I’ve recently been doing a lot of experimenting, not just on creating my own recipes, but branching out and using ingredients I would not have used under normal circumstances. I’ve made rice flour muffins (let’s just say not my greatest success), whole wheat pastry flour cupcakes (more on this for a future post), and upon the request of my grandfather, have been looking into alternatives for sugar.
Now, I’ve yet to come to any conclusive ways to perfect sugar free food, but I’m trying out a lot of options. Splenda and other artificial sweeteners are just that: artificial. I’ve used agave nectar before it’s pretty expensive and the same goes for honey and maple syrup. Molasses works for certain specific tastes, but not for everything.
After giving my grandfather a chocolate chip cookie to try he told me it was so sweet he lost his appetite. I don’t really eat my own food, but I’ve taste tested my chocolate chip cookies and I don’t think they’re too sweet. His opinion is that chocolate chips are sweet enough, there’s no need to add any sugar. He’s not diabetic, he just has the opposite of a sweet tooth. Let’s say my grandfather has a salty tooth.
I’m fine with constructive criticism, but I’ve never gotten that comment from anyone but my grandfather. Although I am looking for alternative sweeteners I will not, as my grandfather advised, let my mother take the sugar away from me. I’m in the process of experimentation which can be slow and arduous but generally generates results.
As it stands I was making biscuits at my grandfather’s house and couldn’t remember my standard biscuit recipe, not that it would have mattered because my aunt only had whole wheat flour. So I had been meaning to experiment with whole wheat biscuits for a while and figured then was as good a time as any. I decided to take some blueberries and turn my biscuits from plain to lemon blueberry fantastic. I threw together what I remembered from my standard recipe, added a handful or two of blueberries and a few long squeezes of lemon juice, substituted maple syrup for sugar, and mixed it up.
They came out like muffins. Not bad, just flavorless. The lemon taste was nonexistent and the dough had no flavor save for biting directly into a blueberry. I ate one, but smothered it in blackberry jam.
My grandfather asked me to give him one and I was expecting a dreary report of how bland it was and how I had missed the mark again, this time in the opposite direction. No, he loves it! He tells me it’s perfect and that it’s not too sweet (it’s not sweet at all). He suggests toasting it with butter.
One of these days I’ll create something we can both enjoy. But hey, if you have any sugar free baking tips I’d love to hear from you. I’ll be coming back to perfecting blueberry biscuits.