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.
It may not be different if compared to sucralose..and
you need a bulking agent to be used with it....to simulate one of the
functional effect of sugar that is also absent in intense non caloric
A common bulking agent is maltodextrin
If you add molasses...you 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
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
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