Sugar free caramel? What is caramel other than heated sugar and maybe some butter and maybe some cream (for the saucy aspect).
Since Splenda was, at one point, real sugar, is there any reason why I just can’t use it instead? I know that under magnification Splenda and sugar look different, but is it enough of a change to prevent the same properties when heated?
The major problem is simply going to be the amounts. Sucralose is much, much sweeter than sucrose, and most of what’s present in a package of Splenda is basically a bulking and stabilizing agent (usually maltodextrin.) If you could get enough pure sucralose it might caramelize, but I can’t say for sure what effect the difference in structure would have. Basically, if you tried to use a box of Splenda, you’d mostly be caramelizing (or trying to caramelize, since I don’t know if it’s possible) maltodextrin.
No, but if you get a product called “Diabetisweet” its made from sugar alcohols and it DOES caramelize.
During my sugar-free ice cream making phase I was able to make butter toffee using Diabetisweet and butter. Other than the fact that it never quite became “toffee brown” – it stopped browning at light tan – it was darn tasty. I do remember that the basic recipe (equal volumes butter and sweetener) yielded a toffee with a lot of waste butter. Probably a lesser volume of butter would be better.
But that has sugar in it. The question in the OP was whether or not you could make sucrose-free caramel using sucralose. And it doesn’t matter how bulk it is, the vast majority of the mix is going to be a bulking agent.
Look, sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sucrose. I’m not sure if that’s gram to gram or mole to mole or what (it doesn’t really matter, as I am about to show), but let’s say it’s mole to mole. Sucralose has a molecular weight of 397.64 while sucrose has a molecular weight of 342.30, so 1 gram of sucrose is the same molar amount as 1.16 grams of sucralose. But to get the same sweetening power of sucrose using sucralose, you only need 1.94 micrograms of sucralose. (Gram to gram would be 1.67 micrograms of sucralose). So let’s say you need a cup of sugar (that should be about 8 ounces or 227 grams.) The equivalent amount of sucralose you need would be about 0.44 grams. There simply has to be some sort of bulking agent to make it possible to easily measure out an appropriate amount of sucralose.
So, unless you are making the sweetest (or biggest) freaking caramel I’ve ever heard of, you’ll never be able to use enough sucralose by itself. A packet of Splenda weighs one gram, and in that one gram is (according to my math) about 0.00000167 grams of sucralose and 0.99999833 grams of maltodextrin, or about 600,000 times as much bulking agent as sucralose. So basically you’d have to caramelize whatever the bulking agent is and the sucralose is along for the ride. And, as far as I know, maltodextrin does not caramelize.
Oh, good grief. It’s obvious that the OP just didn’t happen to know about Splenda Sugar Blend for Cooking. That’s the product he wants. Talk about about whether sucralose caramelizes vanishes as soon as someone sets in front of you an already formulated version designed to caramelize. Why even bother wasting the time to talk about Splenda packets when the baking product is in every store?
It indeed can be made starting from sucrose. The patent literature gives other possibilities as well, such as sucrose-6-esters. I believe that this is the original patent from Tate & Lyle (but I’m not sure) and here is a later patent using a different method. Several methods are described in the later patent from Talres Development and another method is Example 3 in the Tate & Lyle patent.
First, the Tate & Lyle patent. You’re right that this particular method doesn’t really start with sucrose but with already-chlorinated sucrose formed earlier from already-acelyated and benzylated sucrose, but then the question is where does that protected sugar come from initially.
Anyway, now for the Talres Development patent.
One starts with sucrose in pyridine, is partially acetylated using acetic anhydride then chlorinated with sulphuryl chloride with some chloroform added to control the speed of the reaction. They then work it up, followed by deacetylation and some purification.
A second method starts with sucrose, goes through a transesterification (the reference is given in the patent), then chlorinated with sulphuryl chloride and worked up.
A third method starts with sucrose and sodium carbonate in water and then uses benzyl chloride to monobenzylate the sucrose (giving two products.) The products are then chlorinated as above and purified.
A fourth method described is where they start to get fancy, presumably for ease of large-scale synthesis. Still, though, it starts with sucrose. Same with the fifth method.
There are probably more methods and more patents out there, but I hate searching the patent literature. This thread mentions that it’s possible to make sucralose using phosgene. In any case, I find that the patent literature is always a gigantic pain in the butt and that reading patents is very frustrating.
The OP said that he wanted to know if he could make a sugar-free caramel using Splenda. If it is a sugar blend, then it’s not sugar-free, even if the amount of sugar is reduced.
If I was the OP, I’d go looking for a sucralose-malitol (or other sugar alcohol if possible, as maltitol has several problems) blend or just use a sugar alcohol. Malitol would probably the easiest one to find (as well as the cheapest) but I’d probably prefer to use something like erythritol or xylitol.
A sugar alcohol has no relation to ethanol (generally known as alcohol.) Well, they both have alcohol functional groups, but they’re very very different otherwise. Xylitol for instance is 1,2,3,4,5-pentahydroxypentane with the stereocenters (2S,3R,4R).
Yep, though, for a general FYI, many of those hard candies are NOT low in carbohydrates, something that diabetics also should cut down on. I ate sugar-free hard candies when I was trying to quit smoking so I had bags and bags of them around. Then I was diagnosed diabetic and had to go on a low-carb diet. I happened to casually check the label on my hard candies and my eyes nearly popped out. They were all LOADED with carbs. I had to throw every single one of them away.
Another general FYI, sugar alcohols, especially malitol, can give many people a miserable case of the runs. The quantity varies by person, so adam yax, if you do use a sugar alcohol, warn your dad not to eat too much, or to make sure he only eats it when there’s a bathroom and shower handy.
I only use liquid Splenda and/or Stevia (liquid and powder), neither of which will work for caramel, but I am intrigued by the possibility of eating caramel again. Please post the recipe when you figure out what you’re going to do. I love caramel.