You might remember from previous posts that I’ve been trying to cut down on my sugar intake this year.
I don’t usually make changes to baking recipes because of the “science” involved
I started out using recipes that were designed to be low sugar but lately I’ve gone back to more traditional recipes which I’m adjusting to make them healthier. It’s quite fun deciding what to change and to see if it’ll work out or not;I don’t usually make changes to baking recipes because of the “science” involved so my recent experiments have made me feel rather rebellious!
The first recipe I adjusted was Nigella’s Banana Bread recipe from “How to be a Domestic Goddess” (you can find this recipe here). This banana bread was soooo good that it has been promoted to my new go-to recipe. But really, how could it not be good when it’s full of rum-soaked saltanas?! It has walnuts in it as well which are dee-lish.
What did I change – I changed half of the flour from white to wholemeal and I reduced the sugar by about 1/4 of a cup. Not huge changes but I thought it best to go gently at first.
Result – this recipe is delicious and didn’t seem at all impacted by the changes I made. The cake is very moist which makes it a bit fall-aparty but it’s an issue I’m prepared to put up with! It’s possible that the crumbliness was caused by the wholemeal flour. Outcome – successful change.
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the banana bread…we were obviously too focused on eating it to think about preserving it for posterity!
The next recipe I meddled with is a family favourite that my Gran always used to make. It was actually quite a big deal for me to change this recipe because I didn’t want to lose the essence of what makes Gran’s Brown Betty special…however the other option was not to make it anymore which didn’t appeal either.
What did I change – I left the quantity of sugar the same but I replaced the white sugar with a mixture of coconut sugar and rapadura (only because I didn’t have enough coconut sugar). I read online that these sugars can be difficult to cream with butter because they’ve got larger granules so I ground them a bit finer in my mini blender and they creamed up nicely. I also substituted pure maple syrup for the golden syrup and replaced all the white flour with wholemeal flour.
Result – you can taste the wholemeal flour but the flavour is still really good and by the time we’d been eating it for a couple of days we had adjusted to the change in flour. The texture was good and most importantly, it still had that certain special something that is distinctive to Brown Betty. So this time I went a bit further by changing the type of sugar and using all wholemeal flour. Next time I will try reducing the quantity of sugar as well and see how that goes. Overall a successful experiment.
This is an outstanding dessert!
I have to admit that I made very little change to this last recipe but it didn’t contain a lot of sugar in the first place. This is a dessert recipe for Roasted Figs with Pomegranate Molasses and Orange Zest from Ottolenghi’s book “Plenty More”. If you want to try this recipe you can find it here.
This is an outstanding dessert! The sauce consists of pomegranate molasses, strips of orange zest, thyme sprigs, lemon juice and brown sugar. The figs marinate in this before being grilled with another sprinkling of brown sugar until caramelized…very easy!
While the figs are grilling the sauce is reduced and thickened then drizzled over the figs, which are sprinkled with thyme leaves and served with a dollop of sweetened mascarpone and greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of orange zest…devine…it looked stunning and tasted stunning!
This recipe would be great for a dinner party because most can be done in advance. The mascarpone and yoghurt is whipped and put in the fridge and the figs can be left to marinate for a reasonable period of time until needed.
What did I change – there are only 3 tablespoons of brown sugar in the recipe but even so I cut this in half and I only used 1/2 tablespoon of icing sugar in the cream.
Result – I think the above says it all…devine!
For my next experiments I’m keen to try replacing the white flour not just with wholemeal flour but other flours such as buckwheat, brown rice and almond meal etc. Even though I’m still in the early stages of making these adjustments, there’s something very satisfying knowing that my treats are nourishing(ish).