I have a confession to make. I am a dietitian who until very recently had never tried or used a sugar alternative. Are you surprised? When Sukrin offered some of their products to try, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss is about and test it out with a chocolate cake suitable for someone with diabetes.
When it comes to sugar alternatives, Sukrin make a number of products which are all low in GI and suitable for people with diabetes. The two I tried were alternatives to brown and icing sugar – something I hadn’t realised even existed! They are based on erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol (polyol) that chemically doesn’t change or get digested after consumption. If eaten in large quantities, alcohol sugars can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects so it’s best to introduce slowly to your diet to avoid this.
A brown sugar alternative, Sukrin gold is pretty much spot on when it comes to looks and taste. I thought there was a slight difference in the way it smells, but this couldn’t be detected when tasted.
Able to be used like-for-like, Sukrin Icing looks, smells and tastes just like normal icing sugar. It dissolves well, doesn’t leave any gritty texture. With my experimentation, I felt that it would be better used in a 50:50 ratio for icing in order to get the right taste and texture, but that could be just me. I’ve seen people use it to sweeten desserts using ricotta cheese or quark as a base which would work well.
With a Birthday cake request on the cards, I decided to use Sukrin to make a diabetic-friendly chocolate cake. Despite being low in sugar, most of the existing recipes I saw were high in fat due to additions of cream, butter or chocolate which I felt defeated the purpose of being low in sugar! This recipe adapted perfectly to create a moist chocolate cake that wasn’t high in fat with no evidence that it was made without sugar.
Compliments all around it even got second helpings from my partner who had warned me not to do anything weird to the cake! Here’s the recipe I used, adapted from Add a Pinch’s Best chocolate cake (ever).
- ¾ cup good quality cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp bicarbonate soda
- 220g Sukrin Gold (1 pack)
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee
- ½ cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Line 2 round cake tins with baking paper.
- Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs and beat together with electric beaters.
- Carefully mix in the coffee and boiling water to form a runny cake batter. You'll feel tempted to add more flour but don't!!
- Distribute the batter between the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before icing and decorating as desired.
Overall I was really impressed with these sugar alternatives. A bit on the pricey side, I’d probably be more inclined to use it in smaller quantities, eg on top of porridge or in drinks than in large amounts
Disclaimer: Sukrin provided these products in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own, and are not influenced in any way by the company. See my disclosure policy for more details.