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Old 11-03-2011, 11:14 AM   #1
PaminKY
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Erythritol Hard Candy /Cotton Candy Ė Experiments

Erythritol Hard Candy /Cotton Candy Ė Experiment #1

I tried my first batch last night and after a serious of misfortunes and mishaps that Iím well on the way to fixing I did finally get a type of ďhardishĒ candy. I was using a couple different recipes, some high-carb/pure sugar and couple others that specifically used E. One was from KevinPA in this thread:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/me...ard-candy.html

and another was from a blog I found elsewhere, not sure I can post a link so I wonít but it was pretty much the same as Kevinís. I did get a chuckle from the directions on their recipe which started as ďPreheat oven to 290 degreesĒ.

Here is the High Carb/Full sugar recipe ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup white corn syrup
Ĺ cup water
ľ tsp cream of tarter
ľ to 1 tsp flavoring
Liquid food coloring
1 Ė 2 tsps citric acid (for sourness)

Here is the explanation for the addition of cream of tarter:

Cream of tartar, or potassium bitartrate, is a fine white powder that is a by-product of the wine-making process. It's derived from argol, or tartar, which forms naturally during the fermentation of grape juice into wine and is deposited on the sides of the wine casks. It is useful in this recipe because it's an acid, another form of "interfering agent," which inverts sucrose into fructose and glucose and thereby helps to prevent crystallization of the sugar syrup.


Hereís the ingredients I used:

1 ĺ cup granulated erythritol (this brand was Emerald Forest)
Ĺ cup water
ľ tsp cream of tarter
Ĺ tsp Lorann apple flavoring
1 tsp powdered citric acid
Liquid food coloring (I used the cool neon green one from McCormick)

Directions:

1. Place candy thermometer in glass of warm water.
2. Prepare candy molds or line a baking dish with non-stick Reynolds wrap.
3. Turn burner on medium heat and leave it there, donít mess with temp setting.
4. In a small non-stick saucepan mix water, E and cream of tarter, stir a bit with wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
5. You can stir a bit before the mixture starts boiling but as soon as it starts to boil donít stir it at all.
6. When mixture starts to boil take thermometer from warm water and dry it off and then insert into saucepan. Depending of the type thermometer you have just submerge the bulb or tip in the liquid but donít allow it to touch the bottom of the pan.
7. Let mixture come to 290 degrees, brushing sides of pan occasionally to remove any crystals that form there.
8. Remove from heat, take thermometer out and replace it in the glass of warm water, add flavoring, citric acid, and food coloring. Stir lightly to incorporate.
9. Carefully pour into hard candy molds or foil-lined baking dish. Allow to cool completely.


Results:

First I will list what I did wrong:

1. The smallest non-stick saucepan I have is 2qt. This recipe doesnít make a lot of mixture so the best candy thermometer I had wouldnít reach down far enough so I had to rely on an old one that Iíve been suspicious of for awhile. I went today to maybe buy a smaller pan but I couldnít find one I liked as well because the one I have has those handy pouring lips so instead I went to Williams-Sonoma and bought one of those really nice digital candy thermometers. I love that store plus all their kitchen tools were 15% off.

2. I bought the wrong type of molds yesterday so after pouring about the third sucker my husband pointed out that my molds were melting so I quickly got him to help me line a baking dish with the non-stick foil and just poured it all into it. This worked really well and the candy did release cleanly from it. I did spray a bit of Pam on the molds beforehand but I still donít know how well this will release from them. So, I went back to the chocolate store today and exchanged the unmelted molds to some others (and I stayed out of the mannitol sweetened samples this time).

3. My cooktop is old and in need of replacing and I made the mistake of using a burner that has the nasty tendency to start cooling down at random moments so when my mixture was at 280 degrees and I only had ten more to go to my horror the temp gauge started going down. I panicked and to my eye it looked like the mixture was turning a bit brown so I pulled it off and proceeded to add the other ingredients. So I didnít reach the max temp which Iíve since read is a cardinal sin in the hard-candy making world, never go under or over recommended temp.

4. One site I read said to dip the pastry brush in water and then brush down any crystals that form on the side. I did this and this might have had something to do with the cooling down problem so next time I will just use my silicone spatula and no water.

Results:

This batch didnít turn out well, it recrystalized as soon as it started cooling down. It was mesmerizing to watch it though, the shapes of the crystals it made were really pretty and my husband couldnít stop watching it so if youíre looking for something to replace some TV time, this would work.

The flavor was spot on, tasted just like Apple Pucker sans the alcohol, and the sweeteness level was perfect. The full sugar candy called for 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup corn syrup so taking into account that E is 70% sweeter than sugar I came up with the 1 3/4 cup measure. It does have a really strong cooling affect but I like that and so does my husband but a lot of people donít. It also has a cloudy appearance because of the recrystalization. It will break up into chunks similar to full sugar candy and if you put a piece in your mouth it will slowly melt but if you bite into it it pulverizes, still tastes good though.

After thinking about it I think I might take this batch and powder it in a coffee grinder and try using it as type of floss sugar. I just may have to give my husband his Christmas gift a little early, LOL.

Erythritol is non-hygroscopic so there has to some type of agent to make it hygroscopic and Iíve decided that cream of tarter might not have enough muscle for E so Iíve been reading everything I can find so Iím contemplating what I might try next. Working out the correct proportions is the toughest thing for me. I did find something on the internet on the patent website concerning a proposal for mixing E with Z-trim which is very, very interesting. Here is the link for that:

Weight management with sugars, insoluble hygroscopic substances, and water - US Patent Application 20080160152 Description

I have some Z-trim gel and I think I would have to use about 3 ounces but Iím not sure how well the gel will work, I may need the powder, and if I use the gel should I adjust the amount of water to accommodate the water in the gel. Iím also thinking hard about glucomannan also glycerine. I know the addition of some Poly D, inulin or isomalt would help but I'm really trying to avoid the gastric issues those cause me.


I apologize for being so windy but Iím hoping somebody might have some advice to help me. Iím not a food scientist, wish I was, I would love to know exactly how all this stuff works. Iíll try to keep this updated as I move along and I may even get some pictures to post.

Last edited by PaminKY; 11-03-2011 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:45 AM   #2
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VERRRRY interesting!

One thing I found out when trying to make something with the E, forget what it was now, is that it does NOT have the same temp needs as sugar as far as reaching soft ball/hard crack etc. stages, so if you're playing with a recipe that was for a sugar-based hard candy, you might need to adjust for that.

Can't wait to hear the further experiments and LOL about your DH being so enamored of the recrystallization process!
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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Do you know what the best temp would be? KevinPa estimated his at 300 while the other person recommended 290. I did read that the melting point of E is 267 but not sure how that relates to the hard-crack stage.

It did take a really long time to get to 280 but I was just using a medium temp setting.



I just found this article, interesting to since Cargill is mentioned quite often in the patent article.

http://www.confectionerynews.com/For...helves-in-2011

Last edited by PaminKY; 11-03-2011 at 12:47 PM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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Mistake here:

so taking into account that E is 70% sweeter than sugar

Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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Pam, I'm not sure - I only experimented that one time and the "soft boil" temp was more like "hard crack" when it came to the E!

Yeah, 70% as sweet as sugar. That's why I usually throw in some of my NuNaturals NuStevia 0 carb blend with my baking. Not sure how that would fare in candy-making though!
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