Baking & Stevia

Has anyone tried Stevia in baking? Does it lack that caramelized flavor
of sugar? I see recipes online, but does anyone has muffin, cake, or
cookie recipes that have been tried and work well with Stevia.
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It may not be different if compared to sucralose..and you need a bulking agent to be used with simulate one of the functional effect of sugar that is also absent in intense non caloric sweeteners .
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What types of builking agents are available? What are the tradeoffs?
Is there anyway to compensate for this? Like some molasses or caramel flavoring?
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A common bulking agent is maltodextrin
If you add are supplying already a small part of sucrose so its not completely sugar free anymore. Caramel flavoring is possible but the flavor profile is not identical as the naturally made caramel flavor that results from the Maillards Reaction of the reducing sugars and amino acids during baking
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Thanx ChemBake! I would appreciate any help to get rid of the "grassy" flavor of Stevia. Please let me know if there is anything to hide it, it doesn't have to be completely sugar free.
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Maltodextrin's best known role is for bulking sucralose in splenda s
that it measures one for one with sugar. As far as utilizing it as bulking agent to simulate the functional effects of sugar in baking, wouldn't recommend it. First of all, the only maltodextrin I've see for sale has been the high glycemic stuff- higher glycemic index tha sugar. Carbwise, caloriewise, glycemically, you'd be better off jus using sugar. Secondly, there are digestion resistant maltodextrins ou there, but besides not being available to the general public, the odd that they perform anything like sugar in baking are close to nill. Fro the research I've done, these resistant maltodextrins act more lik starch than they do sugar. For the baking properties of suga (caramelization, glassing, chewiness/gooeyness) I'd recommend usin something else.
Lakota, from what I'm reading, you appear to have two goals:
A. Add the taste of caramelized sugar to your baked goods withou adding much sugar. B. Find ways to improve the taste of stevia.
One of the most popular workarounds for recreating caramel/brown suga flavoring is to add a tiny amount of blackstrap molasses to the recipe Blackstrap is the darkest, strongest form of molasses you can buy. With just a miniscule amount you can get a lot of flavor. You the supplement this burnt sugar flavoring with alternative sweeteners. Fo every cup of sweetening equivalent I add to a recipe, I add only abou 1/4 to 1/2 t. blackstrap molasses.
Besides the flavor achieved from molasses, there are two sugar fre ingredients that not only caramelize but provide the texture of suga in baked goods. These are polydextrose and inulin. Polydextrose i sugar that's been processed in such a way so that it acts like fiber i the body. Both contain very little sweetness but texturally, they ar very close to the real deal.
Lastly, you mentioned caramel flavoring. I've been looking for a goo one and, so far, nothing has impressed me all that much. I'm not sure good one exists. Shoud I find one I like I think I'll use it i conjunction with the blackstrap and the polydextrose.
Now, as far as making stevia palatable goes, here are few tips:
1. Buy a good brand of stevia. Steviaplus appears to a favorite. Th 'Now' brand is also good. One of the reasons why these brands are s well received is the way in which the Stevia is extracted. Whit stevia extract is purer/less bitter than the leaf based tinctures.
2. Combine the stevia with something else- at least one, ideally tw other sweeteners. When you combine certain sweeteners, a phenomeno called 'synergy' occurs. With synergy, the sum is greater than th parts. Here's an example. If you take a cup's sweetening equivalen of stevia and combine it with a cup's equivalent of splenda, how muc sweetening do you have? Two cups? Nope. Because two sweeteners ar involved, the end result is closer to two and half cups sweetenin equivalent. This synergistic boost you get from combining sweetener allows you to use less of each. By using less, any aftertase i mitigated. It's a win win situation. By using two sweeteners, yo spend less money and the quality of sweetness improves dramatically. What to add? Well, the best tasting alternative sweetener on the marke today is splenda. Splenda has a great synergy with stevia. If splend doesn't float your boat, then I'd recommend one of the sugar alcohols preferably erythritol. Sugar alcohols have the distinct advantage of very long history of safe use. Their one disadvantage is that they ca be high GI and they can laxate you. The exception to this would b erythritol. Erythritol is expensive and hard to find, but it' extremely low calorie/low carb and works beautifully as a component o a sweetening mix. Erythritol and stevia have an excellent synergy. Th last sweetener I'd recommend would be Ace K, which goes under the bran Sweet One. Ace K is another high intensity sweetener that ha phenomenal synergy with splenda and stevia.
Regardless of what sweetener you choose, the bottom line is tha stevia, even the best brand, doesn't work by itself. In order to make it more palatable, you have to combine it with something else.
If you're dead set on using stevia by itself, I could give you a few pointers, but ultimately it's a losing battle. In theory, flavors like chocolate or coffee could mask stevia's bitterness, but because of their own inherent bitterness, they require substantial amounts of sweetening. The more stevia you use to compensate, the more aftertaste you get. The best environment that I've found for masking the taste of stevia is tea. The tannins in tea are very similar to the bitter compounds in stevia. There aren't a heck of a lot of tea flavored desserts, though.
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