Read this cookbook: “Naturally Sweet: Bake All Your Favorites with 30% to 50 % Less Sugar” by The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, $26.95)
By Wendell Brock
Early this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended that most Americans cut their sugar in half. Sweets lovers wishing to follow that mandate can take heart in this new book from America’s Test Kitchen.
While you might be tempted to flip to the recipes for Fudgy Chocolate Cookies and Banana Cream Pie, start by spending a little time with the opening pages. Baking is science, and it’s good to know how changing sweeteners will affect the end results, why some natural sweeteners work and others don’t.
American’s Test Kitchen has always been recipe geeks. Here they are sugar wonks.
“You can’t simply take some of the sugar out of a baking recipe and expect to get decent results,” the authors write. “Texture suffers hugely, as does flavor.” Using less sugar can make some things greasier (cookies, for instance), which means you may cut fat for a win-win. Other baked goods (like scones) will be drier, which means you should add liquid. (This generally means more milk, cream and/or egg, so if you’re watching fat, take care with that).
The resulting 100 recipes are revolutionary.
Blueberry muffins, traditionally containing 20 grams of sugar per serving, come in at 11 grams. Chocolate chip cookies: 25 grams before, 15 grams after. Lemon cream pie: 64 grams before, 26 grams after.
This book teaches you how to get the same sweet bang with less sugar buck. Hard to quibble with that.
MORE COVERAGE OF NEW COOKBOOKS