My 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption Disorder in August, after six years of terrible digestive trouble. Now she's doing very much better on a low-fructose diet, but she misses all her favorite treats. She can tolerate glucose/dextrose, aspartame (nutrasweet), saccharin, and up to a tablespoon of sucrose (cane sugar) per day max -- in practice we try to give her almost none. We've been bumping along without sweet things, but when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, tears welled up in her eyes and she said "I want to be able to eat candy again."
I'm not made of stone. My heart just broke. I want to help her out as much as I can, which means learning how to make candy with dextrose/glucose/corn syrup and as little cane sugar as possible. I have made candy occasionally in the past, and I'm a reasonably good and adventurous cook -- I make my own salami, that sort of thing -- so I feel like this is something I can tackle if I have good resources.
Which resources, though? I know that dextrose/glucose, while still a natural sugar, has very different structural and chemical properties than sucrose/cane sugar, but I don't know HOW they're different. Is hard candy out of the question? What about fudge, or caramels? What are the hard and soft ball stage temperatures?? Does glucose even HAVE a soft or hard ball stage? Are there resources, either online or in print, where I can learn more about this? Would I look at regular candymaking, or some molecular gastronomy whatnot, or. . .?