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Coconut sugar, fruits, spices … Reducing sugar consumption in pastry is possible. Overview with a specialist.

Good news for lovers of sweets: white sugar is not essential in pastry. If the arrival of cold triggers the call of sugar, it is still possible to limit its consumption. Accused of being too caloric and bad for health, it is hunted for many alternatives. Anissa, pastry chef and author of the book Desserts and pastries without sugar (1), gives us her tips.

Natural sugars

As a substitute for refined sugar replacement, Anissa essentially uses her natural version with coconut. “In addition to being available in most supermarkets, it is cheap and contains three to four times less carbohydrates.” Cake, pancake batter, biscuit, financial … Many simple desserts are suitable for this vitamin-rich alternative. in minerals. Provided you do not abuse it because it is still a sweetener. At home: for a traditional cookie recipe, Anissa replaces 85 grams of white sugar with 100 grams of coconut sugar. Side flavor, what difference? “For those who do not appreciate this exotic fruit, this is not a problem. The taste is much sweeter. “

Another substitute: birch sugar, a natural sweetener with many advantages: excellent taste, refreshing effect and low glycemic index. It contains half as many calories as regular sugar. The only problem? “This product is complicated to find. It is still unpopular, “says Anissa. In her work, she uses it for apricot-rosemary and vanilla-raspberry pudding, but it can also be effective in chocolate mousse, compote, rice pudding, panna cotta or jam.

Spices

Cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise … We can also bet on spices. Their perfumes allow to bring a naturally sweet taste to the preparation. For example, for tartlets with spicy orange, Anissa adds in the marmalade “a stick of cinnamon, rice starch, seeds of coriander and three badianes”. Another tip: “Enhance a cup of strawberries by adding two rounds of pepper”.

Fresh fruits

For a nutritional fault, replace the sugar with pieces of fruit, compote or grout. Be careful however to opt for those who are less rich in sugar such as citrus fruits, red fruits or kiwi. “I like to choose acidic fruits such as passion fruit and raspberry. You have to play with the ingredients in order to confuse the palate and bring originality to the recipe. “A good idea to bring freshness to pies, cakes and cookies.

Honey

Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants … This nectar has many assets. But beware of its high carbohydrate and taste. “I add acacia honey in my spread with hazelnut or in some ganaches because it brings flexibility. But only in very small quantities, “insists Anissa.

Agave syrup

This natural sweetener extracted from the sap of cactus is used easily in pastry modified starch thanks to its liquid texture. Another advantage: its low glycemic index – GI 15 – when white sugar has a GI of 70. “Despite its high fructose content, a category with a sweetening power higher than glucose, I pour a third of syrup jar. agave in my biscuit for strawberry cupcakes. “

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