Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

Goodbye and Sugar-Free Celebration Cakes

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

So this is my final post. I’m hanging up my apron!

I have been making cakes for almost 20 years. My littlest boy is starting school in September so I’ve decided it’s time for a career change. This website will still be here but I am saying goodbye!

But before I go….

In the last few years I have received a lot of emails asking for advice about making sugar-free celebration cakes so I thought I would share some recipes and ideas with you.

This information is not about healthy eating. This is for people who want to cut or reduce sugar from their diet but still want to enjoy celebrations with everyone else or have a special treat now and again. Some people have been able to embrace a sugar free diet and adapt their life easily. Other people find it a bit of a struggle. Everyone wants something sweet to eat now and again. These recipes are not meant for everyday eating!

Some people prefer to use natural sugars instead of sucrose in their cooking. These do still contain a lot of sugar and will rot your teeth if eaten too much.

Honey, agave syrup, coconut sugar, date syrup and sweeteners made from fruit such as Sweet Freedom are all natural sugars which work well in baking recipes. Maple syrup is not very sweet when combined with other ingredients so you may use more than intended to sweeten a dish.

Some recipes call for concentrated fruit juice. I think this is expensive, can be difficult to find and I think one of the other natural sugars I have mentioned can be used just as successfully!

5GROUP

 

I have been using Sweet Freedom sweeteners for baking and find they work really well in many recipes including sponges – the texture may be slightly different in some recipes.

I have been working with 2 natural sweeteners called xylitol and erythritol. These come in a granular form which looks identical to sugar and can be found in supermarkets and whole food stores. Sugar can be substituted like for like with xylitol or erythritol in many baking recipes.

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In the UK erythritol can be found as Sukrin. This is a sugar alcohol with 0 calories. More information about this product can be found here.

More information about xylitol can be found here. Xylitol is sold in most supermarkets in the UK as Total Sweet. Eating too much xylitol can give you a stomach upset. Some of the recipe’s require the xylitol to be finely ground. A high speed blender is the best tool for this, if you can beg, borrow or steal a Thermomix, this would be perfect!

If you are cutting sugar from your diet, you can gradually reduce the amount of sugar or natural sweetener in a recipe as your taste buds become accustomed to less sugar. Baking recipes can work with up to a third less sugar.

I have put together sugar-free recipes useful for making celebration cakes. They are on separate blogs which you can get to through the following links.

Sugar-free jam 

Sugar-free marzipan 

Healthier fruit cake

Sugar-free buttercream 

Sugar-free royal icing 

Sugar-free fondant icing 

Sugar-free marshmallow ice cream cone

Sugar-free celebration cake ideas

When making sugar-free celebration cakes, you could make the filling sugar-free and decorate this with normal fondant and take this off before eating the sponge.

Decoration on your cake could be made with sugar if this is not going to be eaten. Sugar decorations can keep for years. If you do not want to use sugar, there are non-toxic modelling clays available – porcelain modelling clay and Artista soft are two. Some modelling clays may not be able to sit directly on your cake. Artista soft will need to sit on a card or piece of rice paper.

Croquembouche – dip the choux buns in sugar-free chocolate before stacking.

I love this one found on www.blumenthalphotography.com.au

 

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Naked cakes have been really popular in the last couple of years. Substitute the sugar for xylitol in the sponge and buttercream.

This cake is from www.cakeandlaceweddings.co.uk

41-naked-cake-ufton-court-side

Cakes covered with sugar-free chocolate ganache. Cover the cakes with a thin layer of sugar-free marzipan to give a smooth finish before pouring over the chocolate ganache. This is one of my cakes found in my book – Gluten-, Nut-, Egg- & Dairy-free Celebration Cakes.

cake

Buttercream cakes have also been popular in the last few years. Some amazing designs can be found at www.queenofheartscouturecakes.com  They also have a great book called The Contemporary Buttercream Bible.
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I really like this as a sugar-free cake idea. www.nouveauraw.com

raw-igloo-cake123

 

A homemade sugar-free Easter egg would make a really thoughtful present. Find out how to make this at www.bbcgoodfood.com

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No added Sugar Jam or Fruit Spread

Friday, August 14th, 2015

For your sugar-free cakes you will probably want sugar-free jam or technically lower-sugar jam. It couldn’t be sugar-free as fruit contains natural sugars!

