Yes folks, someone out there generously believes in my baking abilities enough to offer to pay me for my services! Furthermore, they had faith that I would be able to meet their brief of refined white sugar-free only goodies for their sweet 3 year-old daughter’s birthday party (with over 50 guests in attendance). The party had crafting theme (how sweet is that?) and I would have loved to create decorated sweet treats to fit the theme, but it was not to be. My initial baking plan included what you see here, plus a Victoria sponge and carrot cake slices, but our family trip to Finland on the very weekend the party was to be held put a spanner in the works, and not only did I have to experiment with sugar-free baking, but with freezing in/defrosting too. I may have been unable to execute the full range of items I would have liked to thanks to pre-existing travel plans, but I did end up producing a total of 175 cookies and 2 loaf cakes which I froze in, ready for defrosting on the big day. This job was a labour of love involving literally hours of recipe research/test baking/taste-testing/baking/organising, etc., and I probably barely managed to cover the costs of all the ingredients in the end, however it was really fun… and simply being asked/trusted to do it all was a lovely compliment. I am happy (and just a tad proud) to share these tried and tested recipes here. All my taste-testers prior to the final baking session loved these treats and reports are that they were very well-received on the party day too :)
LUSCIOUS REFINED SUGAR-FREE LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE
Made with birch sugar (xylitol) and fresh, organic lemons, this cake is moist, perfectly lemony, freezes and defrosts like a charm and is generally simply lovely! Xylitol has no noticeable aftertaste and is reputed to be safe for diabetics and hyperglycemics. Compared to refined regular sugar which has a glycemic index of 100, xylitol has a very low GI of 7. The significantly lower calorie count in xylitol means you can probably justify having a second slice of this cake ;)… and I promise the absence of refined sugar will not be noticed taste-wise. INGREDIENTS
225g organic plain flour, sifted
2 ½ tsp baking powder
200g birch sugar (xylitol)
2 organic lemons, zest only
2 large organic eggs, room temperature
125ml organic rapeseed oil
1 tbsp organic milk (I used soy)
200g organic Greek or Turkish yogurt (I tried both and they worked equally well)
1 lemon, juice only
50g birch sugar (xylitol)
- Preheat the oven to 160C fan. Grease and line a 1.2 litre loaf tin with baking paper.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, xylitol and lemon zest in a large bowl.
- Mix the eggs, sunflower oil, milk and yoghurt together in a separate bowl and stir into the flour mixture.
- Spoon into a tin, smoothing the surface once full. Transfer to the oven immediately, bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 1 hour . Check after 50 minutes and if the cake is becoming too dark, cover loosely with foil.
- Just before the end of baking time, make the drizzle by heating the lemon juice and xylitol in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the xylitol has dissolved completely. Once the cake has baked, take it out of the oven and pour the drizzle evenly over the top.
- Cool the cake in the tin before turning it out.
*Recipe closely adapted from this one by Caroline Hire, found at bbcgoodfood.com
*This cake may be frozen and it defrosts like a dream. As it is so moist, it will also keep very well for a couple of days after baking.
*Delicious served with whipped cream (or your favourite non-dairy whip)!
CHEWY, DELICIOUS, REFINED SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Makes: approx. 40 cookies, Prep time: 20 minutes, Bake time: 10-12 minutes per tray
I am rather proud of this recipe as, not only does it produce scrummy, chewy chocolate chip cookies of a healthier variety, but I have modified and experimented with it so much so that I feel that I can claim this as my own. I made a batch with organic raisins too, by simply switching out the chocolate chips with raisins in equal quantities. They were also lovely and may provide a nice alternative if sugar-free chocolate chips are hard to come by. INGREDIENTS
115 g unsalted butter, softened
50 g birch sugar (xylitol)
160 g organic coconut palm sugar
1 organic egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
190 g organic plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp hot water
1/4 tsp salt
150 g sugar-free chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 175C (I used fan).
- Cream together butter, birch sugar and coconut palm sugar until fluffy (approx. 5 minutes in a KitchenAid/standing mixer). Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.
- Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt and give a final mix before stirring in flour and chocolate chips.
- Drop heaped spoonfuls (I used a teaspoon) onto baking paper-lined trays. 12 cookies should fit on a tray with room for spreading (they do spread quite a bit).
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes in oven.
- When cooled, store in airtight containers for up to a few days or freeze in and defrost as needed.
*Watch your first tray of cookies carefully to gauge the right baking time/temperature setting for your oven.
*When freezing, use airtight containers and separate layers of cookies with baking paper cut to the size of the container to prevent cookies sticking to each other.
*Chopped walnuts (around 50-75g) could be added to this and would no doubt be delicious, but a serious nut allergy amongst the little guest meant my cookies contained no nuts.
*Chopped sugar-free chocolate could probably be used in place of chocolate chips in a pinch, however I am yet to experiment with it myself.
I ordered my specialty sugars from Bodystore.se and was very happy with the products, service and delivery.
For more sugar-free inspiration by a true expert on the matter, drop by No Naughties. No Naughties recently released their newest gluten/sugar/wheat/yeast-free cookbook (this one all about pancakes) for downloading at a very reasonable price. It was available FREE for download for a period of 24 hours. These extra special offers pop up once in a while so keep an eye out by following this lovely blog.