Sunday, February 12, 2012

Low Sugar Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Photo Credit: Renee Marchol's Kitchen Strawberry Shortcake
I've learned to bake with Splenda and adjust recipes so that they are lower carb for my members of my family with diabetes. Did you know that such sugar substitutes create a paler pastry with less loft? What are three ways to remedy its appearance?
Photo Credit: Renee Marchol's Kitchen Shortcake Dough

Option 1:  Use a portion of real sugar.
Option 2: Use another 1/4  teaspoon of baking powder.
Option 3: Use a portion of whole wheat flour for fiber and a darker pastry color.

What was the result? At one Father's day event, my chocolate covered scones for diabetes were consumed by non-diabetics. Sugar-free chocolates have improved in texture, flavor and variety. You'll notice that you can buy sugar-free chocolate in bulk at Sprouts grocery store and by box at Sees candies.

Photo Credit: Renee Marchol's Kitchen Diabetic Strawberry Shortcake
Fat, sugar, carbs and protein play a role in texture of a dessert.

Photo Credit: Renee Marchol's Kitchen Strawberries with Sweetener
First, if your loved one can bear a little more butter, use a 1/4 tsp of butter to give the pastry flavor to compensate for the lack of real sugar. Secondly in some cases, the sweetness of honey goes a long way. You can use a hint of honey to sweeten a dessert and its sweetness will taste more potent than a teaspoon of white sugar.

Thirdly, real sugar helps to retain the pastry's moisture while baking. If the recipient of your baked goods can tolerate dairy, add a tablespoon of milk or soymilk for that same purpose. For added loft without the cholesterol, use 2 egg whites. Lastly, if your diabetic person is fond of ground nuts and doesn't have any nut allergies, lower carbs by reducing flour and using ground almonds.

Another low sugar dessert is a flourless almond cookie made with toasted ground almonds, egg whites and sweetener.

Follow Betty Crocker's Strawberry Shortcake Recipe and modify for a low sugar dessert using two of the suggestions above. You can experiment with Stevia, Splenda and house brands of sugar substitutes. Make adjustments in future batches for color, texture, and loft.

Step 1: Wash whole strawberries. Remove the leaves and hull the fruit. Use a straw to hull the strawberries. Press the straw through the strawberry's "nose" and the tube will take out the stem and the inedible parts.  I learned this strawberry hulling trick on Pinterest.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, cut shortening into flour with two knives. Add baking powder. Add sweetener of your choice. Add liquid protein such as cow's milk or soy/nutmilk. Stir in two eggs. Knead for 2 minutes to form a soft dough. Pinch handfuls of dough and press intio flat circles onto the parchment paper no wider than 2" in diameter. Bake for 13 minutes.

Note: Serve with sugar-free whipped topping or lite whipped cream.

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