If I was using this jam to fill a celebration cake, I would only fill and decorate the cake two days before eating at the most in case the fruit spread goes mouldy. I have kept a cake with fruit spread for over a week and it hasn’t gone mouldy but it could happen.

Store this fruit spread in a fridge for one week or it can be frozen in batches.

If your fruit spread has a high PH, it can be pausteurised or canned. You can test the PH with litmus paper. Sterilise your jars before filling with the fruit spread before canning.

For more information on canning, see here.

Adding sweet cicely to the fruit when boiling will reduce the acidity so you will not need to add as much sweetener to your recipe. Bring the fruit to the boil with the sweet cicely. When the fruit is soft, remove the sweet cicely before proceeding with the recipe.

Always make sugar free jam in small batches in a large saucepan for best results. These jam recipes work a little differently to traditional methods. They are more like a thick fruit spread. The flavour is amazing, you can really taste the fruit.

Raspberry Fruit Spread
Makes 1 jar

400g raspberries, fresh or frozen
100 – 200g xylitol (for refined sugar free I use Sweet freedom)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
60ml Certo pectin

Wash a jam jar in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Place in an oven on a low heat for 10 minutes while making your jam.
Put a small plate in the freezer.
Place the raspberries in a large saucepan with the lemon juice.

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Bring the fruit to the boil.

Mash or liquidise the fruit. Strain for a smooth jam.

Sweeten to taste with xylitol or other sweetener of choice. Remember the jam will lose some sweetness when cold.

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Add the liquid pectin and stir to the boil.
Simmer until thick, stirring occasionally. It should be ready when you put the spoon through the mixture and it takes a couple of seconds for it to come back together. The temperature will not reach 104°c. Test by putting a spoonful onto your frozen plate. The jam should thicken more.

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Pour into a sterilised jar leaving a tiny space at the top. Too much space will allow mould to grow. Screw on the lid. Kept like this, use the jam within one week.

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To keep for up to one year, see instructions on pasteurising or canning.

Blackcurrant Fruit Spread
Makes 1 jar

400g blackcurrants
2 tablespoons lemon juice
75ml Certo pectin
100 – 200g xylitol (for refined sugar free I use Sweet freedom)

Wash a jam jar in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Place in an oven on a low heat for 10 minutes while making your jam.
Put a plate in the freezer.
Place the blackcurrants in a large saucepan with a drop of water, sweet cicely and lemon juice.
Bring the fruit to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Mash or liquidise the fruit.
Sweeten to taste with xylitol. Remember the jam will lose some sweetness when cold.
Add the liquid pectin and stir to the boil.
Simmer until thick, stirring occasionally. It should be ready when you put the spoon through the mixture and it takes a couple of seconds for it to come back together. The temperature will not reach 104°c. Test by putting a spoonful onto your frozen plate. The jam should thicken more.
Pour into a sterilised jar leaving a tiny space at the top. Too much space will allow mould to grow. Screw on the lid. Kept like this, use the jam within one week.

To keep for up to one year, see instructions on pasteurising or canning.

Gooseberry fruit spread

The sweet cicely in this recipe will reduce the acidity of the fruit reducing the amount of sugar needed.

400g gooseberries, topped and tailed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 sprigs sweet cicely
40ml Certo pectin
100 – 200g xylitol (for refined sugar free I use Sweet freedom)
Wash a jam jar in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Place in an oven on a low heat for 10 minutes while making your jam.
Put a plate in the freezer.
Place the gooseberries in a large saucepan with a drop of water, sweet cicely and lemon juice.
Bring the fruit to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Take out the sweet cicely and mash or liquidise the fruit.
Sweeten to taste with xylitol. Remember the jam will lose some sweetness when cold.
Add the liquid pectin and stir to the boil.
Simmer until thick, stirring occasionally. It should be ready when you put the spoon through the mixture and it takes a couple of seconds for it to come back together. The temperature will not reach 104°c. Test by putting a spoonful onto your frozen plate. The jam should thicken more.
Pour into a sterilised jar leaving a tiny space at the top. Too much space will allow mould to grow. Screw on the lid. Kept like this, use the jam within one week.

