Sugar-free desserts

Sunday, June 5, 2016
"Better a witty fool than a foolish wit."
- Feste in Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

Finding a sugar-free dessert that tastes delicious can sometimes feel like a fool's errand. I'm usually dubious about that kind of thing - I'd honestly rather eat an apple than a dessert that sacrifices flavour to make health claims.

That's why I was intrigued by Baking with Less Sugar, by Joanne Chang. If anyone could succeed, it would be the owner of Boston's Flour Bakery, who set the bar with her delicious baked goods in two previous cookbooks. There were so many great recipes, it was hard to choose where to start, but I picked a winner with this fruit-studded fool. It's sweetened with an apple juice concentrate reduction, and we didn't miss the sugar one bit. Low-fat it is not, but if you want to cut back on sugar without giving up flavour, it's a perfect way to start.

If this is fool's paradise, I want in.

Berry Cream Cheese Fool
Baking with Less Sugar, Joanne Chang

One 12 ounce can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt
4 cups mixed berries

In a small saucepan, bring the apple juice concentrate to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the juice reduces to 3/4 cup. To check whether it's reduced enough, occasionally pour the juice into a measuring cup; if it it's more than 3/4 cup pour it back into the saucepan to simmer until sufficiently reduced. Remove from heat and cool in the fridge until cold to the touch.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the apple juice concentrate (discard the rest) for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally to incorporate the cream cheese equally. Add creme fraiche and whip together to combine. Slowly drizzle in the cream and beat, still on medium speed, for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the cream thickens and combines with the cream cheese mixture. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.

Fold the berries into the cream cheese mixture, shaving a few spoonfuls of berries to garnish the tops. Portion into bowls or glasses and top with a generous spoonful of berries. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two hours.


Natalie Aguirre said...

This looks yummy, but like you said, not low calorie. It's good to learn to cook with less sugar. We all consume too much-me too.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

SO elegant and delicious! I love that there's less sugar, plus it's also perfect for summer :)

Unknown said...

Wow! These look so delicius and perfectly summer-y, Beth. Love the fact they are sugar-free. Tasty Tasty Tasty 🙂


Angie's Recipes said...

It looks so very beautiful! Cheese and fresh berries are always great together.

That Girl said...

The American Diabetes Association has some cookbooks with great sugar free dessert recipes. It's my go-to.

Cakelaw said...

This looks and sounds devine Beth, and I am on board with making yummy desserts with less sugar.

Marcelle said...

I'm very much a sugar addict, Beth! But, I've been trying to more conscious of my intake too. I agree that this looks like great way to start for those that are in the same boat. Looks delicious and the book sounds like a good one to have around!

Monica said...

I'm also interested in this book because Joanne and Flour Bakery is just so good! Glad to hear you enjoyed this so much. Looks lovely for a summer dessert.

grace said...

yum! i'm a sugar LOVER and this still appeals to me very much! elegant enough for a dinner party and easy enough for a nightly treat! :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love a good fool! (No cracks from the peanut gallery, please.) This looks terrific. So many low sugar treats aren't a treat at all, but this looks exceptional. Good stuff -- thanks.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Beth, we have cut back on sugar too, and I absolutely love this, will have to check out that cookbook, sounds wonderful.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Beth, this does look like a wonderful and less sweet dessert and the cookbook sounds just wonderful!

Marcela said...

oh! Perfect! I love sugar-free desserts! So nice to be inspired by you. Obviously, 'sugar-free' does not equal 'low calorie', but cutting on sugar is still a healthier choice.

lisa is cooking said...

Looks delicious, and I love the thought of a sugarless dessert! Concentrated apple juice is a great idea for sweetening this.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I am trying to cut back on my sugar too. You're right, it isn't easy.

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