We're becoming experts in sugar free baking, so we thought you'd like to hear our top tips for trying it at home!
· Use raw cacao nibs and raw cacao powder instead of chocolate. Surprisingly, even dark 70% cocoa chocolate may contain sugar, as can cocoa powder. Raw cacao has a rich flavour and is a good source of minerals (e.g. like iron)
· Use fruit purées instead of syrups, treacle or honey. Syrups add a gooey texture to traybakes, cookies and tarts which is hard to recreate... However, fruit purées supply sweetness and moisture and can make a useful alternative.
· Use wholemeal flour instead of refined white flour, or go totally gluten free. Although it may not be a sugar itself, refined white flour is digested really quickly, which may aggravate blood sugar levels. Use wholemeal flour to slow the rate at which your body absorbs all forms of sugar. The best cake flours for gluten free purposes are almond flour coconut flour (the cheaper of the two), or a mix.
· Use vanilla pods instead of vanilla extract. They're relatively small in terms of their sugar contribution in cakes, but they're still a processed sugar you may choose to avoid. You can make the pricey pod go a little further but removing the seeds and infuse the pods in yoghurt or cream.
· Use homemade fruit jams instead of store-bought jam, compotes or conserves. Even jams and conserves with no added sugar are still a concentrated source due to their high fruit content. You have greater control over the sugar content when you make it yourself, and there are zero sugar recipes if you search online.
· Use lighter toppings in place of icing, buttercream and frosting - these little extras can more than double the calories per portion. Instead, sprinkle your cake lightly with cacao powder, cinnamon or ground ginger. Use cream cheese topping flavoured with citrus zest, or a fresh cream filling with some seasonal fruit.
And if it all gets too much, we deliver!
The Team at 280 Bakes
I'm sending you a postcard from Edinburgh, a perfect weekend away, with lots of cakes to keep your tourist feet pounding the old City streets!
Let's start with some Chocolate Orange traybake, and a Beetroot Poppy Seed tray bake from the National Museum of Scotland bistro. Also pictured, some treats from the Edinburgh Castle cafe: Mint Aero Tiffin (whaaat!) and Chocolate Tarts.
A fabulous collage of cake from around the city...
Top line: Pistachio Rhubarb Tiffin (Cafe on the Mound) - my personal favourite, Ginger and Raspberry Tiffin (Cafe on the Mound), White Chocolate Cake (Edinburgh Castle tea rooms, better than the cae by far!).
Bottom Line: Mini Victoria Sponges (Edinburgh Castle tea rooms), a castle themed showstopper (tea rooms again), and some chocolate brownies.
Currently looking for a recipe for the rhubarb bake, if anyone has any bright ideas??
Finally, I am a total Mimi's Bakehouse convert, having had brunch there on Sunday. These photos are from the Leith branch, but there's also one on the Royal Mile, if you're in the city centre.
Oreo cupcakes, Raspberry Chocolate cupcakes, and Chocolate Fudge cakes pictured below... and me!
Look out for our next 'Postcard from...' blog coming soon. Who knows where our bakers will head to next?! Take a look at some previous discoveries on Twitter via the hashtag #280ontour.
It's holiday season, and our Bakers are having a great time... poking around in the foreign supermarket Shelves!
I mean, what else do you do when you're on holiday, really, other than have a gander in the local supermarket shelves, comparing them to home? A sad little pleasure of mine, and it seems our other bakers, when I'm abroad is to have a nosey look for any interesting local foods.
This is what we've found already, and summer holiday season is still young!
Finally, eurgh, the Pillsbury man. I'll be making my own buttercream, I think!
What interesting baking ingredients have you found while on holiday? Share in the comments below, we'd love to know!
Louise & Team
Our Louise has just come back from Costa Rica, bearing photos of cakes from the Latine American country. No tasters, but the photos look awesome!
So, Costa Rica s not known for its cake - or really, even its food. You might think of beaches, wildlife, music, before you think of the food from that area, but there really is so much lovely goodness to try, and cake is no exception. Take a look at some of my photos below ... Let me know if you've ever baked these yourself!
A true baker snaps photos of cake while she's on holiday...
Look out for more cakes from abroad, whenever one of our bakers goes on holiday. You can follow our 'cake holidays' on #280ontour on Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
Louise & Team.
Our Louise went to Switzerland this time last week and here are some of the great photos of Swiss cakes she sent us. Way to make us jealous...!
Swiss cakes are always a delight to look at... and to taste of course! I am need of a serious diet after all the goodies El Husbandio and I enjoyed on our short break in Switzerland this month - we just couldn't resist some 'market research'! Take a look at some of the festive treats we found around Bern, Zurich, and surrounding alpine villages. Which would you choose?
Top row: Mini Chocolate Almond Chocolate Bundts, Chocolate Walnut Tart (totally counts as cake!), and Lebekuchen.
Bottom row: Plum Pie, Plum Parcels, and Apple Strudel.
If you like what you see here, take a look at the cakes from a whistle-stop tour of bakeries in Zurich last December. Take me back!!
Big thanks to my fellow cake lover and ever-up-for-a-giggle tour guide, Lou G. xx
Owner, 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by myself, Louise, but if you fancy guest blogging, give me a shout!