The war on sugar continues to rage, but as a sweet-toothed nation many of us find giving up the white stuff for good a bit of a struggle.
And although there are many alternatives to sugar out there, none quite compare in taste, texture and versatility of use to regular sugar. Sweeteners are usually either in small tablet forms that wouldn’t look out of place in your medicine cabinet, or a soft, powdery substance, that looks like it would get you arrested if you tried to get it through customs. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the fact sweetener saves us from a bucket load of calories, I’m certain most of us wouldn’t go near it with a barge pole.
So, when we heard about Sugarly, the new granulated sweetener from Canderel, with its claim of being “the closest thing to sugar since sugar” we were keen to put it to the test!
What is Canderel Sugarly?
In a recent study conducted by Mindlab International it was discovered that participants who consumed treats made with sweeteners displayed the same brain activity as those treats made with regular sugar. In fact, the experiment concluded that participants actually enjoyed the ‘sweetener’ treats more than the ‘sugar’ ones.
Which is great news, because if we can find a sweetener that tastes better than sugar, whilst also taking on the appearance of sugar and can be used in recipes in the same way as sugar, then that right there could be the solution to our addiction.
Canderel Sugarly is stepping up to be the product that can live up to these high demands, with benefits including:
- 0 calories per 1/2 teaspoon (compared to 8 in sugar!)
- No artificial taste
- The crunch and texture of sugar – no powder!
- You only need half the amount of Canderel Sugarly to that of regular sugar in a recipe
- Which therefore saves you money.
Great, right? But does it actually do everything that it claims to?
The Canderel Sugarly Challenge
I wanted to see for myself whether Canderel Sugarly is all it’s cracked up to be, so using 2 recipes from the Canderel website (see below for links) I challenged my friends and family to see if they could taste the difference and discover whether they prefer healthier ‘Sugarly’ treats or standard ‘sugar’ treats.
First up are these delicious sounding cupcakes and in order to make the experiment as fair as possible I followed the same recipe for both batches of cupcakes, with the only difference being that one batch contained Sugarly and the other white caster sugar. In order for to me to be able to tell the cakes apart, I baked the Sugarly cupcakes in pink cases and the caster sugar cupcakes in white cases. I then packaged them up and took them on the school run with me to test out on my yummy mummy friends (they love a bit of cake!) and my two kids, who are always ridiculously hungry after school.
I didn’t tell them what was going on, I just turned up, force-fed them cake and videoed the results!
If you’ve watched the video (if not, why not, go watch it NOW!), you’ll have seen that sugar won the cupcake challenge with 5 out of 8 people preferring those cupcakes to the Sugarly ones.
Reasons for preferring the sugar cupcakes included:
- Had a sweeter taste.
- Was moister.
- Tasted more like a muffin style cupcake.
Reasons for preferring the Sugarly cupcakes included:
- Found the sugar cakes too sweet.
- Had a firmer texture, with a bit more crunch to it.
- Found the sugar cupcakes too doughy.
Interestingly, when I revealed which cakes were which, the people that preferred the Sugarly cupcakes (myself included) immediately adopted a smug ‘Ha I like the healthier cakes’ smile, whereas the people who had preferred the sugar cakes were very quick to point out that they had still liked the Sugarly ones and that they would chose them if they knew there were less calories in them and it was the healthier option.
It’s clear from this that no matter how good the sweetener, we all have different tastes and preferences. However, the knowledge that something is healthier, yet still tastes nice, would be enough for people to think about making a switch from sugar to sweetener.
From my point of view, as the baker, I was intrigued to see how well the Sugarly cakes would mix, how well they would rise and whether they would look the same as the sugar cakes. I must admit that having baked with sweetener before, albeit the powder version, and having not really got on well with it, I expected this to produce similar, disappointing results. But how wrong was I?! Both cakes produced a similar mixture, both in terms of consistency and colour, perhaps the only difference was that the Sugarly cakes took slightly less time in the oven and spread out more than the sugar cakes.
I personally preferred the taste of the Sugarly cakes, but then was that because I knew which one was which…?
Who doesn’t love a cheesecake, right? It’s deffo one of my favourite desserts, but I try not to have it too often as it just seems like too much of an indulgence with its creamy rich centre and sweet biscuity base. Imagine if there was a cheesecake recipe that more or less halved the amount of calories…woah hang on a sec…there is!
So it’s on to taste test 2 and this time I played it slightly different in that my friends knew what the game was now. Armed with two tubs of mini lemon and blueberry cheesecakes I simply asked them to tell me which one they preferred and which they thought was which. I won’t spoil the surprise by posting the results here, instead go and watch the video and see whether Canderel Sugarly came out tops in the cheesecake challenge.
In terms of how Canderel Sugarly compared to regular sugar when making the cheesecakes, I was super impressed and the difference between the two was much more noticeable than it had been between the two batches of cupcakes. The Sugarly cheesecakes made a thicker mix, one that resembled the texture of a traditional cheesecake, whereas the sugar version was runnier and once set looked smoother and more like a panna cotta. To speed up the setting process I placed both sets of cheesecakes in the freezer for half an hour and when I took them out, the sugar versions had taken on a slightly yellow tinge, whereas the Sugarly ones remained a creamy off white, which was far more appealing to the eye.
As I said, watch the video and see how Canderel Sugarly compared in both taste test challenges, then why not have a go at trying it out for yourself!
Canderel are currently offering a discount on Sugarly (see link below for voucher) so that you can try it out and decide for yourself whether it is as good, or perhaps even better, than the sugar/sweetener you are currently using. One thing’s for sure, if it saves calories, therefore allowing a few extra treats, then we definitely want it in our home ‘sweet’ home!