Putting Lakanto to work

So, this weekend I wanted to try out the new Lakanto 1:1 sweetener to work. First up was making sushi vinegar and to try it out on making a bara chirashi. The sushi vinegar recipe I used was from Nobu: The Sushi Book, p. 12. The recipe called for combining:

2/3 cup of red rice vinegar (I only had the white available), reserve 3 T
4 t salt
1/2 c (100g sugar/Lakanto sweetener)
1 T mirin
2″ square piece of konbu (I used rishiri konbu here)

So I combined the rice vinegar, salt, sweetener and mirin, brought it to a boil and dissolved everything. Once the mixture was dissolved, I took it off the heat and added the dry piece of konbu and let it sit to room temperature (that took about 20 minutes).

Once the sushi vinegar was at room temperature, I removed the konbu, added the remaining 3 T of rice vinegar and placed it overnight in the refridgerator.

Next morning, to my astonishment, it appeared that the salt/sweetener had come out of solution. I decided to resolve the issue by putting it back in the saucepan and slowly reheating it at 50% power until all the salt/sweetener re-dissolved. And then I left it to stand at room temperature.  Some of it still came out of solution, but not quite as much.

That being said, I went and made the bara chirashi for myself and my wife.  My wife helped out by preparing her favorite tamagoyaki as

homemade bara chirashi

her contribution to the meal.  After tasting the bara chirashi, she immediately commented that she really liked Matsuhisa-sama’s sushi vinegar recipe relative to the amount of sushi vinegar to rice amount.  So I guess the sushi vinegar with the Lakanto sweetner worked out wonderfully. In regards to the sweetener coming out of solution, I called Matsuhisa, LA on 15 Jan 2018 at 8:30pm and had a brief discussion with Chef Yasuhiko Homma, Matsuhisa-sama’s right hand man about the matter. Chef Homma was aware of the issue and advised (1) store the sushi outside at room for at most a few weeks.  He also advised making a smaller batch for home cooks (half batch).

Next item up was re-making Iron Chef Chen’s Almond Tofu. To make a minibatch of this dessert, I combined:

1 cup soy or almond milk
5 T sugar/Lakanto sweetener
3/4 t powdered agar agar
1/2 t + 1/8 t pure almond extract

I added the sweetener and the powdered agar agar together to boiling soy/almond milk dissolved it and then added the almond extract and put it into a storage container to cool and then to the refridgerator to set.  Upon tasting the dessert, both my wife noticed that we didn’t get

Iron Chef Chen’s vegan almond tofu, revisited

up front sweet flavor.  The sweetness hit both our palates moments after biting into a bite of the almond tofu gel.  That meant that we got to taste the accompanying fruit first before tasting that sweet almond flavor from the ‘tofu’. Based on these two dishes, my wife and I felt that the Lakanto sweetener was extremely successful as a sugar substitute.  It’s pretty clear that for those things needing caramelization, I would need to go back to sugar.   I think I would like to try making Matsuhisa-sama’s version of saikyo miso with the Lakanto sweetener next.

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