Friday, January 27, 2006

Low is the New Sugar High Friday #15

And I am a Miserable Failure (though it wasn't for lack of trying)
photograph picture of sam's ok-looking but crappy tasting maple semi-freddo

This greek yoghurt semi-freddo sweetened with a dash of the delicious Blis Maple Syrup I received from Aki and Alex, perched on a round of toasted almonds set with 85% bitter chocolate and Maldon Sea Salt (a combination inspired by Ideas in Food), didn't work at all. It looks pretty enough, but the yoghurt was too sour to do the sweet whisky-aroma maple justice, the chocolate was too bitter and I was obviously far too heavy handed with the salt.

photograph picture of a disastrous meringue experiment

Let me give you a little tip. Don't ever try to make a meringue sweetened with dried pear pieces instead of sugar.

photograph picture of orange-sweetened souffles

Dried oranges make a better sweetener than the pears. They are more dry and crisp and can be ground to a sugar-like powder. I used this orange-powder to sweeten little souffles made with a roux of orange juice instead of milk. These actually tasted ok, but weren't of a high enough caliber to make a recipe I'd rush to share. On the side I poached some supremed slices of orange in their juice with a touch of the quite special Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey with Organic Hawaiian ginger, a generous gift given to me by Alan from Ma'ona and his gorgeous wife who I met with for coffee in December. He even used the honey in his own SHF recipe, now what a coincidence?

photograph picture of orange-sweetened souffles

Finally, I decided to give up on the no sugar restrictions and try a Weightwatcher recipe that had some sugar but was low in calories overall. The Caramel Pear Polenta Souffles were much like my own orange souffle invention. They tasted fine, and I am enjoying them cold for breakfast, but they weren't worth writing home about.

photograph picture of orange-sweetened souffles

And what really disappointed me was that they looked nowhere near as pretty as the recipe book picture that attracted me in the first place. Pah!

photograph picture of orange-sweetened souffles

But I am just hosting this party, and luckily for all of you, everyone else joining me for the feast is bringing a pot luck dessert, as well. From all the entries I have seen so far, there are some stunning ideas out there. It seems that most people have far greater skills at creating low sugar desserts than I do. Having said that, it was very interesting to experiment with some new ideas in the kitchen, it helped me understand how ingredients work and gave me a clue as to why we generally use white sugar in our baking. I am not sure how many entries I will end up receiving, but as soon as I have a roundup ready, you can be sure that I'll be sharing some far more delicious ideas for healthier desserts with you all. Thanks for joining in, everyone!

PS - On the day-job I am rushed with extra work right now, so please be patient as I visit each and every one of you. If you can't wait, you can catch up and look at all the tagged entries here. And to everyone who has emailed me on other subjects over the last few days - apologies for not getting back to you straight away, I have been a bit snowed under with things. I'll get to it as soon as I can.

PPS. 5 years ago - This Day in 2001 - the day I arrived to live in America!

Links, Resources and Further Reading

Bay Area Resources:
Almonds from | Alfieri Farms
Oranges from | Hamada farm
Dried oranges and pears from | Everything Under the Sun

Other Resources:
The Founder of Sugar High Fridays | Jennifer, Domestic Goddess
Total Greek Yoghurt | Fage
Sea Salt from | Maldon
Honey from | Volcanic Island Honey Company

Daily weight loss, weightwatchers and diet notes:
Weightwatchers | Entertains with Chefs from the Culinary Institute

Archive Alert! On this date in 2005: Incanto

| | |
Low is the New Sugar High Friday #15


  • At 27/1/06 08:37, Blogger Beccy said…

    Happy 5th anniversary!

  • At 27/1/06 09:55, Blogger Helen said…

    Hi Sam!

    Happy 5th anniversary! My 15th is coming up next week :)
    Don't despare about desserts. I am no good at low calorie baking either. But since I am not a big dessert person in general, my favorite low sugar dessert is some savory snack. I am not kidding -- when I go out for "coffee and dessert" with friends, I'll often end up getting some sort of appetizer or bar snack instead of dessert. This probably doesn't count as an entry to Sugar High Friday, but I made a healthy version of bluefish pate last night that was surprisingly good.

