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  1. Note that erythritol has a lower molecular weight than sucrose. Inulin, on the other hand, will be higher. It's not clear to me how adding lecithin could make the result better---it's not going to make the particle size smaller than the initial particle size in the input powders. It seemed to me like the texture I got was really controlled by the input particle size. Unless the blender can actually make the inulin and erythritol particles smaller. I am thinking I might try one more attempt, where I use a regular blender bowl so I can see what's happening and really process for a long time, though I don't have high hopes. And I don't see any harm in adding a bit of lecithin. How much lecithin does one usually use? Liquid form would be better, presumably.
  2. I tried mixing with a blender. My batch was small and I used a tiny blender cup, which made it impossible to see what was actually happening inside. The end result was that the powders (erythritol and inulin) incorporated reasonably well---much better than when I used a whisk. But in the final chocolate I still detect a powery texture, so I suspect this indicates that ultimately the only way to get a truly smooth result is the melanger. I'm still curious about inulin syrup, how to make it and what one can do with it.
  3. You've made caramels where inulin completely replaces the sugar? Using the same method as with sugar, like making an inulin syrup and then cooking it until the water is driven off and the inulin browns? I have often wondered whether caramelizing some of these alternative sweeteners might transform them into other chemicals that the body metabolizes differently.
  4. I'd be interested in seeing the information about inulin-erythritol syrups. We made lemon posset with erythritol and had issues with crystallization, and this sounds like a strategy for controlling it. I do not think it is right to describe inulin as "low sweetness dried corn syrup". That description should go to "corn fiber" which I think is a type of dextrin, a product that is synthesized through enzymatic modification of corn starch, and is chains of D-glucose. Inulin is present in chicory root and sunchokes and just needs to be extracted from the roots, and it is made from chains of fructose. I'm not exactly reverse engineering here. Commercially produced no-sugar chocolates are too sweet. And they don't use beans that I like, so the flavor isn't great. I can buy unsweetened chocolates that I like, so I thought that I could sweeten them myself. I'm not sufficiently committed to this to actually make my own chocolate from beans, or to purchase a large special purpose machine---my kitchen is small. The commercial bar has erythritol and inulin. Why is the inulin there? I would assume that the erythritol crystals can't grow in a chocolate bar---or am I wrong about that? It seems like it must be there for bulk reasons. While the flavor of my chocolate sweetened with just stevia wasn't idea, it also seemed that something was odd about the texture and mouth feel. I thought this must have to do with the lack of a bulk sweetener, hence the idea that I should add some bulking agent. (I did hope that adding erythritol would improve both flavor and texture.) Are you saying that when I added powdered erythritol to my chocolate that crystal growth occurred? The grains grew together? If my problem is really all about crystallization then I could use allulose or maybe bochasweet, neither of which have erythritol's strong tendency to crystallize. I chose erythritol because I had it on hand in powdered form. I've never felt like grinding sugars in the blender gave as fine a texture as the commercial powdered product. (Though I haven't revisited that matter recently. Maybe my spice grinder could do better.)
  5. When I add a sugar to a a mixture that contains water, the sugar of course dissolves in the water. In chocolate there is no water. So is it the case that for chocolate, the sugar remains as separate particles, so achieving a smooth texture can only be accomplished by grinding to reduce particle size of the sugar and separate particles? How is the Sumeet grinder different than using the Vitamix (which I actually have)? It seems like I ought to be able to achieve a texture at least as fine as my inputs (powdered) rather than the much coarser texture I actually got.
  6. I was thinking standard kitchen equipment. I looked up melangers---are they the same as wet grinders?---and they are not small. I don't think I have space for another piece of equipment, and definitely not something that big. (I really don't have space for what I have already.) Are these things basically a conching machine? Given that the unsweetened chocolate is already conched, there's no way to add ingredients without a machine like this? What I found puzzling was that when I added powdered ingredients to chocolate, the texture I got was coarser than either input, like the powders clumped. And the chocolate had a strangely thick texture. I haven't tried the blender or food processor yet---my experimental batches have been on the small size for those machines. Note that I don't find Lily's to have a perceptible cooling effect, despite its use of erythritol. I don't know how much this response varies from person to person, but I find that when the amount of erythritol is small I don't seem to notice that effect. (I find it very distracting in cakes that contain a larger amount, so it's not that I never notice it.) There are other possible options such as allulose or bochasweet with no cooling effect.
