sugar-free cake ....

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sugar-free cake ....

Postby KC2 » April 29th, 2018, 4:26 pm

Hi
I have just seen this recipe for a sugar-free spiced carrot cake on the BBC food site and really can't imagine it! I'm all for using less sugar/ cutting down on it where possible, but do you think it would work?
https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/spiced ... with_04420
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Suelle » April 29th, 2018, 4:56 pm

I think it might work, in that you'd bake something that looked like a cake, but I don't think it would taste very good, even if it 'worked' as a recipe.

The only couple of times I've made cakes with no added refined sugar they have been packed with dried, canned and/or fresh fruit to add sweetness - there's nothing in this recipe to make it taste like cake!

This was quite successful:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... althy.html

Here's my blog post about it:
https://mainlybaking.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... added.html

If you're really set on baking without any sugar, even the natural sugars in fruit, try looking for recipes that have reader's reviews and comments with them.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Seatallan » April 29th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Dunno. Wouldn't the carrot (and the raisins) provide sufficient sweetness? Sort of like one of those 2nd World War rationing cakes. I might give it a go actually.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Herbidacious » April 29th, 2018, 5:30 pm

I suspect those WWII cakes were”t very nice? If you haven’t eaten sugar for ages might be ok though.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby KC2 » April 29th, 2018, 5:38 pm

Exactly, Suelle, I felt that it would resemble a cake but probably wouldn't taste very good. As you say, there's nothing in it that would make it taste like cake!

I'm not particularly hung up on using sugar/being sugar-free although am always happy to use less rather than more - if there are two similar recipes for something and one used less sugar than the other one, I'd probably choose that one.
(And it really goes against the grain to make a lot of American cake recipes! One son gave me the Loveless Cafe book of cakes and desserts and my teeth hurt just reading the recipes!! My other son is working in a dessert cafe in Santa Monica, California at the moment and he can hardly eat the cakes etc that he's selling - and he has a sweet tooth, like me!)

Seatallan, I think that if you had really tasty carrots they might provide enough sweetness but we find that the normal supermarket carrots have a great texture but are often not very tasty.
I daresay home-grown carrots would be in a different league!

If you decide to give it a go,do let us know how it turns out!!
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Seatallan » April 29th, 2018, 5:59 pm

I shall report back KC2. It'll be an interesting experiment!
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Suelle » April 29th, 2018, 6:24 pm

When I made the cake in the link I gave, I was surprised how cake-like it was. I'd always believed that sugar was an integral part of the texture and structure of a cake - particularly a light-ish cake like a carrot cake. I'm still not convinced you could make a sponge with no sugar, but it's possible to make some sorts of cakes, obviously.

One forward is to reduce the amount of sugar you use in your standard recipes, until you get to the point where either the flavour or texture is no longer acceptable - I reckon up to a 25% reduction would probably be OK on both counts.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby earthmaiden » April 29th, 2018, 10:43 pm

I agree with Suelle. 1.5oz of raisins and some carrot doesn't sound enough sweetness - in comparison say with some cakes made from things like dates. It would be so interesting to try some though. When you have weaned yourself off sugary foods the traditional ones do seem very, very sweet so it might be ok.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby karadekoolaid » April 30th, 2018, 1:49 am

I always thought the whole point of eating cake was that it was sweet.
If there´s no sugar in it, what´s the point??
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Suelle » April 30th, 2018, 7:02 am

karadekoolaid wrote:I always thought the whole point of eating cake was that it was sweet.
If there´s no sugar in it, what´s the point??


I agree, but sugar is being so demonised in the obesity debate at the moment that some people seem desperate to cut it out.

It started with 'health' bloggers trying to convince us that things like maple and agave syrup, and honey, weren't the same as refined sugar and now has gone as far as manufacturers replacing sugar with chemical sweeteners which won't make us fat but will probably give us cancer if consumed in the amounts that people previously consumed sugar! No-one seems to remember the debate about the dangers of artificial sweeteners in the 80s, and about how we were advised to cut them out of our children's' diets. It's very difficult to find drinks like cordials and squashes sweetened with sugar these days.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby scullion » April 30th, 2018, 7:38 am

There's a link to a mango fruit cake, that i posted a while back, that uses a can of mangoes and its syrup and a load of dried fruit for the sugar content. it also contains no fat other than what is in egg yolks. It sounds a bit grim, I know, but it's surprisingly good - if you like fruit cake.
I've also eaten carrot cake sweetened with stevia (leaves, not the white powder you can buy) that I could only tell wasn't sugar by the green hue of the cake. I think I may have posted the recipe for that, too.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Ratatouille » April 30th, 2018, 8:26 am

I'm with KK. The whole point of cake is that it is sweet, unless of course it is a savoury one ;)
No need to cut down on specific ingredients just don't eat as much!!!!!!
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby KC2 » April 30th, 2018, 9:49 am

Ratatouille wrote:I'm with KK. The whole point of cake is that it is sweet, unless of course it is a savoury one ;)
No need to cut down on specific ingredients just don't eat as much!!!!!!