    Have a great weekend :)


  • At 27/1/06 10:31, Blogger McAuliflower said…

    Umm, yeah... me too. My entry came out ok. I think it may just be a style thing though (I reaffirmed that I don't like Jello).

    This may turn out to be a longer running SHF event. I'm not accepting mediocrity, so I'm going to keep pluggin away!

  • At 27/1/06 11:42, Anonymous Miiki said…

    Nice site. Very well organized & hlepful.
    I don't follow food blogs per se and do not have one myself. And I am not a sweets person so obviously i won't be submitting a recipe.
    However- your idea is nice- helpful for diabetics perhaps and also another thought- cooks out there could try Stevia, a natural alternative-
    BTW, I found your blog from my friend Bea's blog- "La Tartine Gourmande" as she made some lovely LOW confections per your idea.

  • At 27/1/06 12:35, Anonymous mum said…

    Those 5 years have gone by very quickly.Happy anniversary I guess if you are working hard you might not be celebrating.

  • At 27/1/06 16:52, Anonymous Ivonne said…

    Happy Anniversary, Sam!

    And while your desserts may not have pleased you entirely, the combinations you used are very interesting and inspiring!

    As always, a great post!

  • At 27/1/06 20:03, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    I LOVE that meringue. Looks like something I might have come up with during the Eat Local Challenge while I'm avoiding non-local sugar. Let's call it "rustic."
    (I suppose I could buy a stevia plant at the nursery and say it's local... but I'm happy with Marin honey, and I rarely bake.)
    Happy Five Years! Glad to have you on our shores.

  • At 28/1/06 05:49, Blogger Nic said…

    Don't be so hard on yourself, Sam. I think that those souffles in particular look quite tasty - and not everything needs to be a showstopper. =)

  • At 28/1/06 16:18, Anonymous johanna said…

    dear sam, i completely sympathise with your situation... i am also doing mad hours at the moment and am not sure why. not blogging nearly as much as i should and just feeling drained and unloved. and struggling to eat more healthily, as a swore I would on NY's eve...

  • At 28/1/06 22:59, Blogger Fanny said…

    Hi Sam, i think your low sugar dessert look good. It's sad they didn't turned out as delicious as you expected.
    By the way happy 5th birthday. I've been leaving to England last friday, but only for holidays...

  • At 29/1/06 04:45, Blogger Niki said…

    Oh that sad looking pear flavoured meringue is hilarious! Kudos for trying, though!
    All your efforts look really impressive, even if they tasted a bit bleh.
    As someone with a high possiblity of diabetes in my future, it deflates me a bit to look at the sad sweet-food offerings made with fake sugar. I do hope there are better, more natural products in the future.

  • At 29/1/06 07:41, Blogger Sam said…

    Beccy - thank you - it feels strange that my length in the US equates almost exactly to the age of Ben.

    Helen - wow - 15 - now that makes me feel greener.I never go for coffee and dessert with my friends, but if I did, I am sure, like you, I would take a Negroni and an appetizzer. Appetizers are my absolute favourite.

    Mcauliflower - good for you - I think I might too. I might also try a fruit jelly. I like jelly. A lot and havent had it for ages.

    Miiki - thank you - and yes Bea's recipes are absolutely delightful!

    Mum - I found time for a wee glass of champagne .

    Ivonne - I certainly enjoyed the experimentation.

    Cookie C and Miiki - I do not know about Stevia - I will have to do some research.

    Nic - I did actually like the orange souffles - they just had a bit of a soggy texture. In retrospect I am wondering if I could have split them in half and toasted them.

    Johanna - well you have to move as well - there is nothing that stresses me more than moving - I have done it 7x in the 5 years I have lived in the US.

    Fanny - have fun in Blighty! (wrap up warm)

    Niki - I have been going through all the entries and I think you are going tohave some laternative sweet trats instore to help stave off those diabetes.

    thanks severyone


  • At 29/1/06 12:08, Blogger Cathy said…

    Happy 5th anniversay, Sam! I for one am glad you are here :) Those desserts look good (but then I'm always so impressed at the quality of your photos), so I'm sorry they didn't taste as good as you had hoped. Low-sugar desserts really are a tough one - my favorites tend to be Cooking Light recipes...


Post a Comment

<< Home