Since reading David Gillespie's Sweet Poison I have been on a rampage to try and rid sugar from my family's lives. I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone but for me - it just seemed right. Get rid of sugar = more energy. Get rid of sugar = less moods. Get rid of sugar = lose weight. There is plenty more reasons and I highly recommend everyone read the book - the amount of "hidden" sugar in food is absolutely ridiculous (rant about big food chains to come at a later date).
I was fully prepared to commence the sugar free quit plan when I fell pregnant. I am sure it is completely fine to quit sugar whilst pregnant (your body doesn't actually NEED sugar to function) but with morning sickness rearing its head I could not let go of my morning juice! So I set out to do this slowly...
I am an avid label reader now, and LOVE experimenting with new no sugar recipes. There is a great ingredient called Stevia. Stevia is derived from a plant (I think in Africa) and it is a sugar substitute. It is similar to Splenda, Equal etc without the nasty chemicals. I should mention that Stevia hasn't been around for a long time so a lot of studies have not gone into its effects.
In January and February, our family has 2 birthdays, just after Christmas! Its a mad mad time of year! So in my wisdom I decided we needed sugar free cakes and I would convince everyone who ate them that life was ok without sugar, you could survive and you could still have yummy food.
This is where I should mention that whilst Stevia claims to have like for like measurement for sweetness capabilities in his VERY sweet. VERY.
I set about making Stella's 2nd birthday cake, a Humpty Dumpty cake. I know, I know, I don't know what possessed me. I substituted half of the sugar with half the amount of Stevia and then used the other half of sugar. It took me all afternoon and after I had finished I had a very wonky looking Humpty but Stella loved it! Thats all the encouragement I needed.
The likeness is just unbelievable right? RIGHT?
On the big day Stella devoured her bit of cake, loved loved loved it, and noone complained. Except me. Inside. I hated the taste and it was so dense. I was very disappointed! I must not have used the Stevia right. Hmmmm....
Andrew's 30th approached and I decided to attempt a red velvet cake (I had seen it on many U.S. reality shows - very cool!). With Andrew's cake I decided that I better just use all Stevia instead of sugar, 3 cups worth. Yep. Its funny to think that even though I was so down on sugar - I had no issues using 60ml of red food colouring!
We went out to dinner at the local pub with friends and family and COMPLETELY FORGOT about the cake! So we took it home and ate it the next night. I should say Stella ate it the next night.
Looks can be deceiving
It was inedible and I had to spit out the cake I had put into my mouth. Disgusting does not even begin to describe it. It was metallic, so dense and so so sweet. The whole lot went into the bin.
To say I was disappointed at my first sugar free cake attempt would be an understatement, but I feel that I learnt a very very important lesson, people like me (awesome) should not attempt to substitute ingredients. Never. Ever. Ever. Follow the recipe Tara or your own birthday cake will be ruined!
Does anyone have any sugar free cake recipes?
Tata for now!
PS. if you actually need good cake ideas - maybe visit from friend Crittle. Her kitchen rules! http://crittleskitchen.blogspot.com.au/