Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sugarfree Hard Candy?

OK Sally as our resident professional chef person....I need a personal favor....a sugarfree [clove] hard candy recipe so I can make some...Can't find a recipe for hard candy without a ton of sugar....and my good ole diabetic life won't let me unless i load up on inaulin [sic]...Help Please!!!!

Jim

Dear Jim,

Well, I have bad news and good news.

The bad news is that hard candy cannot be made without some sort of sugar product. Blame science. 

Reminiscing about high school science class, you'll recall sugar is C12H22O11 or a combination of carbon and water. (OK.Reminiscing about high school science class probably doesn't make you recall the chemical composition of sugar. You probably recall that cute blond in the next row. Work with me, Jim.) When water evaporates from sugar, it becomes harder due to it's carbon content.  Get it? Carbon is hard, right?

Sugar is make of tiny crystals. When a sugar-water solution is cooked, the water evaporates. Eventually, these tiny sugar crystals come together to form larger crystals. While molten, these large crystals can be molded. Once cooled, they become large hard crystals. That, Jim, is what a piece of hard candy is; a very large sugar crystal.

Since candy making depends on sugar's structural foundation, most so-called sugar free candy contains a small amount of a sugar product, such as malitol, a sugar alcohol. You could make sugar-free hard candy from scratch from this recipe.     However, since malitol has the highest glycemic value of all sugar substitutes, this is something to run by your doctor.

Sorry, Jim. I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear.  However, hard candy is a pain to make.  Malitol is expensive. You probably would not save any money making it yourself.  Do yourself a favor and buy it already made.

I promised you some good news. Here it is. Sugar-free clove candy can be bought online - often for less money than it would take to make it.  Here's a couple of sources.

The Candy Emporium

Stained Glass Candy  

I hope that helps. If not, just remember you're sweet enough without sugar.

Tastefully,

Aunt Sally

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