I have a big sweet tooth! It must be something that runs in my family! My Dad is renowned for devouring a slab of chocolate from the shop till point to the car, and for eating a 2 litre ice-cream in one sitting. Okay using my Dad as an example in this scenario is probably not the best idea, as he eats more than any human I’ve ever known and still manages to be thin and healthy… My Mom also had a sweet tooth; she often ate yummy sweet treats from Woolies or those huge slices of cakes from Mugg ‘n Bean. As you can see, it was inevitable… I was going to get the sweet tooth thing too…
I also have Type 2 diabetes in my family, so watching our sugar intake is important… Although I can’t say I have been too good with that. In the last two years I have attempted to control my sweet tooth, by boycotting sugary foods and drinks for a month, but anything beyond that would be torture for me. When doing these stints, I often did some research into brands and would try prepare my mindset for the change… There isn’t much out there; but I must say Canderel is a good option if you are looking to cut back on the sweeter side of life.
Before I go any further, it needs to be said that (well I think you all know this); I’m not a dietician, or qualified to make sweeping medical statements regarding diabetes and the effects using Canderel can have. All I can really share are my views about the taste and how it fares in the kitchen and works with recipes we use.
I was given a nifty pack from Canderel a while ago that consisted of their granules, chocolate, vanilla flavoured yellow sachets and Green Stevia tablets. I decided to do this review as there are so many people who suffer with diabetes or trying to control their weight. When faced with these kinds of problems it involves a huge lifestyle change and it’s not always the easiest thing to do.
Canderel offers a range of products that are sweet with healthy recipes and advice on how to use their products; so you’re not left in the lurch. The immediate difference you’ll note is that the granule texture is a lot different to sugar… Canderel granules are more powdery or compressed together to make small tablets. If you had to try it out on its own, you will get a sugary sweet taste followed by a very slight (and I mean slight) bitterness afterwards. My immediate thought was to start using the Canderel products exactly like I would with sugar. Some of the things I used it for was to put it into my tomato based dishes and in my coffee. You can taste the sweetness but it’s not as overpowering as pure sugar would be like.
It absorbs quickly in hot drinks but those used to sugary sweet drinks might find they will add more spoons to equal the extreme taste of sweetness they’re used to. I also attempted to make baked brie and roasted butternut with Canderel granules spooned on the top… these attempts didn’t work out as well as I had hoped as when cooking with normal sugar it melts, however I struggled to get the powdery granules to melt on its own. Adding the Canderel granules or the Stevia tablets to tomato based dishes were more successful. They absorbed quickly and offered the right amount of taste; I did have to gauge by taste how many spoons I needed to add, and I recommend others do the same; as we all have different preferences.
The Canderel chocolate was delicious. I often have a craving for chocolates! The chocolate reminded me of Oreo; it was light and airy. I couldn’t tell I was eating a ‘special’ chocolate… It hit all the good elements of what a chocolate should taste like; it melted in my mouth, was sweet and had a good chocolatey taste (not artificial). More importantly it put a smile on my face; if that counts for anything?
I attempted to make a pavlova with the vanilla scented yellow sachets and a recipe provided by Canderel. Making it was super easy, and when I opened the sachets the smell of vanilla filled my nostrils. However, I was disappointed with the end result. Despite all the previous steps working out, the texture of the dish wasn’t what I am used to. The vanilla sachets didn’t really help make the pavlova crispy on the outside, and gooey and sticky on the inside. It ended up tasting like a soft meringue. It held its shape, the colour turned a very orange golden brown, and the sweetness was just enough to take away the “egginess”. I do think bakers will have to experiment a few times with the substituting regular sugar with sweetners as the texture changes. Perhaps adding more spoons or sachets might be required to be very successful in adapting. My other attempt with the yellow sachet was to substitute my honey and try adding three sachets to my plain Greek yoghurt in the morning. It definitely sweetened the yoghurt and made it pleasant.
There is definitely a price difference from sugar to Canderel; you will have to pay more for sweeteners.
Overall, I think Canderel offers really good products for those trying to live healthier or suffer with diabetes. If you’re expecting a like-for-like swap from sugar to Canderel; you’re going to be disappointed. However, Canderel gets you pretty close to the sweetness you require! I don’t think there is much trouble in adjusting to it for normal cooking or for your regular warm beverages; however I do think the bakers out there might have to adapt a bit, and play around.