Fudgy chocolate

This recipe was a little bit of luck. I had run out of dextrose to make chocolate chips for another recipe (mint chocolate chip ice cream – will post later this week), so I used glucose syrup instead. Rather than hard and crunchy, this chocolate turned out decadent, chewy and fudgy! This chocolate can be used for anything – add as chips in ice cream, cupcakes or cookies or just eat as a treat.

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

100 grams cocoa butter

3 tbsp glucose syrup

2 1/2 tbsp cacao (or cocoa)

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

Measure out your cocoa butter.

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Then chop it up and melt over a water bath. Then add the glucose syrup whilst stirring and keep stirring until it has dissolved as much as possible (it will separate a little bit and the syrup will stay at the bottom. You may find that it doesn’t dissolve completely, that’s okay, it will still turn out fine).

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Take off the heat, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir some more.

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Then pour into a container (lined with a baking sheet) or make into chips or other decorative  shapes (just keep in mind that if you go too thin the end shape will bend at room temperature due to it’s fudginess). It will naturally separate into layers of liquid and dense chocolate (as seen by the different brown colors in the photos below. I love the different texture in bars etc. However, if you want more fudgy, chewiness rather than crunch, add more syrup and chocolate or reduce the cocoa butter.

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Then freeze until it has set (10 min – 30 min) and chop up and use for whatever purpose you desire! Or, you can keep it in the freezer for whenever you have a craving for it – after 10 seconds out of the freezer it has softened a little bit and you can munch away (depending on the thickness you may have to be patient a little longer if it’s completely frozen – the thicker you go, the longer it takes to ‘defrost’). Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Delectable white chocolate

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After making the chocolate cheesecake I found that the white chocolate worked great in the cake and as chips but I wanted more…. I wanted a white chocolate so great that it could be scoffed all by itself. After a failed attempt (too much coconut just doesn’t taste chocolaty), another fail (not creamy enough) and one nearly-there (good, but missing the awesome factor), I now have created a recipe that I almost didn’t get to photograph as it was disappearing too fast.

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

50 grams of cocoa butter

2 tbsp dextrose

Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod

1/8 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp almond butter (homemade or shop bought – but look for a 100% nuts one, no additives)

1/2 tsp rice flour (I used brown rice flour, you can also use normal riec flour or rice milk powder)

Directions:

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Measure out the cocoa butter, chop into smaller pieces (the smaller, the faster it melts) and melt over a water bath (meanwhile, make the almond butter if you need to). You can also do this in the microwave for a few minutes (it takes a lot longer than butter) but I feel more in control when I can look at it and stir when needed.

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While the cocoa butter is melting you can de-seed the vanilla pod (split open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a butter knife or spoon).

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Now add the dextrose and stir until dissolved. Take the bowl off the heat.

Add in the rice flour and vanilla seeds. Stir. Add vanilla essence. Stir. Add the almond butter. Stir.

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The mixture will look a little bit lumpy due to the almond butter which is fine (depends on how finely chopped and processed it is). Now, pour it into a container (chocolate shaped, bars, cheesecake, whichever shape, thickness or format you want – you can also pour it in a small bowl and wait for it to cool a bit in the fridge until it has the consistency of toothpaste and then pipe it on a baking sheet to shape chips). I made this batch one thin flat bar, to chop up and eat as is. Keep in the fridge or freezer.

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Enjoy!!!!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Using dextrose (glucose) in cooking and baking

Glucose powder loose (blog)

What is dextrose? Is it the same as glucose? What is it used for in baking? How is it different from regular sugar? How do I substitute dextrose for sugar in a recipe? Is glucose syrup the same as corn syrup? Where do I buy glucose / dextrose? This is your ultimate post on glucose / dextrose, read on to find out the answers to your questions 🙂

What is dextrose (glucose)?

Dextrose is a form of glucose. Dextrose = D-glucose, hence, the terms dextrose and glucose are used interchangeably. It’s also sometimes called corn sugar, grape sugar, crystaline glucose, wheat sugar, rice sugar or rice syrup.

The full name is dextrose monohydrate and it is a simple sugar generated from the hydrolysis of starch, most commonly corn. The corn starch is treated with naturally occurring enzymes (they same as in our mouths) or acid. There is no way around the fact that this is a processed product, but at least it simulates natural occurrences (when we eat starch, it’s hydrolyzed by enzymes and broken down further by stomach acids to for example dextrose).

Wait, hang on – I thought this was a sugar-free blog? 

