The past few weeks I have been having an existential crisis of sorts… a baking related existential crisis. There are definitely worse things than baking crises. But things have been on my mind, none the less.
My particular deliberation is basically this. I love to bake. For sure. It is a space where my creativity is in flow, and also a platform from which I can nurture others. And on the other hand, I have recently made the decision to go sugar free for a while. I have Type 1 diabetes, an auto immune disease (gosh, I really don’t even like labelling it as that) and have been reading the buzz lately about others reversing their various forms of auto immune by going sugar free. I just want to say, I am not recommending any of these changes to anybody else, in fact my doctors are pretty much dead set against the whole idea of going sugar free (somewhat ironic, no?) but tired of merely managing my condition, I’m seeing what I can do to help support and heal my body.
So, how to marry these two ends of the spectrum? Sugar free yet love to bake. Oh, and the fact that I have a small business making delicious sugary cakes for other people?!
If you’ve visited here before, you will notice that many of the recipes I post tend towards the wholefoods side of things. I like creating and eating food that is delicious and full of nutrients. I want to have my cake, and get some additional goodness from it too. Goodness for the soul and for the body, if you like. And with a beautiful little girl by my side who has a definite sweet tooth, I want to make sure I can get as much good nutrition into her as well, whilst still giving her something she will want to eat for afternoon tea.
I will continue to make special treat cakes for others who are having celebrations, but have decided that I also need to work on a range of sugar free and wholefoods cakes that also taste delicious and look beautiful, so that people who have these different wants and needs can be catered for. And I guess I will also allow some room in my life for the freedom to have some treat cake when the time is right. But amazingly, having been sugar free for about 7 weeks now, I am not wanting it so much.
Anyway, my beautiful girl is totally in love with coconut at the moment, so here is a quick after kinder treat we whipped up. Low sugar, low fructose, high in protein and pretty darn delicious.
Coconut Berry Loaf Cake
- 200 g wholemeal spelt
- 100 g coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 100 g butter, melted
- scant 1/3 cup stevia (I use a one for one stevia which is mixed with erythritol to make it measure as you would for sugar, however, if you use pure stevia please put this in to taste as a drop of the pure stuff goes a long way!)
- 1/3 cup rice syrup
- 400 ml buttermilk
- 120 g berries
- handful of coconut flakes
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper. In a medium bowl, combine the spelt flour, coconut flour, baking powder, vanilla powder and stevia and give a good stir.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then add in the rice syrup and warm until just loosened. Pour the butter and rice syrup into the flour mixture and stir.
Stir through your buttermilk; the coconut flour is very dry and will absorb lots of moisture, it will make a fairly firm batter.
Pour your mixture into your loaf tin, and push in the berries however you feel. Try not to eat them all along the way.
Top with a sprinkle of coconut flakes. Place towards the bottom of the oven, to stop the coconut flakes from burning, and bake for 60 – 65 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
This is a subtly sweet, rustic style cake, very comforting and delicious with the pop of soft juicy berries. It is delicious eaten warm as is, or would also be good served with some orange or vanilla scented ricotta. It keeps well in an airtight container for up to 4 days, although we gobbled ours all up long before then.