BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Adventures in Chocolate

There are very few resources out there for people on a low sucrose diet that aren't all about being diabetic.  However, that is probably because complete CSID (congenital sucrose isomaltase deficiency) is rare.  Those individuals (depending on their genotype) cannot handle even the smallest amount of sucrose and have huge failure to thrive once they start on solid foods as babies.

Nikolai is a recessive carrier, meaning he produces only about 1/2 of the enzymes that he needs.  This is much more likely in the population... and after getting his diagnosis it didn't take us long to figure out who else was carrying the gene in our family (my mother, and I have never been big sweet-tooths and get sick after eating too many carbs). 

A recessive carrier can handle about 2 servings of starchy foods a day, and less then 2% sucrose in a meal.  The stomach issues generally affect children more strongly... however if you find yourself getting nauseous just thinking about eating a gummy bear, then you might want to consider the fact that you could be CSID recessive.  This website is full of great information.  It talks about the genetics and breaks down the sucrose and starch content of various foods.  Sticking to a diet based on the information on that website has worked wonders for Nikolai.  He's even started self-reporting stomach aches when he eats something that is too high in sucrose.

However, this means that Christmas treats all need to be sugar-free.  I have found two decent sugar-free recipe sites to help us with our baking: Sucrose Free Living, and Sugar Free Recipes.  However, they don't cover the plethora of foods we want to make.  Also they use artificial sweeteners or those high fiber natural sweeteners (xylitol, agave).  I'm not interested in either of them, as they are all hard on your system.  The occasion use of xylitol or agave is not problematic, but it certainly wouldn't work as a sugar replacement.

Anyways, this means that I need to be creative.  So after 3 batches of "recipe testing" here is my chocolate recipe! 

Honey Chocolate

With this recipe all the usual rules apply to prevent the chocolate from seizing.  So, I've yet to figure out how to add a flavouring extract. 

However, it works great as a hard chocolate, and doesn't even require refrigeration once it's been set!  It also has a distinctly honey flavour. The best part is that the recipe is so easy that even my 4 year old can make it (with supervision of course!)

1. Prepare your molds by polishing them with a soft cotton cloth to prevent air bubbles. If you want to add dried fruits, nuts or cereals to your chocolate these are best added to the molds first. 
2. Melt in a double boiler over boiling water: 3/4 cup of cocoa butter, 5 Tbsp honey, and a pinch of salt. You can substitute up to 2 Tbsp of coconut oil for the cocoa butter.  This will add sheen to your chocolates, but it will also make them softer.  I generally just add 2 tsp of coconut oil.
3. Whisk in 3/4 cup of dark cocoa powder and add in any flavours you may want to include.  (My suggestions are: orange zest, vanilla bean, chili powder, cinnamon.)
4. Pour chocolate into the molds, or drop onto wax paper to create chocolate chips, chocolate buttons or chocolate bark. You can also use this chocolate to dip truffles or cream centres.  It is a good all purpose chocolate.  It won't harden quite as quickly as regular chocolate, so you will have to wait for it to cool in order to make chocolate chips, or use it for dipping, etc.
5. Tap molds gently to ensure that there are no air bubbles. Refrigerate until set (about 1 hour).  Depending on the amount of coconut oil you used, these can sit out at room temperature.  However, they will keep for longer in the fridge (1 month +).
For Christmas I've made chocolates with dried cherry centres, and ones with almond and dried cranberry.  (For anyone who's counting, the dried cherry centres are for Nikolai as the almonds are too high in sucrose!)  The photo at the top is Nikolai visiting with Father Christmas in the "old Victoria" part of the museum.

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