A Diabetic-Friendly Easter Basket
February 24, 2007 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone make a sugar-free chocolate bunny with something other than maltitol?

My housemate is a tremendous chocoholic, but also diabetic, which means she needs to severely limit her intake. I'd like to put together a nice easter basket for her. Most of the sugar-free chocolate I can find is made with maltitol, which, unfortunatley, tends to cause "gastric distress". Does anyone know where I can find a chocolate bunny made with, say, sucralose, instead?

I live in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City or there should be enough time to make a mail-order from farther away.
posted by Karmakaze to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try this page:

Buy a bunny mold at a craft store, and melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave (15-20 second intervals). I would guess that it doesn't matter to her if it is in bunny or bar form, though.

Hope this helps.
posted by bolognius maximus at 12:57 PM on February 24, 2007

here's the link-sorry, I'm not good at this:

posted by bolognius maximus at 12:58 PM on February 24, 2007

Bissinger's seems to have some nice looking erythritol-sweetened stuff, though no bunnies. I fear you're going to have a hard time finding a premade bunny. All the big manufacturers that would make such a thing insist on using maltitol, and then they wonder why nobody buys the stuff more than once.

Now that low-carb has been pronounced dead by the media, those of us who don't eat sugar pretty much have to make our own. I agree with the bunny mold idea above.

You can try to find any of the discontinued (shakes fist impotently at the sky) brands of Erythritol/Sucralose-sweetened chocolates out there. Eat Well Be Well bars seem to still be around, though their chocolate chips are pretty much gone. I hear that Dixie Diner are coming out with similar chips in the future but don't know if that will help you in time for easter.

If you do try to roll your own, don't just sweeten unsweetened chocolate with Splenda. It's bitter. Try a blend of whatever sweeteners she can tolerate: sucralose plus erythritol or xylitol, maybe a pinch of AceK if you can get some. Here is a post about the sweeteners used in Eat Well Be Well chips (RIP).
posted by bink at 1:54 PM on February 24, 2007

I'm a little concerned about erythritol as well - it seems that it's supposed to have less of a laxative effect than maltitol, which means it still does have that effect. (Basically anything ending in -ol is a sugar alcohol and causes upset).

I suppose if I could find a splenda chocolate bar, I know where to find molds.
posted by Karmakaze at 3:57 PM on February 24, 2007

If mannitol is ok, you can order Renaissance III sugar-free molding chocolate for ~$8/lb.

I found the Eat Well Be Well chips here.
posted by artifarce at 5:34 PM on February 24, 2007

Any of the sugar alcohols (malitol, sorbitol, etc) are likely to cause stomach upset, btw. Unfortunately, I have had a terrible time seeking out sugar-free candy that is not made with those evil evil sugar alcohols.

I like the idea of making your own chocolate bunny with a bunny mold, unsweetened chocolate & maybe a blend of Splenda and another sweetener.

You could also check out some health food stores to see if they have anything sweetened with stevia.
posted by tastybrains at 8:32 PM on February 24, 2007

One other thing to consider with the sugar alcohols is that they still react like sugar in your bloodstream, just with lesser intensity. I'm not diabetic, but I do live sugar free, and when I have anything with sugar alcohols, I can tell.

Plamil Foods in the UK makes chocolate flavored with xylitol - that's a birch sugar that has caloric content but does not cause an insulin response. The bars taste okay - but they are dairy free, and a little too sweet-tasting for me. Plamil does do mail order.

I have had moderate success mixing unsweetened chocolate with stevia to make chocolate bars. The taste is a little bitter, but not unappealing - kind of like a high quality dark chocolate. I use a very good stevia extract that I order from The Vitamin Shoppe . It's a bit pricey, but one 3 oz. jar lasts me the better part of six months. The nice thing about stevia is that it has no caloric content at all and actually helps to regulate your insulin.

I'm experimenting with how to make a more milk-chocolate like bar with the stevia, but I'm not there yet!

Be aware that if you take on the molding project yourself, you should check out this site on how to temper the chocolate. It's fun, but a little complicated.

Good luck, this sounds like a great present for your friend!
posted by dirtmonster at 1:12 AM on February 25, 2007

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