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Borderline diabetes runs in my mom's side of the family so I'm taking some proactive steps to reduce empty carbs as much as I can. Sponge cake is something I make often and I always put less sugar than the recipe calls for.

But I'm thinking of replacing it entirely with something healthier. We already use honey or palm sugar syrup in drinks and other desserts, but I have not tried it on a meringue, which is a prerequisite for sponge cakes. Anyone here tried it? If yes, what was the result?

I also read in another post that you can replace sugar with corn starch for meringue if one does not mind having no sweetness. Anyone tried it before, and did it work?

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In theory you should be able to replace the sugar with a liquid form. The purpose of sugar in meringue is to stabilize the foam generated by the whipping. It does this by preventing the foam from drying out and collapsing as the structure becomes weaker from a lack of water. Hence anything that can retain the water will help.

The one major difficulty that you might encounter is that liquid sugars contain water already, so they might make the foam too liquid/soft to retain the meringue texture. You may be able to overcome this by whipping a lot more, but it might not work. To get around this you could substitute some of the sugar with guar gum or xanthan gum, at 0.04%, both of which appear to stabilize the foam formation (PDF; see page 88).

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