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Old 02-07-2006, 01:18 PM   #11
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Just a quick tip, when i make sorbet at my restaurant, to make sure the proportions of water, citrus juice and sugar are correct, I float an egg in the mix. What to look for is a dime size part of the egg to stick out of the liquid. If it is smaller, add more sugar, if it is larger, add more liquid. hope this helps
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
Scott123, I am humbled and thankful for the info you presented in your post. It is interesting and timely. It will get me started making my own ice-cream again. Unfortunately, I won't be able to use sugar as an ingredient as I am diabetic. But with the help of some sugar alcohols, glycerine, and other various gums (I have guar and xantham gums in the cupboard), I just might be succefull yet.

Do you have any advise on how much of these ingredients to use per unit liquid? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Sugar free, huh? You're in luck because sugar free ice cream is my specialty. I kid you not :)

What kind of sweeteners do you have on hand? I'm assuming you've got splenda, right? Which sugar alcohol(s) do you work with? How is your tolerance to sugar alcohols? Do they laxate you? Do they spike your blood sugar? In a way sugar alcohols are better for making ice cream due to their superior freezing point depression capabilities. They do have some issues such as a cooling effect and tendency to crystallize when used in large amounts so I normally recommend them as only part of the sweetening mix.

Cold numbs the taste buds, so quite a bit more sweetener is used in frozen confections than in recipes served at room temp. Because of the quantity of sweetener necessary for ice cream, splenda's metallic aftertaste can become quite pronounced. Splenda + a sugar alcohol + one more sweetener is ideal from a quality of taste perspective. Ace k makes a great third sweetener when used in small amounts.

The commercial sugar free manufacturers are big on polydextrose. Are you familiar with it? That's what I use in ice cream. It's great for creating sugary texture and helps promote scoopability but isn't absolutely essential.

I've got a few good ice cream recipes. They're all fairly sweetener specific, though. Once we hammer out the sweeteners you want to use, I'll track down some recipes for you.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:36 PM   #13
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Maltitol, Xylitol, and Lactitol seem to be the sugar alcohols best suited to making ice cream (judgement made by researching sugar alcohols and their properties, on-line). I have used DaibetiSweet and found it suitable for other cooking chores. But it is a combination of Isomalt and Acesulfame K. The problem with isomal, according to the article I read, is that it does not dissolve well, or absorb water. It remains hard and crystaline.

I'm sure that I could find a source for the other, above listed sugar alcohols. And yes, I do have Splenda in the house. I believe that Maltitol would be the polyol of choice as it is said to provide a creamy texture to foods.

What sugar alcohol is your favorite, or do you have one?

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Old 02-13-2006, 06:24 AM   #14
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Well, there's two sides of the coin here regarding which sugar alcohol is best for ice cream. For the best tasting ice cream, definitely maltitol. Maltitol is, by a landslide, the best tasting/most sugar-like sugar alcohol there is. It's also a no brainer 1 for 1 sub with sugar. In a perfect world, all us sugar free devotees could just switch to maltitol and that would be that. Unfortunately, maltitol has issues :( It's laxating. Sensitivity varies from person to person, but for a pretty good chunk of the population, maltitol represents abdominal pain/porcelain throne time. Even if you're one of the lucky ones that can consume it without gastric repercussions, there's still glycemic impact to deal with. I don't always agree with Mendosa, but in this instance, he's on the money when he talks about the glycemic impact of sugar alcohols:

http://www.mendosa.com/netcarbs/

Bottom line, depending on the individual, maltitol can be high glycemic and/or laxating. Maltitol doesn't laxate me, but it gives me a major sugar rush. I don't measure my bg, but the feeling is quite pronounced. Maltitol syrup is even worse. I get a huge buzz and then crash viciously. Lactitol, on the other hand, tears my insides apart. Xylitol has a lot of devotees and is widely available, but unfortunately it's still in that potentially laxating/potentially bg spiking gray area. Isomalt- same deal. All sugar alcohols are potentially laxating/bg spiking... with the exception of erythritol. Because erythritol follows a different pathway through the body, it doesn't cause laxation or a rise in blood sugar. It's one of a kind in this way. It's expensive, unavailable locally, it crystallizes in a heartbeat and can have a 'cooling effect' if not handled properly, but you can serve it to company and not worry about sending someone to the bathroom and it's wicked low carb/low calorie/low GI. I don't use a great deal of it, but it holds a very honored place in my sweetener pantheon.

