As a Type 2 Diabetic I really struggle with baking. I love to bake and I love to eat, which is probably what got me in this situation in the first place, combined with an hereditary disposition towards developing Diabetes. Sweet baked treats are not something I am able to enjoy a full slice of anymore. Its tough to live in a world where everyone else can eat the cake and you can’t!
This is particularly difficult during the holidays. They are the worst times of all. Everyone around you is enjoying chocolate and cakes and cookies and pies and you sit and munch on carrot sticks. There is just NO comparison. No comparison at all. Carrot sticks just DON’T cut the mustard!
In the most recent issue of Healthy Food they have concentrated on reducing the sugar in the diet and included in that was a recipe for an Orange Yogurt Drizzle Cake. It looked really nice, and came in at less than 100 calories a slice (93) and with virtually no sugar (0.9g per serving).
I’ve done low/no sugar before and it has been a largely disappointing exercise in futility.
Now, I know I should have done this the first time exactly as written, with oranges, etc. But I did not have any orange. I do always have plenty of lemons however and so I threw caution to the wind and flew by the seat of my pants, adding lemon zest to the batter and a small amount of lemon extract.
Lemon cake is one of my favourite flavours of cake, even more so than chocolate. It usually takes a lot of sugar to contrast the tartness of lemon however and so I had almost resigned myself to not being able to enjoy anything naturally lemony again.
I am happy to say that this cake turned out quite nicely! It is light and a bit spongy, but you would expect that from this type of cake, which is essentially a chiffon type of cake. These types of cakes rely mostly on the air that you beat into the eggs for their lift.
The original recipe had a yoghurt topping. I didn’t want that. I wanted something a bit more traditional and so I opted to make a lemon drizzle using some of the same sweetener and some fresh lemon juice which I soaked into the cake while it was still quite warm.
Nothing sugary to decorate it either . . . just some wafer flowers from Dr Oetker, which add a touch of nice without adding anything too bad for you. In short, they looked really pretty.
And the cake? Well, you can judge for yourself. I thought it was quite nice and had a beautiful crumb and texture, without any discernable taste from the sweetener. It also tasted nice and lemony.
*Low Sugar Lemon Drizzle Cake*
Makes 8 servings
You can have your cake and eat it too with this healthier sugar-free version of an old favourite. Best eaten on the day.
75g measure for measure sugar substitute (1/3 cup)
3 large free range eggs
the finely grated zest of one un-waxed lemon
1/2 tsp lemon extract
75g plain flour (1/2 cup, plus 1 TBS)
1/2 tsp baking powder
For the drizzle:
the juice of half a lemon
2 TBS measure for measure sugar substitute
Preheat the oven to 170*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Lightly butter an 8 inch diameter non-stick fluted ring cake mold. Set aside.
Measure the eggs into a bowl along with the sweetener. Beat on high for about 5 minutes, until very thick, creamy and light in colour. When you lift the beaters, the mixture should fall back in a ribbon. Fold in the lemon zest and extract. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Carefully fold this into the egg mixture just to combine. Pour into the prepared cake tin and level off.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched. Allow to stand in the cake tin for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Whisk together your drizzle ingredients and spoon them over the cake allowing them to be absorbed.
Place on your serving plate and garnish/decorate as desired.
Note – to garnish you can sprinkle with a bit of finely grated lemon zest or some wafer flowers.
Will it ever really take the place of real cake? No, I don’t think anything but a “real” cake can do that with proper sugar, etc. Much the same as no matter how much they try to convince you that gluten free goodies are as good as baked goods that contain wheat, they never quite manage to do it. But it is nice to know that I can have at something that is, at the very least, a little bit closer to the real thing . . .
It was actually quite, quite tasty. I think adding the lemon drizzle was a bit of genius on my part. Bon Appetit!
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