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noob here (both to this site and to cooking in general!). For health reasons I can't really do sugar, and the low-carb thing has saved my life (literally). I am trying to do more low-carb baking at home. The topic of non-sugar sweeteners have been discussed at length (pros/cons, how to substitute, etc). I have used stevia at low temperatures to great success (making home-made drinks, chocolates, gummies, etc).

However, when I try baking with stevia, monk fruit, and/or erithyrol, the batter/dough tastes very sweet, but after baking I cannot taste the sweetness at all.

It's important to note that, unlike other questions, I already (a) can taste the sweetness in these alternative sweeteners (no genetic issue, and I'm okay with aftertastes), (b) have used and enjoyed these sweeteners at low-temperatures, and (c) the sweetness seems to disappear during baking regardless of the sweetener used.

I have already tried:

  • changing the sweetener and mixed sweeteners together (swapping stevia for monk-fruit, mixing them together, etc). Stevia, for example, claims to be heat-stable, and others have claimed success when baking with stevia.
  • changed recipies (cookies, cakes, breads, brownies, etc) and quantities (more sweetener, less; more baking soda/powder, less, etc)
  • changing temperature and cook time

Given (a) that sweeteners like stevia claim to be heat-stable, (b)others seem to have success when baking with them, and (c) I've used these sweeteners with success at low-temps, what could be causing the loss of sweetness during the baking process? Are there any known interactions with, say, vinegar or baking powder that would change the sweeteners during cook-time?

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  • I'm fundamentally confused. How do you do baking and still be low carbohydrate? Flour and corn meal are basically just carbohydrates. Sugar is 100% carb by weight and white flour 75%. – MaxW Feb 11 at 1:00
  • @MaxW don't use flour, corn meal, or sugar. Protein powders and almond flour are substitutes (in varying degrees) to flour, and non-nutritive sweeteners instead of sugar. A search for Keto Baking will help you. – cegfault Feb 11 at 1:10
  • Also, yes, it's a challenge, and yes, swapping out flour and sugar changes taste and makes baking difficult, but after going eight months with literally zero baked goods, I'll take a sugar-free, flourless brownie over nothing :) – cegfault Feb 11 at 1:11
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    @MaxW brownies in particular are very adaptable. They're a good gluten free option if catering for coeliacs. There are also meringues (some don't have much sugar and we had a question recently) and various things based on coconut (coconut pyramids and macaroons which can also be based on other nuts) – Chris H Feb 11 at 7:29

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