So here’s a not-so-big secret…I am a terrible sweet tooth. I’m the kind of person that likes to read the dessert menu first and see how that might pan out with any other course I choose. So I was very excited when the delightful Angie and Bettina announced they were running a Awesome Sweet Alternatives class. The Coconut Blondies (below) were the stars of the show…
So here’s a curious thing. I just tried to find a replica recipe on the net to link to and couldn’t – what’s more, every recipe I looked at used butter and sugar. The beauty of this class was we learnt about sugar alternatives that have a low GI (ie. don’t send your blood sugar racing) and butter alternatives – in the form of nut butters.
Nut butters are mostly created by just blitzing the bejessus out of the nuts or seeds you have to hand – after a while the friction releases the natural oils and you end up with a buttery spread. A little zap in the microwave beforehand can also speed up the process.
I don’t think the ladies will mind if I give away one of their wonderful recipes. The Coconut Blondies tasted like a caramel fudgey brownie. In fact, straight out of the oven, I thought they tasted a bit like the cake from sticky date pudding – yummo!
Pre-heat oven to 170C
Line a 20cm x 20cm cake tin or 2 loaf tins with baking paper.
225g coconut butter (you can use dessicated coconut in the food processor as described above)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda, sifted.
Method: Warm coconut butter until it can be stirred to a smooth paste. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and combine with the coconut butter. Press mixture in a baking paper lined tin. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden (watch after 20 mins to avoid burning)
And that’s it.
Bettina had just been to see That Sugar Film and talked about the evil geniuses who have raised out ‘Bliss Point’ – the point at which we cannot tolerate any more sweetness – by injecting glucose syrup into foods. She reminded us that culturally, ‘snacking’ has really only been with us since the 70s. But now that we do snack and for those of us who like something sweet – it is great to discover alternatives. We also had Bliss Ball tartlets with Cashew Cream, Banana Cookies, Breakfast Granola Bars and Wicked Dark Chocolate. The later was simply grated and melted cacao butter mixed with cacao powder and nuts and then left to set. A little went a long way. It looked like this…
Chia pudding I’m afraid (in spite of the multiple health benefits) was not my cup of tea. Although, I’m yet to try my take-home pack that was laced with the sweet agave syrup – so I may yet be a convert. Really, it’s the gelatinous texture that puts me off.
So my inner creative cook stirs again – thanks Angie and Bettina! For any Bellarine locals who missed out, I can highly recommend the class – and it’s on again on Weds, June 17th.
Needless to say, I didn’t confess that we have my daughter’s 11th birthday party on the weekend and I’ve already bought marshmallows, jelly babies, lemonade, chips… 🙂