Absolutely, Rats and KK :lol: Although it is often hard not to eat as much .... :lol:

Suelle wrote: No-one seems to remember the debate about the dangers of artificial sweeteners in the 80s, and about how we were advised to cut them out of our children's' diets. It's very difficult to find drinks like cordials and squashes sweetened with sugar these days.


Suelle, yes I remember that debate and I agree that the default setting for squashes and cordials nowadays seems to be the artificially sweetened versions.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby karadekoolaid » April 30th, 2018, 11:34 am

Not really a problem for me. we very rarely make cakes here; maybe once a month, so the sugar intake is limited.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Seatallan » April 30th, 2018, 11:42 am

Well, in the spirit of scientific experimentation I intend to give said cake a go.... :D
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby StokeySue » April 30th, 2018, 1:28 pm

The nutrition information suggests that the finished cake contains about 66 grams of sugars in total, which doesn't sound to me enough to make it properly sweet - I cut down the sugar in my usual carrot cake recipe but I'm still adding around 90 g
The relatively large amount of nuts, especially the ground almonds, may help but they make it quite calorific for a low sugar cake so it seems a pointless exercise to me, unless of course it is in fact very nice!
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby KC2 » April 30th, 2018, 4:22 pm

StokeySue wrote:The nutrition information suggests that the finished cake contains about 66 grams of sugars in total, which doesn't sound to me enough to make it properly sweet - I cut down the sugar in my usual carrot cake recipe but I'm still adding around 90 g

I've always wondered how they work out the nutrition info! I imagine that to get the total calorie content you literally add up the calories in the individual ingredients - 100 g sugar, 250 g flour etc but have no idea how they would go about working out the sugar content.

StokeySue wrote: The relatively large amount of nuts, especially the ground almonds, may help but they make it quite calorific for a low sugar cake so it seems a pointless exercise to me, unless of course it is in fact very nice!

Indeed! The full-fat cream cheese frosting is also quite calorific. Looking forward to hearing Seatallan's report on it if and when she tries it!!

As for reducing the sugar content, I made a boiled fruit cake yesterday which is pretty calorific with 12 oz of mixed fruit in it. The recipe calls for 4 oz sugar, which I used yesterday, but will try it with 3 oz next time I think.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby StokeySue » April 30th, 2018, 4:35 pm

KC2 wrote:I've always wondered how they work out the nutrition info! I imagine that to get the total calorie content you literally add up the calories in the individual ingredients - 100 g sugar, 250 g flour etc but have no idea how they would go about working out the sugar content.

There are lists - the bible is McCance & Widdowsin The Composition of Foods
So for a carrot cake you look up the amounts of calories, of sugar, fat, and fibre etc. in 300 g of carrots, then the same for the flour, and so on and add up all the components you are interested in. Dull but nor difficult
Only you don't because there are apps where you can just put in the ingredients list and off they go using the CoFID database (still based on McCance & Widdowson though)
Not very accurate probably, but fairly consistent, especially using apps.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/composition-of-foods-integrated-dataset-cofid
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Seatallan » April 30th, 2018, 4:43 pm

I was thinking of trying a lower fat version of the topping too. Perhaps half fat creme frache.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby KC2 » April 30th, 2018, 5:24 pm

Thanks Sue! The anorak in me is satisfied!

Seatallan wrote:I was thinking of trying a lower fat version of the topping too. Perhaps half fat creme frache.

Do you think creme fraiche on its own might be a bit too "floppy"? Maybe mix some low fat cream cheese with the creme fraiche?
There's normally some icing sugar in cream cheese frostings isn't there, as well, that they're obviously just leaving out so they can fulfil their brief!? So without the sugar it might be less stiff already?
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Seatallan » April 30th, 2018, 5:50 pm

I was thinking that if it was overly floppy I'd just serve a dollop of it on the side as it were. I wondered about stirring a spoonful or two of my home-made orange and date marmalade into the creme fraiche.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Amber » April 30th, 2018, 8:47 pm

Ratatouille wrote:just don't eat as much!!!!!!


