Keep These Baking Supplies In The Kitchen

Are you a serious baker? Do you love trying new cake and cookie recipes? Do you need or want to reduce sugar in your cooking?

If you would like to be able to try new recipes when you find them without having to run out to the supermarket for supplies, you need to put some thought into keeping a well-stocked pantry. Here is a list of important baking supplies to keep in the kitchen, especially if you are cooking with reduced sugar or sugar substitutes. Keep these baking supplies on hand and you will always be ready to try that great recipe you just found online.

It is important to note that there are different types of flour, including unbleached all-purpose flour, cake flour, rye flour and whole wheat flour. Each kind of flour has slightly different properties and flavors, and the more you look the more you will find recipes that call for specific types of flour when you use sugar substitutes.

A variety of sugar substitutes may be used in different recipes. Each of the most common sugar substitutes has specific properties when it comes to baking. Some will be good for baking; others better for use in cold desserts. In a nutshell, these are the most common sweeteners and their distinguishing characteristics:

Sweet One (Acesulfame-k) does not lose sweetness in baking. One packet has the sweetening power of two teaspoons of sugar, and about 4 calories. Twelve packets is the equivalent of one cup of sugar.

Equal (aspartame) loses sweetness when baked at high temperatures for long periods. It can be added at the end of cooking, in stir fries or in cold desserts. Equal has four calories per packet, and twenty four packets are the equivalent of one cup of sugar. You can also use Equal Spoonful which can be used spoon for spoon to replace sugar in recipes that are not heated at high temperatures.

Splenda (sucralose) has no calories and can be used spoon for spoon just like sugar. However, it may not do well in recipes that rely on sugar for structure. It will be fine in most cold desserts or used as a sweetener in dressings, sauces and fruit dishes.

Sweet 'N' Low (saccharin) can be used spoon for spoon just like sugar and does not lose sweetness when subjected to high temperatures. It has approximately four calories per packet.

Brown Sweet 'N' Low has twenty calories per teaspoon and can be used in place of brown sugar. It will not break down or lose sweetness when baked.

Other common ingredients for recipes should also be kept in your kitchen for use at a moments notice. All of the following items can add tasty flavor and texture to your regular and reduced-sugar dishes.

Spices are among the most important ingredients to keep on hand when you're cutting back on sugar in your baking. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice are the bare minimum for sweet cooking, but don't overlook savory spices in dessert. Dried herbs like peppermint are another staple for your no-added-sugar cupboard.

Unsweetened cocoa powder is a good staple to keep in your kitchen cupboard. It is a great way to add and enhance flavors in cakes, cookies and other recipes. Instant coffee granules are another important flavor enhancer. Use instant coffee to enhance the flavor of chocolate, especially when you reduce the sugar used in baking.

Vanilla extract is not the only liquid extract you should have on hand when baking with low sugar. Vanilla heightens sweetness, so it is a great addition to cake and cookie recipes when you want to make them seem sweeter. Other extracts that enhance sweetness include almond, orange and lemon extracts.

Honey, molasses and corn syrup can be used in moderation to sweeten recipes, but keep in mind that they have very different properties and flavors in baking. Honey and molasses also add a distinctive flavor to recipes.

Unsweetened fruit juices, including apple juice, prune juice, pineapple juice and grape juice can replace some of the water called for in many recipes and reduce the amount of sugar required at the same time.

Applesauce is an absolute must in your sugar-free baking pantry. It can replace both part of the sugar and part of the fat in many fruit bread and cake recipes. Canned pumpkin, squash and sweet potato puree can be used in the same way as applesauce in many recipes that call for sugar and fat. Surprisingly, they blend well with many flavors.

Evaporated skim milk makes a quick substitute for whipped cream with far less fat. Chill well, add sugar substitute and whip it until spoonable.

Dried fruits, raisins and prunes are great additions to cakes and breads, and can add sweetness and flavor when you cut back on sugar. Similarly, peanut butter, almond paste, sunflower seeds, tahini, walnuts and almonds can add flavor and texture to all of your recipes.

As you get more experienced in baking with low sugar and reduced fat, you will start finding your own combinations and substitutes. Before you know it, you will be converting recipes without even thinking about it.

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About The Author, Suzanne Bradley
About Author:
Suzanne Bradley is a freelance writer who focuses on topics concerning cooking, health and exercise, often discussing specific products such as Splenda.