Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chocolate Bars and Coating Dex+

Chocolate. King of candy, vital for candy bars, and has a magical snap and sheen. How, then, does a mere mortal sweeten an unsweetened chocolate bar, without ruining the magic? Very carefully. :)


This Dex+ chocolate has a great snap, and is shiny, with a deep dark chocolate taste. It is very thick, even when melted. When using it as a coating, I use a knife or the edge of the pot to swipe off part of the chocolate, otherwise the coat is too thick.

I tried several methods before finding what really works, including using cocoa powder instead of chocolate bars, and adding cream and sugar. Adding any liquids tends to produce tootsie rolls instead of chocolate. The best way I found was to use Ghirardelli 60% and 100% chocolate bars.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hot Cinnamon Jelly Beans Dex+

Halloween is almost here, and my son really wants Hot Tamales. I've been thinking about that, and they are basically a hot cinnamon jelly bean, so I picked up some of this Cinnamon Oil at a local cake supply shop. After making caramel, cookies, and syrups, how hard could a jelly bean be?

Declared "As good as Hot Tamales" by an expert taster.
It only took an entire day, complete with one wholesale change of recipes and five failed attempts, resulting in three very strange bowls of gloppy gluey but fun-to-play-with "stuff", one batch of super-hard candy, and one just a little too hard. I achieved a candy that was declared "Pretty much the same as Hot Tamales, I love you Mom." :) :)

To compensate for the softness of candy made with most of the sugar replaced with dextrose, I had an ace up my sleeve.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Soft Buttery Vanilla Caramel Dex+

Caramel. Gooey, buttery, amazing caramel. What is fall, or Halloween, without it? Dex+ is all about removing fructose and adding fiber, but caramel's primary ingredient, sugar, is half fructose. I wasn't sure what I'd end up with after replacing most of the sugar with dextrose, but clearly the only option was to give it a try.

Soft, buttery vanilla caramel, Dex+


Here's what I got: a soft, sticky, buttery, amazingly delicious caramel! It is less sweet than regular caramels, which I very much prefer. What do other people think? My work friends think I should open a candy store! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes, Dex+


This is a Dex+ version of "Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes" from Allrecipies. The origingal recipe uses the simplest ingredient list, and results in terrific pancakes. My husband liked them quite a bit, and he's not even a pancake fan.

We doubled the recipe, added vanilla, and adjusted the sugar and fiber to be Dex+. This is the thing to make when we want waffles, but we're out of buttermilk.

We froze the extras, and the kids toasted them on "defrost", having them for breakfast on school mornings. I didn't get any because they ate them all. I take that as an endorsement. Have them with Maple Syrup Dex+, and try with some blueberries thrown into the batter too.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chocolate Malt Nougat Dex+

Halloween. The father of all sugary holidays. We also have a family birthday on that day. I've been working on how to save this special tradition without giving up on my low-fructose efforts. Sure, it's just one day, but that bag of candy that each child brings home can last over a week, and we also buy bags to pass out, usually nibbling and there are leftovers. I had a plan though. I asked the kids, what is your favorite candy? If I make that Dex+, will you trade me all your fructose-filled candy for what I make instead?

They agreed! The favorites? Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Hot Tamales, and Gummy Worms. With a lot of uncertainty, I started trying my hand at the caramel, chocolate, and nougat. Is it possible to Dex+ a candy recipe? Yes, yes it is!

For several months, I've been rotating through the list, and now the experts (kids) have declared that I am done, and should move on to the gummy candies!

Candy Burn Prevention and Preparedness

I've been working on some candy recipes. Hot candy can cause a really nasty burn; I know, because I accidentally splashed some on my arm while taking notes. Here are some tips I follow for prevention, and preparedness if a burn occurs:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Maple Syrup Dex+

Maple syrup is an amazing thing; except that it has a lot of fructose in it. Use the darkest maple syrup you can find, and this syrup blend packs a great flavor. We find it delicious, and a bit less intensely sweet than 100% maple. It beats any "maple flavored pancake syrup" available at the grocery, no question. And it's Dex+, which means less fructose, with fiber.  :)

Waffle of Insane Greatness Dex+

These waffles really are great! The outside had a crispy crunch, inside was creamy, overall they were light and wonderful. The first waffle was actually a tad lighter brown than the rest, but was still good. They were flavorful and delicious. Butter, a light dusting of dextrose, a drizzle of Maple Syrup Dex+, and maybe a handful of fresh berries... mmm... One Dex+ waffle will leave you happy until lunch time, if not later.

(Left) Waffle topped with dextrose and Maple Syrup Dex+, and (Right) a waffle sandwich, with ham, smoked gouda, and Jam Dex+ 


The recipe is also pretty simple, not requiring anything fancy like separating eggs and beating the whites. Between this and the pancake recipe I found earlier, we will not be buying any more mix. Allow any extra waffles to cool, then wrap, freeze, and reheat in the toaster. If we don't have buttermilk, we make Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes instead; substitutes aren't worth the effort.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies Dex+

Today, I hit a home run! This is perhaps my eighth try at a Dex+ chocolate chip cookie. We have high standards for this, our favorite cookie. To be right, the cookie needs to have the signature buttery, caramel flavor. The texture is not cakey; rather it is crisp at the edges while lightly chewy in the center.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chocolate Ice Cream Dex+

Honestly, we don't always eat sweets. A pan of oiled and salted veggies roasted until tender are really good, as are many other naturally low fructose and higher fiber foods that don't require any adjustments to be Dex+.
When you want chocolate ice cream (left), this pan of delicious vegetables (right) just doesn't satisfy.
However, when on the way home from a football game with a hot, tired, triumphant marching band member, a potato just doesn't do the trick. The request is "Please, please, can't we have ice cream? There's a shop right there on the way home..." Last year I was ready; with an ice cream cylinder in the freezer, and Greek yogurt in the fridge, frozen yogurt was just a few minutes away at home. 

Then here it comes, "Mom, I want chocolate this time, and tangy yogurt doesn't go with chocolate....."

Crystallized Ginger Ale Dex+

I needed dex+ ginger ale this morning! I've attempted it before with fresh ginger, but wasn't satisfied with the result. This morning, when my youngest daughter woke up sick with a stomach "bug", I knew the time had come to give it another try! We didn't have fresh ginger, but I found a bag of crystallized ginger. About an hour later, I was able to give her a very nice glass of ginger ale. She only drank one sip, and that only because I told her to. Not exactly a rave review. About 15 minutes later, though, she was feeling much better, and was asking for some crackers. Success! And now I have a ginger ale recipe to share; bonus!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

No one says "Easy as Brownies"


How is it that most things are better home-made from scratch, except brownies? I've had a hard time ever finding a recipe that really beats a good box mix; equal, yes, but not really better. Maybe I'm alone in this, I don't know. Well, sometimes you just need a brownie, so I've been trying to make a Dex+ version. I think this is about try #7. While these have not met my standards of brownie perfection, they definitely satisfy that "I really need a brownie" feeling.