I’m glad you asked. There are so many people, blogs, sites and books out there now with a “sugar-free” label. Despite that label, you may often find the following sugars in the recipes: Agave nectar, honey, brown rice syrup, glucose syrup, dextrose powder. Read about agave nectar here (to be honest, I fail to see this product as being healthy for anyone) and read about honey here (depends if you are overweight, diabetic or neither, but generally avoid it).

When it comes to brown rice syrup (also known as rice malt syrup or rice syrup), glucose syrup (also know as liquid glucose) and dextrose powder, these are all broken down to 100% glucose in our bodies. Glucose can processed by every cell in our body and is the brains main source of energy. So, not all sugar is ‘evil’, we do need some (our brains main source of energy is glucose). You just need to withdraw from your fructose addiction first before starting to swap to glucose. And even then, everything in moderation! Glucose does raise your blood sugar (blood sugar = glucose). The good part is that you will stop craving sugary things and your body will actually be able to tell you when you are hungry for real and how much you should eat. Your body has a well functioning appetite control. Unfortunately it gets over-ridden by our fructose addiction. Check out this great video from Dr. Robert Lustig which explains all the differences:

So, the main bulk of my family’s diet consist of healthy, unprocessed, home-made foods and I only sweeten with fruit such as banana and unsweetened apple sauce. However, when I would like a special treat or have friends coming over, and want to make cakes or muffins, or for physical activity, I do use dextrose (glucose). I am also currently finding out more about and experimenting with the natural (non-blood-sugar-raising) Stevia, Erythritol and Zylitol.

USING DEXTROSE/GLUCOSE IN BAKING:

Generally glucose for baking and cooking uses comes in two forms: Powder and syrup. The powder looks a lot like icing (powdered) sugar but is not quite a fine and it is only 50-75% as sweet as regular sugar. By regular sugar, I mean caster sugar (or brown sugar or raw sugar) = sucrose. These are all made up of glucose and fructose (usually in a 1:1 ratio).

Glucose (powder):

So far (I will keep updating this post when I learn new things), I have found the following (as per David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison): You can substitute sugar straight over for glucose but you need to increase the wet ingredients or decrease the dry ingredients as glucose absorbs more liquids that regular sugar. Furthermore, it seems that if you cook with glucose and it’s not covered (e.g. as in my granola) you need to reduce the temperature to around 160C (320F) as it will otherwise get a burned taste, however, if the glucose is mixed into for example cake mix, I have had no problems or burnt taste from keeping the temperature at 175C (350F). In pretty much ever other regard when it comes to baking, it acts exactly like regular sugar.

Glucose powder 2 pic (blog)

Glucose syrup / liquid glucose:

From my experiments I have so far found that you can swap this for honey in any recipe where the honey is used to make the end product sweeter (obviously honey has a distinct flavour which you don’t get from the syrup). Liquid glucose tastes sweet, but not as much as honey, however, it certainly is as thick and sticky!!!!

In contrast to glucose powder which absorbs moisture (and therefore needing extra liquids added to a recipe), glucose syrup keeps the baking moist and soft (and keeps it from going hard) as long as you don’t use too much, then it goes sticky. It is also often used in icing and ice cream to keep it from going too hard and give it that smooth texture.

NOTE: Glucose syrup is commonly derived from corn or wheat but can also be made from potatoes, rice and cassava. If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy you can safely eat glucose syrup (see more here).

Glucose syrup runny 2 pic (blog)

What’s the deal with corn syrup? Is it the same as glucose syrup / liquid glucose?

Yes and no. Well that was helpful right? The thing is, it depends on who defines it, the retailer and the country. In the US, glucose syrup is often called corn syrup because, in the States, it’s most frequently produced from corn. Makes sense, right? So, glucose syrup can be corn syrup but corn syrup isn’t necessarily glucose syrup. The difference is that corn syrup often has fructose added and the water content is slightly higher. So, if a recipe calls for corn syrup and you can’t get a hold of it, because it’s too expensive where you live or because you are avoiding fructose like me, just use glucose syrup instead and add a little extra water to the recipe (like a teaspoon or two).

In conclusion:

I find it easiest to remember that glucose swaps for regular sugar and glucose syrup swaps for honey. However, keep in mind that glucose is less sweet. I have tried quite a few recipes doing this straight swap and ‘sugarholics’ liked them all the same. Myself, now that is a different matter. I actually don’t feel much like sweet things (wow, it feels nice to be able to say this), so when I fancy an occasional treat, I will make a recipe with only 1/4 of the sugar that you would put in a traditional recipe. I now find the amount I used to crave sickly sweet.

Most of the recipes I have on my blog are a happy medium – sweet enough to bring along to visit friends (who will like it) and not too sweet for myself 🙂 So, if you are a fellow ex-sugarholic, you may be happy with the recipes as they are or possible cut down on the glucose (don’t forget to leave out a bit of liquids if using the powder version). In the opposite end, you could be a massive sugar fan and want to add in more (and then needing to add some liquid ingredients if using the powder version).

