Sugar free sweets sweetened with stevia
Sweetened with stevia what does it mean?
Stevia is much sweeter than sugar. The Stevia used in confectionery is between 200-300 times sweeter than sugar
This means that much less stevia is required to achieve the desired sweetness than when using sugar. In a lot of confectionery, sugar does more than just add sweetness, it is also responsible for the bulk and texture of sweets.
As a result of this, stevia is usually used in combination with other sweeteners such as isomalt.
As an example, let's look at the Cherry and Pomegranate sweets from Zero Candies. These contain stevia but are also 90% isomalt so I have chosen not to flag them up as being stevia based.
Recently I have been trying the Sweet Switch bon bons that have a big sticker on the packet saying made with stevia but the first ingredients listed are Isomalt and maltitol.
The main ingredients in chocolate are usually the cocoa solids. The added sweeteners do not make up as a large percentage of the product as they do in sweets. There is chocolate on sale that contains no (or very little) added sweeteners. I have tried some of this and found the taste was intense, almost bitter although the texture was the same as a more conventional chocolate bar. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth but I found it needed some sweetness to make it enjoyable. In the end I used this chocolate to make some truffles. To sweeten chocolate with stevia makes sense but even here it is normally used in combination with other sweeteners.
Stevia - a final thought.
In many ways Stevia is less than ideal as a sugar replacement in many sweets as it is just too sweet and has to be combined with other sweeteners to produce the taste and texture of the sweets we love.