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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blurb about Splendid Low-Carb Desserts



To purchase directly from us: Splendid Low-Carb Desserts or order from Amazon.com

I'm going to be honest, lest anyone think I've always been an angel when it comes to diet and nutrition. Alas, I'm very human. Many years ago before we discovered Splenda, I loved desserts made with sugar and I even enjoyed (don't laugh) white bread with golden corn syrup and cheese. In those days (my twenties and early thirties) I didn't indulge myself too often though as I realized it was fattening. I was very figure conscious in those days. However, after writing my first Splenda cookbook (traditional diabetic-style, low-fat, sugarless recipes) and then in the middle of the second one, I was hopelessly addicted to carbs and probably had that horrible non-nutritive bread combination way more often than I should have, plus my desserts which were almost always available. Needless to say my weight began to climb. I was also suffering from an autoimmune disease which left me hypothyroid, compounding the problem of insulin resistance and weight gain.

Because I have such a sweet tooth, this book was a fun project. I enjoyed it so much that it was finished in 4 months! I wrote two cookbooks in that one year as a result. In any case, even after making all those desserts, I had not gained much weight at all. I think I had about 4 lbs I wanted to shed. Considering I was now much older (late forties) and peri-menopausal, this was a minor miracle thanks to low-carbing!

Onto the blurb now:

Let me start with the beverages. One that I use all the time is the Hot Chocolate Drink Mix. I even take it with me on vacations. It is cheaper than buying the Swiss Miss Splenda Hot Chocolate and does not contain all that sodium. Besides the Iced Caffe Latte, and a couple of other beverages, there are two, thick fruit smoothies made with plain yogurt, strawberries or sliced, canned peaches in juice (drained) and DaVinci Syrups to reduce carbs (I usually give alternatives for the DaVinci Syrup, if I use it) but still give sweetness and flavor (one can use liquid sucralose or Stevia or whatever you prefer). I believe it was with this book that I discovered the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, which really made life easier for converting high-carb desserts. I have since discovered that the whey protein powder component of the bake mix can be replaced with either coconut flour (for fiber)or for slightly higher carbs, oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour (this flour is almost as low as oat flour in carbs). Whey protein powder (like the Designer Whey proteins can be bought at upscale health food stores or upscale online stores such as Netrition.com or CarbSmart.com) I still include the Vital Ultimate Bake Mix with its variations, because it is so similar to baking with white flour, and can be substituted in any of my recipes. It can be replaced cup-for-cup for white flour in any other regular recipes you may have. In addition, a nut-free bake mix (also a perfect cup-for-cup substitution) is supplied for those allergic to nuts.

Four muffin recipes, such as Lemony Delight Muffins and Applesauce Carrot Muffins (only flour in each carrot muffin is 1/2 tbsp vital wheat gluten which itself is 75% protein). There is a useful banana bread with 2/3 cup mashed banana in it, other loaves and even Cake Donuts which won't last long.

The desserts sport some real comfort foods, such as Bread Pudding, Cake Pudding, Rich Man's Caramel Custard and Peaches and Cream Trifle.

In the frozen desserts section, of note amongst them, are the instant frozen yogurts and ice creams, plus easy Orange Creamsicles (popsicles). One of my best ice creams is made with a low-carb condensed milk recipe.

Pies such as Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, Snow-capped Pumpkin Pie, Glazed Blueberry Cheese Pie, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Frozen Ice Cream Pie, Almond Butter Chip Pie, Strawberry Cream Pie, Butterscotch Cream Pie and Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Pie are found in this book. Each pie has an accompanying crust, as I don't do deprivation real well. There are two different pie crust recipes as well as a Graham-cracker-like crust (actually tastier and much lower in carbs!).

Several beautiful cakes adorn this book, including two sweetheart cakes, awesome Golden Fruitcake and a Spicy Chiffon Cake.



There are many super cheesecake recipes, including Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake, a smooth, creamy, solid cheesecake high on flavor.

The confections have my favorite Sticky Chocolate Toffee and two fudge recipes that taste like the real thing with 1.4 g carbs per piece and 2 g carbs per piece respectively. Truffles and 2 other fudge recipes, sauces and frostings, plus condensed milk round out this section.