Where can I buy dextrose / glucose?

Where you can buy dextrose depends on which country you live in, but in most places you may find it at super markets, speciality stores and home brew shops (it’s used in beer and cider brewing too).

New Zealand: The powder in the top main photo I got from my local bulk shop in Auckland (Bulk Food Savings, by far the cheapest I have found at NZ $3.50 per kilo – it’s at 217 Dominion Rd but you access it from Walters Road where the Wendy’s car park is). You can also find it in home-brew shops and sections, but mainly I have seen it in the local supermarkets in smaller containers (Examples above: King Glucose – NZ$8.73 per kilo and Queen Glucose syrup – NZ$4.80 per 500 gram tub at New World). **prices updated March 20th 2015**

USA: If you have a home brew shop near you, this is probably always the cheapest option to buy dextrose powder, if not, this is the best deal I’ve found if you just want to get it shipped to your house via Amazon: Dextrose Corn Sugar 21 oz (600 gm)* (US$5.84 including shipping – US$2.4 per pound) or if you want a larger amount and cheaper by the pound: Corn Sugar 4lb* (US$14.61 including shipping – US$3.7 per pound). If you need glucose syrup (liquid glucose) please be aware that this is a minefield if you care about fructose content – on the description it sometimes says glucose and then it arrives and it’s really corn syrup (with fructose in)). I would suggest this one: Caullet Glucose Syrup – 2.2 lb* (prices updated March 20th 2015)

UK: Coming soon!

Australia: Coming soon!

Need some recipes using dextrose / glucose?

I can recommend trying the recipes in the book Sweet Poison Quit Plan by David Gillespie – I have been using some of his tips and tried a few recipes. The only thing is that, for me, the recipes take some adaptation to be gluten and dairy free too (but hey-ho, I’m practically an expert in that now).

You can of course check out my recipes too (and to see more posts like this, follow my blog by email, see top right, or like it on Facebook or Twitter). Here are some recipes (using glucose) from my blog (click on the pictures to see the recipes/blog post):

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*Please note that these are affiliate links. I only recommend products that I think is a good deal (because, why would anyone want to pay more than you have to if it’s the same product and quality, I have a family to feed too and always trying to save money) and are the soundest choices I have found (no dubious, unhealthy product for me thanks!). If you do decide to buy via these links you will support this page and help me keep going and bringing new great articles and recipes to you 🙂 

 

Chocolate peanut butter spread

PC spread

This evening I felt like something chocolatey in particular and more precisely, Nutella….. drool…   I created a palm oil free version last year (palm oil plantations are destroying most of the worlds pristine jungles and the animals in them, like tigers and orangutans – just so that we can buy cheaper products as this is a cheap oil).  And this recipe is glorious! Nobody I have served it too can tell the difference between that and Nutella (please ask me if you would like the recipe).

However, that recipe does have dairy and sugar in it, so, whilst I wait for my latest shipment (including cacao butter – I need this to make a good version) to arrive in the post I came up with this quick solution to pour over some muffins I made yesterday (muffin version of my pear and blueberry loaf). It doesn’t taste like Nutella but rather like peanut butter meets chocolate bar and gets a kiss 😉

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

3 tbsp cacao powder

3 tbsp peanut butter (use 100% pure peanut butter – I found that most cheaper brands have a disgusting amount of sugar, added oil and additives in it – you can even make your own. Pop peanuts in a blender, combine and done!)

1-2 tbsp Dextrose (glucose) powder

1 tbsp oil (I used canola)
Ingredients

Combine all ingredients with a fork. Change any ingredient to your liking to make it sweeter, more cocoay (is that a word?) or less runny. Voila!

Chocolate sorbet with pistachios

Main (blog)

For a long time I have wanted to see if I could replicate a popular ice creamery’s (Giapo) recipe for chocolate sorbet, so I asked them what was in it and found that it was only 3 ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar and water! My first try turned out very nice indeed and here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of dextrose (or however much suits your taste buds)
3/4 cup cacao

Combine the water and dextrose in a pan and heat on medium and stir until the dextrose is fully dissolved. Then sift in the cacao powder and stir continuously until the consistency is nice and smooth. Pop the mixture into an ice cream maker for 15-20 minutes. By now the consistency will be soft and creamy. If you want a more firm sorbet just pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes to 2 hours. This recipe keeps well in the freezer but it does taste best made fresh (and if you put it in the freezer it has to sit out for at least half an hour to get a bit soft). Enjoy!

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