To keep for up to one year, see instructions on pasteurising or canning.

Sugar-free Royal Icing

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Yes that’s right you can make sugar-free royal icing!

sugar-free royal icing

This recipe works just by replacing icing sugar with powdered xylitol or SukrinMelis.

I recommend using pasteurised egg white for this recipe.

Use the royal icing straight after mixing. It will pipe as well as usual royal icing but it will take longer to set and will not set as hard. It will crust over but will be quite soft underneath. It is quite fragile.

For a fondant icing recipe, see here.

This information is not about healthy eating. This is for people who want to cut or reduce sugar from their diet but still want to enjoy celebrations with everyone else or have a special treat now and again. Some people have been able to embrace a sugar free diet and adapt their life easily. Other people find it a bit of a struggle. Everyone wants something sweet to eat now and again. These recipes are not meant for everyday eating!

I have been working with 2 natural sweeteners – xylitol and erythritol. These come in a granular form which looks identical to sugar and can be found in supermarkets and whole food stores. Sugar can be substituted like for like with xylitol or erythritol in many baking recipes. If you are cutting sugar from your diet, you can gradually reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener in a recipe as your taste buds become accustomed to less sugar. Baking recipes can work with up to a third less sugar.

In the UK erythritol can be found as Sukrin. This is a sugar alcohol with 0 calories. More information about this product can be found here.

More information about xylitol can be found here. Xylitol is sold in most supermarkets in the UK as Total Sweet. Eating too much xylitol can give you a stomach upset. This recipe requires the xylitol to be finely ground. A high speed blender is the best tool for this, if you can beg, borrow or steal a Thermomix, this would be perfect!

 

Recipe

2 x 5g sachets free range egg white powder
4 tablespoons cooled, boiled water
330g powdered xylitol or erythritol

Place the egg white powder into a large mixer bowl with 2 tablespoons cooled, boiled water and whisk together. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons water and whisk to dissolve the powdered egg white.

Sieve the powdered xylitol into a bowl and mix into the egg white ensuring not to leave any powdered sugar on the sides of the bowl.

Beat together until the icing forms thick peaks. When you lift the beater, the icing should stay stiff. Place a wet clean tea towel over the bowl to prevent the icing drying. Use as needed.

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If the powdered xylitol is quite grainy, it may not push through certain piping nozzles. You could try passing it through a clean, unused nylon stocking into your piping bag.

 

Sugar-free Marshmallow Fondant (Ready to roll) Icing

Friday, August 7th, 2015

I receive lot’s of emails about sugar-free cakes. I will write another post with low-sugar or sugar-free celebration cake ideas. For now here is a recipe for fondant icing / sugarpaste / ready to roll icing.

birthday cake

I have tested all the natural sugars and sweeteners and these two are my favourite – Xylitol and Erythritol.

This information is not about healthy eating. This is for people who want to cut or reduce sugar from their diet but still want to enjoy celebrations with everyone else or have a special treat now and again. Some people have been able to embrace a sugar free diet and adapt their life easily. Other people find it a bit of a struggle. Everyone wants something sweet to eat now and again. These recipes are not meant for everyday eating!

I have been working with xylitol and erythritol. These come in a granular form which looks identical to sugar and can be found in supermarkets and whole food stores. Sugar can be substituted like for like with xylitol or erythritol in many baking recipes. If you are cutting sugar from your diet, you can gradually reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener in a recipe as your taste buds become accustomed to less sugar. Baking recipes can work with up to a third less sugar.

For this recipe you can use xylitol or Erythritol.

In the UK erythritol can be found as SukrinMelis. This is a sugar alcohol with 0 calories. More information about this product can be found here.

More information about xylitol can be found here. Xylitol is sold in most supermarkets in the UK as Total Sweet. This comes in granular form. This recipe requires it to be finely ground. A high speed blender is the best tool for this, if you can beg, borrow or steal a Thermomix, this would be perfect!