In the cookies and squares section, my favorites are the Coconut Sultana Cookies, Spiced Pumpkin Chip Cookies, "Sugar" Cookies, Fudge Fantasies, Butter Tart Squares, Lemon Curd Tartlets, the Best Brownies, Ecstasy Squares, Cream Cheese Cake Bars and Glazed Lemon Raspberry Bars.

These recipes are worthy opponents of their high carb versions and can be served without embarrassment. Find more lovely photos of desserts at:
Splendid Low-Carb Desserts

To purchase directly from us: Splendid Low-Carb Desserts or order from Amazon.com

13 comments:

Amy Dungan (aka Sparky's Girl) said...

Wow... I could totally lick the screen right now. LOL I'm gonna have to make something desserty soon. :)

Jennifer said...

ROFL!!! ;-)

sylvia said...

Hi Jennifer!

I recently received all of your cookbooks and I think they're awesome!!!

I have a few questions though:
Can I substitute soy flour for whey protein powder in your low carb bake mix?
And can I substitute something else in your sauces,frostings and confections too for the whey? Like soy protein powder or vital wheat gluten or something else? Because here in the Netherlands I pay as much as $40 per kilo. That's just too expensive for me.
And last but not least, my favorite bake mix is your almond bake mix from splendid low carbing.
How should I substitute this bake mix for white flour, since it is not a cup-for-cup substitute?

Thank you,

Sylvia

Jennifer said...

Hi Sylvia,

Good to hear from you! Thanks for kind words, especially considering you're probably disappointed due to the use of whey protein powder.

In the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, you can easily substitute oat flour, whole wheat pastry flour or soy flour (each of these similar in carbs) or coconut flour or flax seed meal for the whey protein powder. In fact, most of my bakes mixes are fairly flexible that way. I love experimenting, so often play around with them substituting what I prefer at that particular moment. Because you'll be substituting a flour (except for coconut flour), the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix will most likely be very close to a cup-for-cup substitution for white flour (the Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix or using whole wheat pastry flour is a cup-for-cup substitution as is the nut-free recipe given). On page 22 of Splendid Low-Carb Desserts detailed instructions are given to substitute the low-carb bake mix in your own recipes. The rule of thumb, is to add the liquid cautiously. withhold 1/4 cup liquid usually.

Is it possible you could buy one thing of whey and say to yourself that you'll make it last 6 months? Frostings and the other confections don't generally use a huge amount and if you're only going to make them occasionally, then that justifies the expense. I really have to think, but at the moment I'm not sure what you could use as a substitute for the whey in frostings and fudge, etc. It has unique properties (provides stickiness as in toffee-like and is an effective filler and thickener) as well as being a great source of readily absorbed protein.

Feel free to ask questions. Happy Low-Carbing! It's a much healthier way to live for most of us. The white flour and sugar is like "White Death" someone once remarked. In excess, maybe that is not too far from the truth.

sylvia said...

Hi Jennifer!

Thanks for your fast response!
I am not dissapointed at all!
I love your cookbooks, I think even a little too much, since I am spending a lot of time in the kitchen right now...:)
What you tell me about whey protein, isn't that also true for vital wheat gluten?

Thanks,

Sylvia

Jennifer said...

Hi again Sylvia,

Glad you're having fun! :-) Good for you experimenting, because that makes this woe so much more livable. One needs variety to prevent boredom which can derail even the most determined dieter.

As to your question:
Vital wheat gluten is the natural protein found in wheat and it contains 75% protein. It is very different to whey protein powder unfortunately. In baking vital wheat gluten acts more like a flour and allows baking products to rise beautifully. Used on its own, it can make baking very dense and chewy, so that's perhaps why you thought it might be similar to whey protein powder.

Whey protein typically comes in three major forms: concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate.

