You can make a wonderful, naturally-sweet birthday cake for a diabetic or for anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle or wanting to lose weight. There is no need for any artificial sweetener!
I’ve got cakes on my mind as it’s the beginning of my birthday tomorrow. As I was born in the Southern Hemisphere, I celebrate at the “real” time there and continue into the date as it rolls around to where I live in America. Yes, I grab all the “happy time” that I can. No apologies!
Cakes have been the traditional way to celebrate, but did you realize that for most of human history, cakes were only for the Rich-and-Famous e.g. only Egyptian Pharaohs, Roman Emperors and other royalty had their birthdays celebrated with cakes?
Roman cakes were simple honey, grain and wine concoctions, cooked on a griddle. It was only in the 1300s that cakes began to change and by the 1700s, just about all the ingredients we now use had been gathered from all over the world, fueled by colonialism’s domination, slavery and thereby cheaper products. Now most people could have cake once in a while, at least.
And, once Gutenberg invented the printing press, cook-books appeared for the common people, instead of just the wealthy, and more people learned to read. That led to revolution after revolution, as we all know. “Cake” is powerful stuff – eh?
Of course, the main adaptation for a healthier cake is to get rid of ‘the white poison’ — sugar — or corn syrup. These have high glycemic impact on your blood sugar.
Agave is the adaptation of choice, as it cooks well, with slight modification of regular recipes. I give hints below.
Make sure you only get an agave syrup which you read has been tested for being low-glycemic. The brands listed below say they have been.
So, here’s my recipe for a Happy Birthday cake. Have fun!
EM’S AGAVE SYRUP TROPICAL SUNRISE BIRTHDAY CAKE
Makes (3) 8-inch layers or a 9″x13″ pan
3/4 C pecans or sliced almonds
1 1/2 C peeled, grated carrots (3 or 4 large carrots) or ½ lg sweet potato, peeled and grated or combo
3/4 C chopped or crushed, unsweetened pineapple, fresh (or canned in it’s own juice type)
3/4 C white raisins or sultanas or currants or chopped organic dates
3/4 C organic butter, softened
2/3C – 3/4 C agave nectar
2 Free-range, Omega-3, organic eggs
1 1/2 t natural vanilla extract (e.g. Cook’s)
1 C spelt flour (or use wheat, if you must)
½ C coconut “flour” (whizz unsweetened, organic coconut in a food-processor or blender)
1 1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t baking soda
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the bottoms of the cake pans with cooking-sprayed parchment paper.
Chop the nuts coarsely with a knife or in a food processor.
Peel and grate the carrots or sweet potato to a medium grate.
Prepare the pineapple (reserve the juice for another use, if you use canned).
Combine the chopped nuts, grated vegetables, pineapple, and dry fruit, and set aside.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a large, separate bowl.
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and agave nectar together until well blended. Then, add the eggs one at a time, incorporating the first egg before adding the second.
On the lowest speed, stir in the dry ingredients – about 1/4 of the mixture at a time.
Fold the carrot / sweet potato mixture in by hand with a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on pan size. The cake is done when it bounces back when touched lightly in the center OR when a wooden toothpick or bamboo skewer is inserted into the center of the cake and comes out dry and clean or has only a few dry crumbs clinging to it.
Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Make sure it is completely cool before frosting with a cream cheese or ricotta cheese frosting sweetened with agave — about 1/3 C agave to ½ C of cheese — smoothed in blender.
Cut the cake into 16 pieces and a serving is one piece.
When cooking with agave, reduce the temperature 25 degrees until you know if you can cook it at regular temperature. Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 – 1/3 cup.
When making either cakes or cookies, first mix the agave with the fat or the liquid. Then mix it thoroughly with the other ingredients. If this is not done, a soggy layer will form on the top of the baked product.
At Volcanic Nectar, they say:
Cakes: One-half of the sugar in a cake recipe can be replaced with agave.
Cookies: The amount of sugar that can be replaced with agave varies with the kind of cookie being made. For brownies, half of the agave can be replaced. For fruit bars, agave can replace two-thirds of the sugar called for in the recipe. Only one-third of the sugar can be replaced in gingersnaps.
Best to all — Em
“One thing I wanted to mention about Agave syrup is that there is some question as to the purity of most of the syrups sold in this country. Agave is mainly produced in South America, where labelling standards are not as they are in the U.S., and often pure agave syrup is cut with things like corn syrup and other additives, and then sold to U.S. distributors as “pure” agave. Personally, I try to avoid corn syrup, so that’s a problem for me. Just thought I’d throw that out there for anyone else who might have an issue with it, too.
I had heard this mentioned on another thread and it freaked me out because I use Agave a lot. (Use it in my tea mostly.) So, I e-mailed the company I get my Agave from, Madhava. Here’s what he had to say:
Thanks for the opportunity to respond to persistant rumors concerning agave nectar adulteration with corn syrup.
I can assure you that Madhava Agave Nectar is 100% Pure, no additives of any kind. Every production batch is analyzed and a Quality Certificate issued.
As for rumors which have circulated, I am sure that they stem from events a number of years ago. There are currently only two producers of agave nectar in Mexico. While our producer of agave was the second to go into production and has been in operation for four years, there were events after agave’s original introduction to the US market in the late 90’s that raised suspicions. In 2000, there was a severe shortage of blue agave. This occured just after agave nectar from blue agave was introduced. There were suspicions at that time that the agave being sold was adulterated with corn syrup, as a result of the blue agave shortage. So, this was the origin of the adulteration suspicions. I was not in the market at the time and have no direct information as to the truth here.
But, I have been selling agave since 2002 and it is a wonderful product.
While that same original producer of blue agave nectar is still selling to the US market, our producer is independent of them and in fact even our source of agave nectar is different, as agave salmiana is the variety our agave nectar comes from. I feel salmiana as a source has several advantages over that from blue agave.
So, I hope that gives you an idea about why there have been rumors about agave nectar and I also hope it puts your mind at ease concerning our product.
I would be glad to discuss agave nectar with any interested parties and I can be contacted by email or phone at 800-530-2900.
Thanks and best regards,
(c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you want to use my article or quote from it, please include the complete copyright citation and my website address. Thanks!