Fibrelle is a fiber-enhanced sweetener that can be used in place of sugar for baking in a simple 1:1 conversion ratio. One teaspoon of Fibrelle contains 2 grams of dietary fiber and 5 calories – as compared to 0 grams of fiber and 15 calories per teaspoon of white granulated sugar.
In addition to providing sweetness in baked goods, sugar also acts as a tenderizer, a moisturizer and provides the nicely browned product we associate with visually appealing baked goods. I was interested to see how Fibrelle – a combination of Splenda, Acesulfame-K and a number of isolated fibers – would stand up to good old fashioned white sugar.
I tested Fibrelle as a 1:1 replacement for granulated white sugar in the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe – a good starting point as the recipe calls for both 3/4 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar. I replaced the white sugar with Fibrelle, retaining the brown sugar. My yield produced 36 decent-sized cookies, as opposed to Nestle’s 60 mini-cookie output projections.
With Fibrelle in place of the white sugar, the calories were reduced by 40 calories per cookie and the fiber went up from 0 to 2.3 grams of fiber per cookie. As far as taste goes, I tested the raw batter – come on…who doesn’t – and noticed a slightly metallic taste; however, that disappeared in the final product.
I was pleasantly surprised with the texture and sweetness of the finished product. Fibrelle did play some visual and textural tricks on my cookies: the coloring of the cookie was uneven, with alternating and unusual white and brown spots (baked using convection bake setting). And, despite fully cooling the cookies before storing, when stacked, the baked cookies disintegrated into a big cookie blob, losing their individual texture, but still tasting great if you don’t mind how they look.
To rectify these problems, one might consider freezing individual Fibrelle cookie dough balls – which would help the cookie retain its texture, and also help promote portion control. Additionally, making the dough into bars as opposed to cookies, freezing and then cutting would help avoid the disintegration problem.
All in all, Fibrelle was a unique product to experiment with. I can’t say I’ll start using it in place of sugar in baking, and cookies are of course not the place to be getting most of your fiber. But, when compared to Splenda No Calorie Granulated Sweetener, the added fiber component of Fibrelle – which Splenda only offers in their fiber packet form – is a nice addition.