So when I decided to quit sugar I knew I was going to have to trust the experts, the self proclaimed gurus, the people just like me blogging about their journey and the people who are making the big $$ from jumping on the sugar free bandwagon. I am about to begin Week 5 and finally I feel that I have enough knowledge of ingredients and do's and dont's that I can start experimenting with recipes and seeing what I can come up. For the last 4 weeks I have kept strictly to recipes that I have paid for and that I have found over the internet. I have not strayed from these recipes (well not on purpose but I do have a habit of not reading them properly) and have created meals that the family have loved and unfortunately quite a few that they have not. The dinners/lunches are usually the safest but its the snacks and the baking that seems to be where I go wrong. Its even harder when there seems to be so much hype around certain recipes, with people claiming its the "best ever" and my dog won't even touch it...
Last night under the watchful eye of the 6 year old we made marshmallows (fructose free of course). I'm going to put it out there straight away that I only used half the recommended amount of gelatine. Not because I thought it needed it but because I gave the 6 year old a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon..... I even read the bloody writing on the spoon and still gave him the wrong one. I thought it didn't affect the recipe at all until today when I made the second batch but more about that soon. The recipe we used asked for:
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons Gelatine powder (remember I accidentally put in 1 tablespoon)
2 cups of Dextrose
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 cup of coconut
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Everything went to plan, except for the part where half the marshmallow crap goes all over my laptop.
When I tasted the marshmallow fresh off the beaters it was like a massive sugar hit. BANG I even felt it in my eyes. This was so bloody sickly sweet it was like the marshmallows were on steroids or something.
I thought maybe it was my tastebuds from not eating anything sweet for 4 weeks but even the parentals told me it was quite sweet (apparently marshmallows are). The 6 year old liked them but hated that I put coconut on them. They will now find a new home with my Dad.
So today I decided to play around with the recipe and you can find it in thebigmum version of recipes in the link at the top of the page.
This recipe to me was perfect! It had enough sweetness that I knew I was getting a treat but not enough sweetness to be sickly. If you are just beginning to quit sugar or you just want to make these marshmallows then maybe add 1 CUP but definitely no more than that.
Before I mentioned about only adding 1 tablespoon of gelatine in my original trial. All this did was make it hard to cut, as it didn't want to slice neatly. It also didn't have as rubbery texture when you touched it and unlike the second batch it would break apart if handled too much. I did however put a chunk of it in a small bowl, gave it a stir with a fork, added some toasted coconut and served it as a sweet mousse style dessert and it was devoured in minutes.
For those of you who don't know what Dextrose powder even is. Click here! I have been using Rice Malt Syrup in my cooking but most recipes ask for dextrose powder but I wasn't game to go there for some reason. I think because it looks like sugar to me and it seems that you need to use heaps. Well last night proved that you don't have to use as much as the recipe states and that it really does come down to personal preference.
Anyway EVERYONE is going to love this next recipe!! It tasted like it should be illegal!! I ended up making two versions of this. The first version, I followed this recipe but added coconut as well. I found it to be way too sweet and like a caramel toffee. Don't get me wrong it was still delicious and you would only need a small amount to get that sweet hit. However I decided to tweak around with it a little. You can find this recipe in thebigmum version of recipes by once again clicking on the link at the top of the page.... Do it!!
This makes double the amount than the first (due to the popcorn being doubled) but it isn't as caramelised, so it just has bits of caramel throughout it instead of it being throughly soaked in caramel, like the first recipe. I had a friend drop around and offered her some and she said it was "The best sh*t ever!!" I asked her to print that out and make it into a certificate for me.... The 6 year old is at a sleepover, so it hasn't gotten his seal of approval but I am 99.9% sure it will be a hit!!!
This will be perfect for the lunch box. This could even be done without the nuts. A delicious salted caramel popcorn!
I also tried to get a little tricky tonight with the old sausages. Since it was only the 1 year old and myself actually eating and she is currently on a spaghetti bolognaise diet (yep she refuses to eat pretty much anything but this). I thought I might try and use up my last sheet of pastry before it got freezer burn. I cut it in half so I could get 2 sausages out of it. I then put some pasata sauce down the middle and some cheese. Placed the sausage in the middle. Rolled the little fella up and put him in the oven. They were delicious and so dam easy!!! (recipe in thebigmum version section...)
Oh and incase you haven't gotten the hint by the third mention of it!! I have added a new section to the blog called "thebigmum version of recipes" where I will post pictures and recipes of my own creations and things I have adapted!!
Nothing like a Saturday!!