This recipe does work out quite expensive. You could make a sugar-free cake and cover it with normal fondant icing and peel this off before eating but if you really want to eat the icing then try this.

I have found shop bought marshmallows give a better result for this icing. Homemade marshmallow does not stretch as much and can crumble. I find Sainsburys sugar-free marshmallows work really well.

For a vegetarian or vegan icing, I can’t find sugar-free vegetarian marshmallows so I use Freedom Mallows and add SukrinMelis or xylitol to this for a low-sugar icing.

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 Recipe – To cover an 8 inch cake and board.

450g sugar free marshmallows
900g powdered xylitol or SukrinMelis
A few drops of vanilla (optional)

Place the xylitol into a food processor and blitz until powdered.

Sieve the xylitol into a large mixing bowl. A food mixer would be ideal.

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Place the marshmallows into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of water. Ensure the water does not touch the bowl.

melted marshmallow

Heat the water then turn down the heat. Stir the marshmallows until melted.

Once melted, scrape the marshmallow into the xylitol and stir together with 1 tablespoon of cooled, boiled water. This can be done in a food mixer. Once combined, place in an airtight freezer bag and leave for a few hours to set.

marshmallow fondant

Prepare your cake ready for covering with fondant. Lightly knead your icing.

Dust your worktop with powdered xylitol and roll out your icing.

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Cover your cake with the icing, first smooth over the top before smoothing the icing to the sides of your cake. Trim the icing around the bottom of the cake. If your xylitol is quite grainy it will show in the finished icing as shown here.

sugar-free fondant

Squires Kitchen Flexi-Ice

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

I was really excited to discover this product and wanted to share it with you. I love finding new cake decorating techniques that are available for allergen free cakes too. 

Flexi-ice cake

Vintage lace has been very popular on wedding cakes this year. Such delicate decoration at one time would have needed a great deal of skill to achieve. This is really easy to use and looks very professional.

Squires Kitchen Flexi-Ice does not contain any allergens in the ingredients list. The allergy advice does state ‘May contain nuts’. Please be aware that other brands do contain wheat flour. Always check the label but I know you do!

You can pipe with this icing but it does take a bit of practise for finer work.

Flexi-ice cupcakes

I have taken the following text from the product description which explains how to use it.

Flexi-Ice is a flexible, multi-purpose icing with a delicate natural vanilla flavour. Ideal for creating fine, edible lace in sugar, this versatile mix can also be piped, stencilled, coloured and used to make edible confetti.
Developed by the experts at Squires Kitchen and thoroughly tested by professional cake makers, Flexi-Ice is easy to both make and apply. Simply add 150ml of cooled, boiled water for every 100g of the mix and beat until smooth – you can leave the icing white or colour it any shade with Squires Kitchen’s wide range of liquid, paste and dust food colours.

Spread onto mould
Once mixed, Flexi-Ice is perfect for piping and stencilling on cakes, cupcakes and cookies. For a lace effect, spread the paste over a lace mould with a smoother or scraper.

Peel away from mould Either leave to air-dry or place in a cool oven or dehumidifier for just 20–30 minutes and the paste should easily peel away from the mat. Flexi-Ice remains pliable for at least a day and, if it starts to firm up, just pass the icing through the steam of a kettle to restore its flexibility.

FoldOnce made, the unique texture of Flexi-Ice makes it so easy to decorate with – simply cut the paste with scissors or a pizza wheel and fold it into shape. Create on-trend lace decorations, such as sumptuous frills, beautiful bows and delicate flowers for celebration cakes, favours, desserts and more.

Pack shot

New Squires Kitchen Instant Mix Flexi-Ice is available from www.squires-shop.com and from good cake decorating suppliers nationwide. RRP £8.99 for 500g.

Ingredients

Sugar, Glucose powder, Potato starch, Thickeners: Sodium Alginate, Gum Tragacanth, Xanthan gum, Colour: E171, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate; Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid; Natural Vanilla Flavouring

Baking with Almond Flour

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I have been interested in almond flour since reading American gluten free recipe sites so when I was given a bag by Sukrin I couldn’t wait to try it.

splash-mandelmel

 

After reading about it here I realised this isn’t the same almond flour as used on the recipe sites.

