (and my fingers are tired ) I'll keep my other answers brief.
I thought the same way about splenda (no aftertaste) until I tasted it combined with other sweeteners. Two sweeteners (splenda plus something else) is always better than splenda by itself. Three is ideal (splenda, erythritol, sweet one ace k is what I use). I've explained synergy tens of times and it's still difficult. It's basically something for nothing. 1 + 1 = 3. 1 part of sweetener A plus 1 part of sweetener B equals 3 parts sweetness. When you combine you get a bump in sweetness that you wouldn't get by using the sweeteners by themselves. This bump allows you to use less, which, in turn costs you less money. So, by combining sweeteners, you use less overall and get a far superior taste. It's a win win situation.
All my sweeteners are heat stable (just like sugar) so I use them during cooking. To make sure my erythritol and polyd are fully dissolved I tend to make a syrup with them first.
Xanthan- Soobee's right. Remember, one important characteristic of xanthan is that time will help it incorporate/hydrate, so if you do get clumping, just wait. Heat breaks it down as well, so simmering helps also. If you're in a hurry, a hand blender will smooth out xanthan clumps as well.
|12-22-2008, 03:54 AM||#7|
MAJOR LCF POSTER!
|12-22-2008, 10:26 AM||#8|
Way too much time on my hands!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Spring, TX
Stats: 167/117/120 - 5'7"
WOE: Atkins Maintenance
Start Date: July 2002
Scott, what are your thoughts about the salt? Back when I came up with my Even Better Heinz Ketchup, I had a bottle of the real stuff to compare it with. I was shocked to find that the Heinz was unbearably salty compared to my homemade ketchup. I think that even if I knew exactly what seasonings to use to make a Heinz clone, I'd still want to cut back on the salt. Frankly though, I don't use enough ketchup these days to worry if mine tastes exactly like Heinz's. I stocked up on the LC Heinz just before Wal-Mart quit selling it and those bottles are just collecting dust. Just today I decided that I'd let my non-LC'ing husband use it once his stash of the high carb stuff is gone. I can always whip up a batch of LC ketchup if I need some for something.
|12-22-2008, 12:39 PM||#9|
MAJOR LCF POSTER!
Linda, yes, there's way too much salt in ketchup. Because paste is low sodium, it's pretty easy to reverse engineer the salt content. I'd probably, for the sake of posterity, match the salt in Heinz exactly for my Heinz clone, but do a better than Heinz lower salt version for myself. At the moment I'm leaning towards 2/3 the salt, but I might go as little as half.
|12-22-2008, 11:04 PM||#10|
Junior LCF Member
First of all, I want to thank scott123 for his original recipe which appears as follows:
So, tonight I took his most recent advice into account and also tasted some of my last bottle of Heinz one carb ketchup to try and see what I was missing... here is _exactly_ what I did.
I used a bottle of organic Leggos Tomato Paste (an Australian brand) - Leggo's - For the love of cooking - Organic Tomato Paste 375g , a triple concentrated organic tomato paste that only has tomatoes and salt.
Next up, I used 6 sachets of splenda (SPLENDA®) - this replaces the 1/4 cup called for (60g sugar/splenda = 12ts = 6 sachets), resulting in less total carbs.
I whisked all ingredients together, cooked over a low heat uncovered for about 2 minutes, then covered the pan and cooked it for about 5-10 minutes. I then removed the lid and cooked for about 5 minutes, then put the lid back on and cooked for about 5-10 minutes. I then turned off the heat and let it cool before tasting. Upon tasting, I found it was a touch too sweet and needed a pinch more salt, so I added a pinch of salt and about 1TB white vinegar and whisked everything in (no more cooking at this stage). I tasted it, and even though it was warm and still needs to cool and possibly age/mature, the Heinz taste was there. The raw vinegar at the end gave it that little edge/bite that it needed and the salt rounded out the tartness, sweetness and overall flavour.
So, here is the complete recipe containing my modifications:
180grams of a bottle of Leggos Organic Tomato Paste (6 oz)
1/2 C. white vinegar
1/2 C. water
1 scant ts kosher salt (1ts of table salt is probably too much, 1ts of kosher salt weighs less/has less salt due to its shape, so probably 1/2ts table salt - you can always add a bit more later).
1/4 t. onion powder
6 sachets splenda
pinch of allspice
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of white pepper
pinch of mustard powder
pinch of sweet paprika
pinch of ground coriander
big pinch of msg
--- Add after cooling slightly:
1TB white vinegar
Whisk ingredients together and cook over a low heat until bubbling.. cook 2 minutes, then cover pan (so that not too much evaporation occurs and it does not stick to the bottom) and cook for 5-10 minutes at the lowest temperature (just bubbling). Remove the top and cook for a further 5 minutes to slightly reduce the mixture, then replace the lid and cook for the final 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly for 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and 1TB white vinegar and whisk to combine.
Last edited by infernooo; 12-22-2008 at 11:06 PM..
|12-23-2008, 08:35 PM||#11|
Junior LCF Member
I forgot to mention in my post above, I added a pinch of garlic powder too.
After letting it cool completely in the refrigerator overnight and then comparing it with a bottle of the Heinz LC ketchup, the flavour has changed slightly... also, you can see the very fine specs of spice in mine whereas the Heinz one seems to show no trace of spices at all. Also, I think I may need to cook mine a bit more as the Heinz Ketchup has a more dull red colour and dull flavour than mine (mine has a brighter flavour and is a much brighter red - imagine artery blood vs vein blood in terms of colour).
|12-25-2008, 03:54 PM||#14|
Junior LCF Member
I will try and take some photos... compared to most, it is a little darker and a little thicker.
Looking at nutritional information on some pastes available in the USA and comparing it to the one I used, I think it would rate somewhere between Hunts and S&W (or Muir Glen) Tomato Pastes.