Prepping for Low Carbohydrate Baking.

Well “Valentine’s Day” has been and gone for another year and I have already started planning for “Mother’s Day” and “Easter”. Two very important events in my household. I have ordered loads of different things from:-

  • new packaging
  • new equipment
  • new ingredients

to go with my new ideas and I can’t wait. 🙂 I think this has been the most I have ever invested in my business in the last two years. Before I begin with all the fun bakes ahead, I want to share my take on Low Carb Bakes. That rhymes – I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!! hahaha 🙂

My best seller from the webshop this month has been the Low Carbohydrate Bakes so I will be extending these ideas further by changing some of the other traybakes I do to a low carb version so that these products are available to a wider audience. I think my family are now converted to low carb cakes and bakes as they seem to prefer these now to the standard bakes. Mind you it might just be that they will eat anything I bake and set down in front of them??

My low carb bake recipes are slightly different to the standard recipes for this style of baking as I have found with lots of practice that the bakes are better and more in keeping with standard bakes if half of the flour used if of a low carbohydrate variety and the remainder is standard flour. This means that there is still some carbohydrate present but there is a reduction in the overall carbohydrate content due to the complete removal of the sugar, as I use a sugar substitute too.

Choosing the Right Sugar Substitute

The sugar substitute used has been a case of trial and error but I have settled on the light brown sugar and stevia mix or the half sugar and stevia for the majority of my new low carbohydrate bakes. Both these types of sugar are readily available in my local supermarket which is a great help. Changing the sugar has reduced the sugar and total carbohydrate content of the bakes, as well as, the all to important calories of the bakes. I have done some work on sugar substitutes in baking before when I looked at diabetic products so I had some idea of what worked. However, when baking cookies, brownies or cakes the different sugar substitutes give better results in some bakes than in others. The joys of baking – I love it!!

As for the substitute flours, I buy these from my local Holland and Barrett which is handy too. I have found that the different flours give an unusual texture to the bakes and that the stronger tasting flours have a definite taste that is hard to disguise. Instead, I have opted for using the coconut flour and almond flour in bakes where this flavour is necessary such as Coconut Cake or Bakewell Cake. For the Chocolate Cake, Lemon Cake and even Vanilla Cake, I am using soya flour as it has very little flavour which can easily be hidden with the addition of other stronger flavours.

Low Carbohydrate Cupcakes
Low Carbohydrate Cupcakes

With the coconut flour recipe more liquid is required as the coconut flour absorbs so much more than standard flour and I don’t want the resultant bake to be dry. I found when I used coconut flour only the texture of the bake resembled omelette which was not the look I was going for so with this in mind I played around with the quantities of standard flour and coconut flour to achieve a better final bake for the cakes.

For the almond flour, which is very like ground almonds I did not like the bake when all almond flour was used so again I messed around with the ratio of standard flour and almond flour to achieve a better final bake.

With the soya flour, I found if I used just soya flour resulted in a very close textured bake which is great for Brownies but not so good for cake making. Instead I used a mix of standard flour and soya flour in the recipes. As the soya flour does not have as strong a flavour it is easier to hide with the addition of cocoa or lemon. So I am now able to offer chocolate and lemon cakes in the low carb products.

All these substitute flours are gluten free as well as being lower in carbohydrates and I can’t wait to try them in some cookie and brownie recipes in the near future. Just need some tasters when I have some new creations to try!! After reading this I still have more I want to say so I will be revisiting this subject in the near future as it is getting late here and I am rather tired.