This almond flour has had 80% of the fat removed. On their website Sukrin state that the flour is high in protein and minerals including magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese and zinc.

Still inspired by the American sites I decided to make a carrot cake using just almond flour and not adding any other flour. Sukrin advise using half and half with another flour.

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As you can see it had quite a close texture. It wasn’t stodgy though and the flavour of almond was quite strong. The cake lasted 2 – 3 days.

If you are looking to add protein and less fat to your diet then substituting some of your usual flour with this may help.

I use ground almonds in my cakes as the fat adds moistness and helps it to last more than a couple of days which this flour doesn’t do so I won’t be using this flour again in my gluten free baking.

Dr Oetker Baking Product Allergy Information

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

I have always trusted Dr Oetker products for my ‘free from’ baking. 

1394180_756267144390786_1463268439_nAllergen information is clearly labelled and whenever I email with an allergen query, they always get back to me with an answer.

I often get asked what cake decorating products are suitable for certain diets so I thought I would ask the company for their full list of baking products and their allergens which they very kindly provided. I have put it here in a table so it is easier to read.

Apart from the gluten free baking powder, none of the other products are actively tested for gluten levels, so can only be labelled as having no “gluten containing ingredients”.

Due to ingredient changes, please always check allergen information on the packaging.

Dr. Oetker Baking Products

No gluten ingredients

Dairy free

Egg free

Soya free

Nut free

READY ROLLED MARZIPAN 6x400g [01257] GF DF  EF SF No
NATURAL MARZIPAN 6x454g [01335] GF DF EF SF No
READY ROLLED REGALICE 6X450g [04347] GF DF EF SF No
REGALICE COLOURS 6x500g [04473] GF DF EF SF NF
R’toROLL IVORY ICING 6x1kg [04477] GF DF EF SF NF
READYtoROLL ICING 6x 1kg [04478] GF DF EF SF NF
READY TO ROLL ICING 6x454g [04481] GF DF EF SF NF
COCOA POWDER 3 X 1KG GF DF EF SF NF
SCOTBLOC MILK 14X300g [51305] No No EF No NF
WHITE CHOC CHIPS 9X100g No No EF No NF
REAL CHOC CHIPS MILK 9X100g [C30] GF No EF No NF
REAL CHOC CHIPS-PLAIN 9X100g [C32] GF No EF No NF
GLYCERINE 6X38ml [U102] GF DF EF SF NF
LEAF GELATINE 1 X 1KG GF DF EF SF NF
SELECT LEAF GELATINE 20g X 10 [S80] GF DF EF SF NF
DESIGNER ICING POUCH BLUE 140G X 5 GF DF EF SF NF
DESIGNER ICING POUCH PINK 140G X 5 GF DF EF SF NF
DESIGNER ICING POUCH WHITE 140G X 5 GF DF EF SF NF
12 WAFER DAISIES X 10 GF DF EF SF NF
SILVER SHIMMER SPRAY 6 X 100ML No DF EF SF NF
FUDGE CHUNKS 9 X 85G GF No EF No NF
GLUCOSE SYRUP TUBE 6 X 140g GF DF EF SF NF
GOLD SHIMMER SPRAY 6 X 100ML No DF EF SF NF
SUGAR STRANDS JAR 6 X 55G GF DF EF SF NF
HUNDREDS & THOUSANDS JAR 6 X 65G No DF EF SF NF
CHOCOLATE FLAVOURED STRANDS JAR 6 X 55G GF DF EF SF NF
POLKA DOTS JAR 6 X 45G GF DF EF SF NF
SUGAR STARS JAR 6 X 40G GF DF EF SF NF
SUGAR BUTTERFLIES JAR 6 X 35G GF DF EF SF NF
CHOCOLATE BEANS JAR 6 X 65G GF DF EF No NF
SOFT GOLD PEARLS JAR 6 X 45G GF DF EF No NF
SHIMMER PEARLS MIX JAR 6 X 45G GF DF EF SF NF
WHITE CHOC CHUNKS 9 X 100G GF No EF No NF
MILK CHOC CHUNKS 9 X 100G GF No EF No NF
Dr Oetker EASY SWIRL CUPCAKE ICING PINK 5 x 180g GF DF EF SF NF
Dr Oetker EASY SWlRL CUPCAKE ICING VANILLA 5 x 180g GF DF EF SF NF
Dr Oetker EASY SWIRL CUPCAKE ICING CHOCOLATE 5 x 180g GF DF EF SF NF
Neon Sugar 4 cell – 4 x 100g GF DF EF SF NF
Fine Cooks’ Chocolate Extra Dark 20 x 150g GF No EF No NF
Fine Cooks’ Chocolate Milk 20 x 150g GF No EF No NF
Fine Cooks’ Chocolate Dark (Plain) 20 x 150g GF No EF No NF
Fine Cooks’ Chocolate White 20 x 150g GF No EF No NF
Dr. Oetker Gluten Free Baking Powder Sachets 14 x 6*5g GF DF EF SF NF
Dr. Oetker Bicarbonate of Soda Sachets 14 x 6*7g GF DF EF SF NF
Shimmer Sugar 4cell 4x100g GF DF EF SF NF
Bright Red Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Sunshine Yellow Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Sky Blue Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Lime Green Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Ultra Violet Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Jet Black Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Hot Pink Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Neon Orange Gel Food Colour – 6 x 10g GF DF EF SF NF
Dr Oetker Gluten Free Baking Powder Tub 4 x 170g GF DF EF SF NF
Bicarbonate of Soda 200g 1×4 GF DF EF SF NF
Cream of Tartar – (6x5g) x 18 GF DF EF SF NF
Ground Arrowroot – (6x8g)  x9 GF DF EF SF NF
Chocolate Hearts 10 x 40g GF No EF No NF
Giant Chocolate Stars 10 x 20g GF No EF No NF
Coloured Writing Icing 6x76g GF DF EF SF NF
Neon Glitter Writing Gels 6x76g GF DF EF SF NF