* Concentrates contain a low level of fat and cholesterol but generally have higher levels of bioactive compounds, and carbohydrates in the form of lactose — they are 29%-89% protein by weight.
* Isolates are processed to remove the fat, and lactose, but are usually lower in bioactive compounds as well — they are 90%+ protein by weight. Both of these types are mild to slightly milky in taste.
* Hydrolysates are predigested, partially hydrolyzed whey proteins which consequently are more easily absorbed, but their cost is generally higher. Whey protein hydrolysate also tends to taste quite different than other forms of whey protein, usually in a way that many find undesirable but can be masked when used in beverages.

The whey protein powder I was using was from R&L Health (www/rlhealth.com), made in Canada and is a combination of pure, concentrated and isolated micro ultra-filtered whey proteins. It is sweetened purely with sucralose (Splenda). The carbs are 3 grams per 1 scoop (20 grams) and 14 grams protein, 76 calories, less than a gram of fat.

It came in several flavors as well as the natural flavor which is probably the most versatile and the next most useful, especially in baking and confections, is vanilla flavored whey protein powder, which is sweetened with sucralose (pure form, no fillers, no carbs or calories).

To be honest, I use whey protein powder very occasionally nowadays (especially to make chocolate or fudge), but in baking these days I use the oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour, buckwheat flour or coconut flour in my very low-carb bake mix. I'm doing moderate low-carbing these days - about 40 to 60 grams of carbs a day.

My Creme Fraiche recipe makes a great frosting and in Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Volume 1, there are two chocolate frostings on page 94 and 95 that don't use whey protein powder. For another chocolate frosting, I often start with my Drizzling Chocolate recipe in Splendid Low-Carbing, add a little extra milk powder, some Splenda packets or erythritol, cream and extra melted, unsweetened chocolate. Taste and see if you like it and adjust as necessary. To make a Cream cheese frosting is very easy: add splenda, cream, flavorings. There is a great recipe on page 157 of Splendid Low-Carbing that will remind you of the frosting that is often found on Cinnamon buns (in North America - not sure about the Netherlands).

There you go! Hope that info is not info overload.

sylvia said...

Thanks Jennifer!

I will just buy a bag of whey protein and try and experiment.
Is baking with whey or soy flour similar in taste and texture?
In some of your recipes I saw that you gave two options (in fudge): whey or soy protein isolate. Isn't that possible in other confections too?
I have made your fudge toffee with oat flour instead of whey. It worked very well. Carbs remained the same as I don't use any granular sweetener. Splenda is not available here.
Another question :)
What bake mix is the best for the koeksister recipe?

I hope I don't ask too much questions.... :)

Thank you,

Sylvia

Jennifer said...

Hi Sylvia,

I don't mind answering your questions. Low-carb baking requires a bit of a learning curve and I understand that. :-)

I had forgotten that one chocolate recipe in Splendid Low-Carbing required either 2 tbsp whey protein powder or you could use soy protein isolate instead. Also in the Confectioner's Sugar Substitute one could use either whey or soy protein isolate. To be honest with you, I really don't know how the soy protein isolate would hold up in other Confection recipes as with a more substantial amount required, it could leave an aftertaste, and as well, I'm not positive I remember exactly what its properties were like. It has been many years since I've used any soy whatsoever. I think where a small amount of whey (1/4 cup) is required, it might just work satisfactorily. It would certainly work in the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix. This would at least give you options and you could use the whey protein powder sparingly and make it last months as I do. The other option is to use oat, soy or whole wheat pastry flour (all of these are similar in carbs and much lower in carbs than white flour). In a pinch, you could increase the vital wheat gluten component and correspondingly use even less flour. You can also play with the amount of ground almonds. My bake mixes are rather flexible that way. The other alternative as mentioned before is to use coconut flour for the whey component. Netrition.com which has coconut flour will probably ship to the Netherlands. The other alternative is to grind your own unsweetened coconut. It will be a little less fine in texture.

Although I used soy in Splendid Low-Carbing and More Splendid Low-Carbing, I almost always gave substitutes, barring maybe a couple of recipes. My reasoning at the time was that many people are hypothyroid and soy is a no-no for us. I was diagnosed after writing my second low-carb cookbook and then I stopped giving any soy products as an option in my recipes.