:o Err...does...not...compute...:D :D :oops:
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby KC2 » April 30th, 2018, 9:49 pm

Seatallan wrote:I was thinking that if it was overly floppy I'd just serve a dollop of it on the side as it were. I wondered about stirring a spoonful or two of my home-made orange and date marmalade into the creme fraiche.

Sounds like a great idea!!
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Suelle » May 1st, 2018, 7:05 am

Interesting article in Australian Good Food:

https://www.goodfood.com.au/good-health ... 426-h0zahb
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby PatsyMFagan » May 1st, 2018, 10:46 am

Suelle wrote:Interesting article in Australian Good Food:

https://www.goodfood.com.au/good-health ... 426-h0zahb


Great article ... shame she didn't put up some of her recipes :( ;)
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby uschi » May 2nd, 2018, 9:50 am

Re nuts: they may be calorific, but they contain "good" fats, minerals and what have you. And I find that they stave off hunger quite well. So they aren't bad to have in a cake imho.
Cutting down on sugar a little isn't bad, but the cake still has to taste nice. I find it easier to save on sugar in other respects (no sweet soft drinks, natural yoghurt mixed with fruit, etc).

One idea is to make only half of it in a smaller tin or use two small tins and freeze one. One automatically cuts smaller slices and thus tricks the brain into accepting a smaller portion.
Works for me.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby PatsyMFagan » May 3rd, 2018, 9:46 am

Suelle wrote:Interesting article in Australian Good Food:

https://www.goodfood.com.au/good-health ... 426-h0zahb


With this in mind, I found the recipe for Simon Rimmer's Date and Butternt squash cake and made this yesterday (I mentioned this in another thread) I reduced the sugar from 150gms to 100 gms, used half/half walnuts and hazelnuts as I didn't have pecans and also replaced about 30% of the plain flour with buckwheat and soya flours. I would have used wholemeal flour, but am currently out of that. It has made a lovely crunchy cake and the reduced sugar is fine for me. I also took the author's advice and have sliced the cake up and the indivually wrapped portions are now in the freezer ;) I now feel very virtuous 8-) :lol: :chops:
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Suelle » May 3rd, 2018, 10:50 am

Well done, Patsy! I'll have to look up the recipe - I love dates!

I made a large cake last week, and put half in the freezer, in slices. The only problem with that is that I love to bake, but if half of what I bake goes into the freezer, it reduces my opportunities to do more baking. :lol:
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby PatsyMFagan » May 3rd, 2018, 11:04 am

Here you go Sue

Ingredients
225g roasted squash, cut into cubes (I roasted a little more)
175g chopped dates (one box did it with a 3/4 being cooks perks)
1 eggs (I used large, but still needed a dash of milk to loosen the mix)
150g sugar (reduced to 100gm and used mainly brown)
150ml veg oil
275g flour (included buckwheat, soya and gram iirc - totally about 100gms)
2tsp baking powder
tsp ground cinnamon
150g pecans, chopped (walnuts and hazelnuts instead)

Icing
280g full fat cream cheese
100ml cream
50g sugar
1 vanilla pod

Method
1. Whisk the sugar, eggs and oil together
2. Mash the dates and squash together, fold into the oil
3. Sift in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, mix well and stir in the pecans
4. Spoon into a greased, lined 2lb loaf tin.
5. Bake at 180C for 1 hour and then let it cool.
6. For the icing, whisk together with an electric whisk.
7. Spread onto the cake, decorate with more pecans.

I didn't make the icing as the whole point was to convert this into a lower sugar, more nutritious cake

Enjoy
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby Suelle » May 3rd, 2018, 12:07 pm

Thanks, Patsy.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby dennispc » May 5th, 2018, 11:27 am

I slice up dates for my muesli, full of nutrients but also sugar - read somewhere 80% of a date is sugar, if right that means the recipe has a lot of sugar in it.
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby PatsyMFagan » May 5th, 2018, 7:39 pm

Probably, but it certainly didn't taste sickly sweet .. and I cut the cake into about 10 pieces, so one of those a day won't break the (sugar) bank will it ? ;)
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Re: sugar-free cake ....

Postby dennispc » May 6th, 2018, 8:23 am

PatsyMFagan wrote:Probably, but it certainly didn't taste sickly sweet .. and I cut the cake into about 10 pieces, so one of those a day won't break the (sugar) bank will it ? ;)


Yea, Bank Holiday treat, eh? :tu:
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