Printer Friendly

Sweet nothings As experts recommend; As experts recommend we cut down on refined sugar, MARION MCMULLEN discovers we can have our cake and eat it with a sneak preview of a new no-sugar dessert and baking book.


CUTTING back on refined sugar does not necessarily mean missing out on your favourite sweet treats.

Ysanne Spevack's forthcoming book The No-Sugar! Desserts & Baking Cookbook features recipes that offer everyone healthy indulgence ... and taste delicious.

|doyenne Ysanne Spevack A Brit based in America, Ysanne has created recipes that do not rely on refined sugar for taste. She says: "It's become a wonderful challenge to make inclusive desserts for all of my guests, from the guy who loves sweet sugary stuff, to the fashionable ladies who strive to be conscious of their diets.

"I've tried and tested all these desserts over many years, so that everyone at the table can enjoy my dishes without a sense of deprivation for the sugarworhsippers, and with total guilt-free indulgence for the more abstemious and healthy eaters."

Her cookbook helps people to remove refined sugar from sweet puddings and cakes. The irresistible yet healthy desserts use nutritious ingredients - all are zero refined sugar but many are lower gluten, lower dairy, vegan and paleo-friendly as well.

Recipes | from The No-Sugar! Desserts & Baking Cookbook by Ysanne Spevack, published by Lorenz Books, PS12.99 is out next month.

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE (Serves 12) ALL of the refined sugar is removed and it is much lighter in fat than most because it's made with ricotta. The crust is made from walnuts and dates, which creates a healthier and more modern feel for this classic dessert.

INGREDIENTS For the base: 150g/5oz fresh or dried, pitted dates 115g/4oz chopped walnuts, soaked in water overnight in the refrigerator For the filling: 1kg/2 1/4lb fresh blueberries 45ml/3 tbsp honey 1kg/2 1/4lb ricotta cheese 150g/5oz raw cane crystals 5ml/1 tsp grated lemon rind 10ml/2 tsp vanilla extract 1.5ml/quarter tsp sea salt 4 eggs 1. Preheat the oven to 180degC/ 350degF/ Gas 4. 2. To make the base, soak the dates in warm water for 10 minutes. 3. Drain the dates and discard the soaking liquid. Put them in a food processor with the drained, soaked walnuts and process for about 30 seconds until combined.

4. Press the walnut and date mixture into the bottom of a 23cm/9in springform cake tin or pan with the back of a spoon and chill while you prepare the filling.

5. Mix the blueberries with the honey and set aside to macerate.

6. Put the ricotta, cane crystals, lemon rind, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk for two minutes on medium until combined. 7. Whisk in the eggs one by one, incorporating each one before adding the next.

8. Pour the batter over the base and bake for about one hour, until the cake has risen around the sides, the top is brown and it's still moist and not entirely firm in the middle. Allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

9. Remove the outer ring from tin and pour the macerating juices from the blueberries over the cake. Decorate with the blueberries and allow to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE (Serves 16) THIS cake is a great bridge between generations. It can just as easily be served as a birthday cake for children or a dinner party finale for your friends. It's also gluten-free.

INGREDIENTS For the cakes: 550ml/18fl oz Greek yoghurt 150ml/1/4 pint olive oil, plus extra for greasing 200g/7oz coconut crystals 15-20ml/3-4 tsp vanilla extract, to taste 5 eggs 225g/8oz brown rice flour 90g/31/2oz oat flour 125g/41/4oz potato starch 20ml/4 tsp baking powder 5ml/1 tsp sea salt For the chocolate cream: 225g/8oz unsalted butter, at room temperature 450g/1lb cream cheese, at room temperature 200g/7oz agave powder 20g/3/4oz cacao powder 30-60ml/2-4 tbsp agave syrup, to taste METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 180degC/350degF/ Gas 4. Grease two 25cm/10in diameter round springform baking tins or pans with oil.

2. To make the cakes, put the yoghurt, oil, coconut crystals and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk on low, add the eggs one by one, incorporating each one before adding the next. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine. 3. Pour half the batter into each of the cake tins, and smooth with a silicone spatula. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and the edges are slightly separated from the tins.

4. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for about 15 minutes, then remove the springform sides and leave to cool on a wire rack.

5. When they are completely cool, make the chocolate cream. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and cream together for about two minutes, using an electric whisk on medium.

6. Put one of the cakes on a large plate or a cake stand. Spread half the chocolate cream evenly over the top. Carefully put the second cake on top, to create a sandwich.

7. Spread the top with the remaining chocolate cream, using a silicone spatula to create a swirl to decorate, then serve.

HONEY GINGERBREAD MEN (Makes 20) ORIGINALLY a medieval recipe, gingerbread is one of those things that just tastes better sweetened with honey instead of sugar.

INGREDIENTS 115g/4oz hazelnuts 350g/12oz spelt flour 15ml/1 tbsp cacao powder 5ml/1 tsp baking powder 15ml/1 tbsp ground ginger 10ml/2 tsp ground cinnamon 5ml/1 tsp grated nutmeg 5ml/1 tsp ground cloves 250ml/8fl oz clear honey 1 egg 60ml/4 tbsp raw agave 30 whole almonds, to decorate METHOD 1. Put the hazelnuts in a food processor to pulverize, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Sift most of the flour into the bowl, reserving 60ml/4 tbsp for dusting. Sift in the cacao, baking powder and spices.

2. Warm the honey by standing the jar in a bowl of hot water, then pour it into a small bowl. Add the egg and agave, and gently beat together. Pour the honey and egg mixture into the flour mixture to create a very sticky dough.

3. Cut two pieces of baking parchment to fit a 35cm x 18cm/14in x 7in baking sheet. Put one of the sheets on the counter, and place the dough on top. Dust it with flour, then press the dough with your fingers to flatten. 4. Dust more flour on top of the flattened dough and lay the other sheet of baking parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out so that it's about 5mm/1/4in thick.

5. Carefully pick up the whole paper and lay it on a baking sheet. Chill overnight in the refrigerator, or for a minimum of one hour. 6. When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 180degC/350degF/ Gas 4. Put a large bowl of hot water in the oven so that it produces some moisture while baking. Remove the sheet of gingerbread dough from the refrigerator and peel off the top layer of paper. Cut out the gingerbread men with a flour-dusted cutter.

7. Grease a baking sheet with oil and line it with baking parchment. Put the gingerbread men on the baking sheet, placing an almond on each of the chests. You can wrap their arms around the almond if you like, and bake for 10-12 minutes.

8. Remove from oven, lift the baking parchment off the baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.


Dessert |doyenne Ysanne Spevack
COPYRIGHT 2015 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 25, 2015
Previous Article:HOW TO MAKE... a shell pet.
Next Article:raise a glass.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters