How do you cook with glucose?
April 8, 2010 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recipes or ideas for cooking with glucose powder instead of sucrose or HFCS.

Pure glucose is inexpensive and readily available from home brewing suppliers. It is called dextrose, or corn sugar; unlike high fructose corn syrup, it contains no fructose at all.

Both high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose contain both glucose and fructose. Fructose is now being blamed for many of the ill effects of both sweeteners, and it appears that glucose may be much healthier than either of them. I can avoid buying HFCS-sweetened processed foods, but I can't give up cooking with sugar altogether, as my family is not willing to give up cakes or chocolate candy, or to eat anything with artificial sweeteners. It might be interesting to try cooking using glucose as a sweetener, instead of sucrose or HFCS.

There are several differences in the properties of glucose powder. Glucose is not as sweet as sugar. Even though it's a dry powder, it's in the form of a monohydrate, so it contains more water than sucrose does; I wonder if this will be a problem in fudge. The glucose powder is more finely ground than sucrose, so creaming butter with glucose, for a cake, might not incorporate as much air as the usual sucrose crystals.

I'm going to do some trial and error, but it would be nice if there were recipes or helpful hints available already. Especially candy or fudge. I know how to bake, but I haven't made much candy. Would glucose work for that?
posted by Ery to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
One challenge you will have is that cooking glucose produces a much deeper brown color than the other sweeteners you suggest.
posted by Fiery Jack at 7:22 AM on April 8, 2010

The term you might want for googling is "vegan baking", add "glucose powder" if you want to get specific. There are dozens of blogs out there with original recipes and with experiments for transforming traditional recipes.

me: not vegan, can't help with specific recipes. But I've seen a lot of these when looking for gluten-free or for low-carb recipes.
posted by CathyG at 8:20 AM on April 8, 2010

Best answer: Try sorbets! I've had really good luck subbing in glucose for sucrose (pretty much equal parts) when I've wanted to make sorbets that aren't sticky-sweet, and yet have the smoothness that comes from sugar impeding ice-crystal formation. If you don't have an icecream maker, you can still make sorbet using freezing/blending cycles... google should be able to point you at the method.
posted by Westringia F. at 8:50 AM on April 8, 2010

Response by poster: Sorbets are a great idea! I'll have to try that, and ice cream, too. We do have an ice cream freezer around here somewhere.

I didn't find anything good with a search for "vegan baking". I'd rather allow the use of butter and eggs, anyway.

Interesting point about the increased browning. I knew fructose caused more browning, but can't find anything clear about glucose. I'll just have to see what happens. It probably won't matter if the things I cook turn extra-brown.

As an additional follow-up, something else I learned is that "Karo Light" corn syrup contains glucose but not fructose or sucrose, unlike other Karo products, so I could use light corn syrup instead of glucose powder. The name is disturbingly similar to an entirely different corn syrup product, "Karo Lite", which contains the artificial sweetener sucralose.

It seems to be a little bit easier to find glucose-based recipes under the name dextrose. Dextrose-based recipes I've found so far:
Chocolate Pudding Pastry of Love
Key Lime Bars made with dextrose
posted by Ery at 1:42 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

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