Baking with whey versus soy flour or soy protein isolate will be different in each case. Soy flour, especially some of them, can impart a nasty flavor to your baking, so you need to be careful of that. Typically, the low-fat soy flour is milder tasting.

I think your Fudge Toffee must have been a whole new recipe. (smile) I can't imagine it with oat flour as the whey is what gives it that toffee-like consistency. What do you use for a sweetener over there in the Netherlands? Curious me.

The Koeksisters are incredible - a South African national dessert. They are in my More Splendid Desserts Cookbook (not low-carb - more traditional diabetic-style recipes) and they deserve to be made just as written. No bake mix will suffice and besides none of them would work. Keep that for a really special occasion and also when lots of people can help you eat them. They would be unsuitable for low-carbing, but if you're like me, you'll break the rules very occasionally.

I always go back to low-carbing because it is healthier for me in the long run. Low-carbing reduces inflammation which I'm prone to, keeps yeast at bay and keeps my weight in check.

sylvia said...

Hi Jennifer!

Here I use simply liquid sacharin.
I am quite happy with that, as long as it is not used in excess, otherwise it will leave an bitter aftertaste. I am planning on using stevia as well. In Germany they sell steviaproducts that are supposed to be bitterfree.
I have to admit that in some confections I use regular chocolate too, since the carbs remain the same as for the recipe including Splenda.And very occasionally I substitute about 2 tablespoons of real sugar for one cup of Splenda and liquid sacharin. It has about the same carbs, but by combining the sweeteners you get a better flavor.

Well, I just bought one bag of whey protein and will see how that works for the bake mixes and confections. Maybe I even come up with a good substitute. I have now made your nut-free oat ultimate bake mix with soy powder instead of whey, I'll have to wait and see how that turns out. Soy powder isn't available here, as are a lot of other things, so I made my own by first soaking the soybeans overnight, then cooking them, then roasting them in th oven and finally grinding them. It turned out great! They had a fine texture and no nasty aftertaste at all. I found that they imparted a somewhat creamy flavor in my baking, especially in cookie recipes.
I miscalculated the price of the whey though....it's 40 euro's per kilo, which makes it about 60 USD!!!
I think that is rather expensive.
Anyhow, thank you for all of your tips!
Can we expect another cookbook? :)

Jennifer said...

Hi Sylvia,

You're amazingly creative in your kitchen. I couldn't believe the gymnastics you went to in order to make your own soy flour. Yikes! I think it would definitely be easier to use oat flour, which is about the same carbs. ;-)

I agree using a couple of sweeteners helps boost the sweetness. Although I didn't do this in my cookbooks, these days I often combine Splenda Granular and powdered erythritol (I get mine at netrition.com), or I'll use the Splenda packets (greater sweetening power due to the small amount of dextrose in it).

Grinding one's own almonds is a possibility - although the product will not be as fine as almond "flour" commercially available.

I agree whey protein powder is expensive over there. I would not use it in baking because of that, but rather use one of the other options I mentioned. Use it occasionally for a confection you want to make. It would justify the expense if you make it last several months. I justify occasionally buying an expensive facial cream that way. I tell my husband that it costs x amount of dollars per month spread over 6 months, when he raises his eyebrows. Typically, I make it last and use inexpensive creams mostly.

Jennifer said...

About writing another cookbook: At the moment I don't have any plans for one, however, I will post new recipes on my blog from time to time.

sylvia said...

Hi Jennifer!

I am sorry it took so long, I was visiting my family last week.

I compared the baking with your nut-free ultimate bake mix with whey versus soy powder. I have to say it was very similar, the only difference was the vanille flavor with the whey bake mix.
I made your fudge toffee again with whey instead of oat flour.
It is indeed more fudge-like. But just slightly. I agree with you that there is not really a substitute,however, I found a protein mix on the internet that contains whey as well and is much cheaper. I think I will give that a try too. I will let you know how that turned out!

Thank you,

Sylvia

Jennifer said...

Sounds good, Sylvia. Happy low-carbing and experimenting in your kitchen. You sound very capable.