The discovery of dextrose

In a recent post I wrote that I’ve read several books about sugar. I’m becoming something of a geek about it and poor hubby is sick of hearing about it.

I have read Sweet Poison by David Gillespie twice now and made notes so that I could return it to the library. During my second reading, I realised I had overlooked the fact that maple syrup and honey both contain a lot fructose with no fibre and was happily continuing to eat them because they are both ‘natural’. Hmm. I’m currently working out what to do about that.

The other thing to keep an eye on is the sugar in breakfast cereal. I love porridge at the moment but our active toddler likes his ‘pops, puffs and wheels’ (rice pops, sugar-free puffed wheat and multigrain hoops) for breakfast. David Gillespie suggests choosing cereal which contains less than 10g sugar per 100g and more than 2.5g fibre per 100g. That really limits your breakfast choice because even the ‘healthy’ ones contain a surprising amount of sugar. I am changing our son’s breakfast bowl to a bowl of puffed wheat without sugar (some supermarkets sell their own brand) and corn flakes for. I’ve also switched our son from sugary kiddy yoghurts to full fat Greek yoghurt in a bowl with some berries on top!

I have been feeling guilty about buying and making sugary cakes and biscuits for hubby. He eats them regularly so it’s not really a ‘treat’ (although he would say it is). Our son is allowed a piece of cake or a chocolate on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and inevitably if we see family. That’s a treat because it’s less frequent. Hubby is happy for me to be sugar free but he still likes his cakes.

In Sweet Poison, David Gillespie notes that dextrose is pure glucose which means it is fine to eat, as fructose is the bad bit of sugar. A small victory for frozen chips! I therefore decided to try making cakes and biscuits with dextrose in them instead of table sugar. Hubby was looking for dextrose anyway to make a Giorgio Locatelli blood orange sorbet and ended up ordering some from Boots, where it has the advantage of containing added Vitamin C. We haven’t found it anywhere else yet, aside from those dextrose tablets you can buy for a rush of energy.

After a little look around I found some dextrose baking recipes and have linked to some below. I don’t think hubby will ever give cakes and biscuits up even after me harking on about how bad it is, but at least these will be a bit healthier.

Hot cross buns made with dextrose
Hot cross buns made with dextrose

Easter is just around the corner. Obviously no chocolate eggs for me this year, but I’d forgotten about yummy toasted and buttered hot cross buns. So when I saw this hot cross bun recipe using dextrose I decided I would definitely try baking them! Here they are, hot from the oven and freshly glazed on Saturday afternoon.

No, they’re not uniform in size. No, the crosses aren’t particularly obvious. But YES they taste AMAZING! I’d never made hot cross buns before. They were really easy to make though. I used half white and half wholemeal plain flour, added a handful of raisins and found the glaze was really sweet. It was just so nice to eat hot cross buns when I thought that would just be another thing I wouldn’t eat any more. I love them, as do the boys. Next time (yes, there will definitely be a next time) I might make 16 instead of 12 because some of them are whoppers. They have to be toasted under the grill rather than in the toaster because they’re so big.

Dextrose choc cake
Dextrose chocolate cake

Last week I made dextrose chocolate cake based on a recipe for dextrose cupcakes. I added some cocoa to the cake mixture and baked it in a bigger tin. It came out pretty flat as the tin was probably too big but hubby was happy to eat it! If I made a sandwich cake I don’t know what I’d put in the middle as obviously jam or buttercream icing would be out. I like that, at the end of the recipe, it says you can keep any leftover icing, spread on a baking sheet and chill. It’s almost like chocolate!

A few recipes I am yet to try:

Dextrose advice

Chocolate mousse

Eve Schaub – brownies recipe

David Gillespie – chocolate caramel sandwich biscuits 

The Sugar Breakup – various recipes

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8 thoughts on “The discovery of dextrose”

  1. I’ve seen dextrose commonly in home brewing shops who sell it by the kilo quite cheaply, there are tons of them online. It’s often sold as ‘brewing sugar’ but is still 100% dextrose. As for non sugar replacement sweetners we like xylitol (although I think the x is for ex-pensive) but the jury’s out on Stevia (I find it bitter).

  2. Not sure if salt is an issue for you guys or not as Cornflakes have over 700 mg of salt and the recommended ok level is like 400 and something mg, and less for good level plus it doesn’t have over 2.5 g of fibre either. Rice maple syrup is a replacement for honey as that is glucose too.

    You can make your own raw chocolate if you still want chocolate for Easter and koko black sells 100% dark chocolate so less than 1 g of sugar but its really bitter and quite expensive.

    I’m going to try David’s hot cross buns this week so I’m glad to hear that it worked for you and still taste good.

    1. Oh and you can just whip up cream to add to the chocolate cake. If you buy cream and whip it up at home its fine. The only sugar in cream is the lactose sugar which is natural and as long as you don’t add sugar to it, it will be a good substitute.

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