Sugar Free Marzipan and Sugar Free Cake.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Have you heard about Sukrin all-natural sweetener? When you read the information about it, it does sound too good to be true! I have searched the internet for opinions on this product. The information I have found all sounds positive.

And it is great for baking!

sukrin-testpaket

It is available granulated, ground down like icing sugar and also as a demerara sugar substitute. So it seems all the sugar needed bases are covered with these three products. The only sugar based confectionery you can’t make with it is caramel!

Sukrin admit their products are a little pricey at the moment but they are working hard to reduce this. More information about all the Sukrin products can be found here.

I used the granulated sweetener to make simple vanilla cupcakes so I could taste the sweetness easily or any aftertaste. I used it exactly as I would caster sugar in a sponge recipe.

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I made some cupcakes with sukrin and wheat flour and some with gluten free flour. Both types of cakes rose as they would using sugar. They were not as sweet as those made with sugar but sweet enough and if you are going to use it all the time your taste buds adjust to the level of sweetness quite quickly.

As you can see Sukrin Melis worked well for dusting the top of cakes and for glace icing. The icing does leave a peppermint kind of cooling sensation on your tongue for a few seconds afterwards. The company recommend if you are going to make buttercream to use half and half with icing sugar to balance the taste and consistency.

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There are many recipes on the Sukrin website. The cake recipes on the website use a fat free sponge which if you are diabetic or follow a low fat diet you would obviously prefer but this type of sponge is not so good for celebration cakes as it is too light and wouldn’t last as long as a victoria sponge.

I was very interested in the sugar free, low fat marzipan recipe as this would be good for celebration cakes. It could even be coloured and used instead of fondant / roll out icing to decorate your celebration cake. I found it can be moulded as usual marzipan. If you are covering a cake with this marzipan and it splits a little on the edges you can rub it to join it back together.

If made with Sukrin almond flour, this marzipan will also be low in fat as 80% of the fat is removed!