If this ice cream is only going to be for you and you're perfectly fine with any potential ramifications from the maltitol, then maltitol it shall be :) A maltitol based ice cream should be pretty easy.

Polydextrose and erythritol make totally kick butt desserts, but they can get a little complicated/intimidating. If people are looking for the absolute best in sweetening with the fewest potential tradeoffs and are willing to put in the money, time and effort, polyd and erythritol are the direction that I point them in. For the less adventuresome, I stear those people towards ace k (Acesulfame K). Ace K, brand name Sweet One, improves the taste of splenda exponentially, is cheap and is relatively easy to find locally. It may be hard to imagine the taste of splenda being improved upon with the addition of other sweeteners, but once you give them a try, the difference is night and day- especially with bitter items like unsweetened chocolate or frozen applications.

Right now, my sweetener blend of choice contains liquid splenda, erythritol, ace k and polyd. There's some sweeteners on the horizon that might improve upon it (tagatose could be promising), but for the moment, I believe that there is nothing better for recreating the taste and the texture of sugar. It's in a class by itself.

Btw, what are you're feelings about fructose? I'm very anti-fructose because of the long term health issues associated with it. This being said, it amplifies sweetness when frozen and works wonderfully in ice cream in very small amounts. The key words being 'very small amounts.' If you're open to it, I'd recommend obtaining some for the sole purpose of ice cream making.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:20 PM   #15
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I generally stay away from fruictose as it is a true sugar and tends to spike BG very rapidly. But, unlike sugar, it is metabolysed by the body without a need for insulin. High-fruictose corn syrup is one of the most unhealthy sugars available on the market, and is used in so many sweet products.

And thanks for the info on the sugar alcohols. And yes, too many chocolates made with maltitol can send me scurrying to the porceline throne. But in moderation, I have succesfully consumed it.

And I found a site that sells erythritol, and so it isn't beyond reach, though I don't remember the price.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:22 AM   #16
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So far, the best price I have found on erythritol is here.

I guess one of the reasons why I stay clear of maltitol is that I have problems with portion control. If you can consume it in moderation, all power to you.

So... a maltitol based ice cream it will be. Maltitol, glycerin and xantham gum are officially confirmed ingredients. I think we're almost there- just a couple more things to hammer out.

Regarding the term 'sugar free.' What about the lactose in milk? Do you drink milk? Will a cream/milk based ice cream recipe work for you?

And, lastly, where are you with fat? Please tell me that you're okay with a relatively high fat ice cream. I can help you with a low fat formula, but it'll be so much harder to do well.

Oh, and what brand/size of ice cream maker do you own?
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:13 AM   #17
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I'm ok with both fat and milk. Again, portion control, and how often I consume the portion is key. So, let's see if I can make a soft, scoopable ice cream.

Oh, and thanks for your help.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:35 PM   #18
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You're welcome :)

And your brand/size of ice cream maker?
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Old 02-17-2006, 09:35 PM   #19
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Hello? Still there?

Ice cream maker size/brand?
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:28 PM   #20
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Quite often it is chemicals and preservatives (stablizers) that give store bought sorbet that "semi-soft" feeling you are aiming for
I agree, you might just want to write on a small label explaining that this is a home made high quality product that may have a tendance to be a bit harder than the commercial brands. Please consider taking it out of the freezer fifteen minutes prior to consuming, if you can wait that long.

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