  7. I'm interested in sugar free chocolate. I have seen various products on the market and generally find that they have a reasonable texture, but they are much too sweet. Lily's has an "85%" product that is one of the better ones, but still not great. I tend to prefer sugar based chocolate around 75% cocoa, depending on the specific chocolate, but for some reason the market seems to aim for something whose sweetness is more like 50%-60%, regardless of how they label it. I have tried making my own by selecting an unsweetened chocolate I like and adding sweetener. If I use monkfruit or stevia powdered concentrate, this sort of works, though the flavor might benefit from more diversity of sweeteners. But also the resulting chocolate has a somewhat odd texture once it melts in the mouth (not sure how to explain it). I have suspected that this might be because the 25% sugar does something beyond simply adding sweetness. If I look at the Lily's ingredient list they are putting erythritol and inulin in the chocolate. I tried mixing these ingredients into some unsweetened chocolate, but I got a grainy texture, even though I started with fairly finely powdered erythritol and inulin. Is there a method for me to add these sort of bulking agents to unsweetened chocolate and get a decent texture with normal equipment?
  8. I think the pistachio butters I used were roasted. One issue in general with roasted nuts is that there is a tendency I've noticed for nuts to be over-roasted. It's pretty much impossible to get roasted hazelnuts that aren't roasted to death, and some of the Italian hazelnut butters I tried were the worst offenders. I think my preference would be for the nuts to be lightly roasted.
  9. Of course I can't use glucose (dextrose) in a sugar-free ice cream. Erythritol crystallization is actually a major problem in general. I don't understand the chemistry, but that stuff really likes to form crystals. I developed a sugar free lemon bar recipe and even without a huge amount of erythritol it was prone to crystallizing out in a day or two, resulting in crunchy bars. I tried adding fructo-oligosaccharides and that seemed to help. But when I used polydextrose in ice cream with erythritol it didn't seem to make it softer. Certainly not the way glycerin does.
  10. That was an interesting read. I wonder if there are other things that would inhibit erythritol crystallization. Note for clarification, the article said that adding a sugar alcohol (they listed xylitol, sorbitol and maltitol) would inhibit crystallization. The sucralose is added for sweetness and the polydextrose to "[add] bulk and ... creamy sensory attributes".
  11. Well, I can tell you from my experience with making ice cream that if you replace sucrose with erythritol (a sugar alcohol with molecular weight 122) it transforms a soft ice cream into one that freezes rock hard, like ice cubes. So that seems to contradict your theory.
  12. I have no idea how I started with 162g of water, removed 15% and arrived at 18g. And it's been a couple years, so I really don't recall what I was doing. I think the original recipe of 2 parts cream and 1 part milk is fairly conventional. Note that allulose and bochasweet (pentose) are both small molecules. The pentose with a molecular mass of 150 is even smaller than fructose at 180. So it's no surprise that they are effective at softening ice cream.
  13. I have found that if you use allulose or bochasweet it gives a soft ice cream as well.
  14. I sampled the ice cream yesterday evening. It was quite soft. I tried it again this morning and it's harder, but still easily scoopable. It's probably softer than it needs to be. However, there's an issue. It has a terrible texture. It's not smooth. The texture is kind of grainy. I'm not sure if it's ice crystals or something else---I suspect it might be something else. But that's definitely not very encouraging.
  15. I went ahead and made this following the extended cooking procedure (even though paulraphael thinks it's mixing up variables). I used the formula I listed where the milk is replaced by casein protein, whey protein, water and the 67g erythritol. I froze it this morning and I'm pretty sure it's going to be scoopable, because it was almost soupy after it was frozen (at 16 deg F). In fact, I predict that it's going to be unnecessarily soft. I did find that the sweetener combination seems to bother the back of my throat, so I don't know if I'd say this is an acceptable final recipe. Why is this formula soft? Is it simply that the quantities of sugar-like substances (xylitol, erythritol and polydextrose) suffice to replace the sugar and lower the freezing point? Or does it have something to do with protein?. It seems like the next step would be to eliminate the long cooking step and see what happens. That's a pretty annoying step. The recipe would need to be adjusted to account for the water loss in cooking. For my recipe it's easy enough to remove 15% of the weight in water. That leaves only 18 g water remaining, which actually also makes it obvious that this recipe is unusually high in fat. It's got the fat and milk solids without the accompanying water. (I have assumed you used heavy cream, 36% fat.) It looks like if you want to do this using without protein powders then you would use 520 g heavy cream, 20 g whole milk and 14.5 g powdered milk to replace the milk and cream. (You'd add this to your already existing powdered milk quantity.)
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