I made this marzipan using pasteurised egg white powder to be safe especially as it doesn’t contain sugar or fat. I also tried it using Orgran No Egg and it was just as good. I would recommend this marzipan is eaten within a week so I would bear this in mind if using to cover a fruit cake.

julemarsipan

Gluten Free Parsnip and Apple Cake

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

I have seen lots of parsnip cake recipes lately and fancied trying it. 

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I wondered if it would work in the same way as carrot in a cake as parsnip is a bit drier. I adapted my carrot cake recipe to try this and it worked well.

It would be nice with cinnamon but my husband is allergic to it so we don’t have it in the house.

Next time I’m thinking of using dark muscovado sugar, dried ginger and chopped stem ginger instead of demerara sugar, mixed spice and apple. No new year diet here!

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This recipe makes quite a deep cake so takes a little while to cook. I would suggest wrapping  your cake tin with a thick layer of baking parchment or bake even strips to protect the side of the cake.

Parsnip and apple cake – serves 8 – 12

Ingredients
for the Cake
125g gluten free plain flour
60g maize flour or cornflour
65g ground almonds
3 tsp gluten free baking powder
4 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
pinch salt
350g parsnip, grated
85g eating apple, chopped into small pieces
215ml sunflower oil
4 large eggs
250g demerara sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract

for the Topping
50g butter, at room temperature
60g icing sugar
200g cream cheese
vanilla extract
mixed spice or cinnamon

Dairy free topping - if you are just covering the top, only use half this amount.

150g dairy free margarine
600g icing sugar
vanilla extract
mixed spice or cinnamon

Method
Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas mark 4.
Grease and line an 8inch round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Combine the flour, maize flour, ground almonds, baking powder, mixed spice and salt in a bowl.
Sieve together four times to make sure the baking powder is evenly distributed.
Measure the sunflower oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until paler in colour then stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the parsnip and chopped apple.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Now turn this onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half.

For the topping

soften the butter for 10 seconds in a microwave or leave at room temperature before beating together with the icing sugar. This is easier if you use a food mixer with a beater attachment or use a hand held mixer. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract and mixed spice or cinnamon to taste.
Spread onto the top and sides of the cake with a pallet knife.

Dairy free topping

Mix the icing sugar into the dairy free margarine. Do not overbeat the mixture as it will split. Stir in a few drops of water until it reaches the required consistency. Stir in vanilla extract and mixed spice or cinnamon to taste.
You may think this is a lot of icing sugar. If you use less icing sugar to margarine, the mixture will split. Add a little extra flavouring to this buttercream.
Spread onto the top and sides of the cake with a pallet knife.

Sukrin Bread and Cake Mix

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

I was given a lovely big box of goodies from www.sukrin.com/en/ to try. It contained granulated, brown and icing sugar alternative. Sesame flour, almond flour, Fibrefine which is a high fibre corn flour. A bread mix and cake mix!

Where do I start?

I thought I’d start with the easy option – the bread and cake mix.

SAM_3445

 

This is a low carbohydrate bread mix is wheat, milk, yeast, soy and sugar free. It does contain egg. Apparently it is very popular amoung sports people and I can see why.

The mix comes with it’s own baking tin. All you need to do is stir in the water and any extra flavourings you like. Spoon into the tin, level the top and bake.

SAM_3454

I kept my bread plain so I could taste it as it was. It had a lovely flavour and was full of seeds. It was quite moist but soft. The pack says to store in the fridge. It still tasted good 4 days later.

SAM_3470

SAM_3491The cake mix makes an 8 inch cake and is gluten and sugar free. Again I kept it quite plain so I could taste the flavour as it was.

SAM_3418

 

This cake mix is mixed together with 3 eggs, 75ml vegetable oil and 150ml water and any flavourings you like. The company have produced a booklet of recipes which can be made with the cake mix.

SAM_3426

 

The mix I used has sesame flour as the first ingredient. I don’t know if the recipe has changed as the ingredient list on the website lists almond flour as the first ingredient. I mention this as I did find the cake had a strong flavour which I didn’t really like.

It had a great texture and lasted a few days. I think this cake mix might suit strong flavours being added to it.

SAM_3495