Sugar free baking not sugar free sweets
January is a quiet time in the sugar free sweet world so I thought I would have a look at trying some sugar free baking. I needed a bit of help as I am not an expert baker! You certainly will never see me on the Great British Bake Off!
The first sweetener I decided to use was Total Sweet xylitol. The attraction of this is that it comes from a natural source and it can be used as a one for one substitute for sugar. This makes it easier to select a recipe. Cake recipes that use stevia will need more changes as they only require a third the amount and other ingredients need to make up the bulk).
I tried a simple sponge recipe
100g Self Raising Flour
Plus some baking powder.(about 1/2 teaspoonful)
Set the oven to heat at 180C
To make the cake more interesting I put some apricots (sweetened with Xylitol of course) in the bottom of the greased tin The tin was about 20 cm across.
My expert baking advisor told me to start by beating the sugar and butter together to make a creamy mixture which is apparently the traditional way to do it. I found it quite hard work and my baking expert also tried and said it was a bit harder than normal sugar (so not only is it lower calorie but you get a good workout making the cake)
The next step was to add the flour and egg a third at a time mixing gently each time and this went very smoothly. Then I smoothed the mixture on top of the apricots and put it in the oven
The cake was then baked for.about 35 minutes. at 180c. It was done when it had gone a nice golden brown and looked as though it was shrinking away from the side of the itn. I let it cool for a bit then turned it out by putting a plate on top of the tin and quickly turning it upside down so the the cake ended up on the plate.
It turned out well as you can see from the picture and tasted just great .
Cooking with Xylitol was very easy. The main disadvantage is cost, it was £2.70 for 225g which makes it very expensive when compared to sugar which is only £0.59 a kg. So if you want a homemade cake but don't want sugar it works really well.
If time permits I will be looking at baking with stevia soon.