Sunday, 31 July 2016

Too Sweet

An awful thing happened at my last dinner party. I tasted a forkful of my homemade raspberry bakewell tart, and it was too sweet. It was terribly sweet. I didn't enjoy it at all, and to my horror I realized what it has tasted like all these years to guests who don't eat much sugar. Okay, that's three people max, but still.

I have discovered the negative side effects of giving up sugar. When you give up eating sugar, you lose your tolerance for sugar. As sugary puddings (desserts) are an important part of British and Canadian food culture, this can be a problem. As for my raspberry bakewell tart, it was like being spurned forever by an old, trusted, highly amusing and lavishly generous friend. Boo.

Meanwhile, one of the negative side effects of giving up wheat is that you don't much enjoy eating bread. The last time I ate a piece of bread, I thought I could feel it biting holes in the lining of my stomach. This was probably a result of hypochondria more than of wheat; yesterday I ate half a Co-op " Stonebaked Roast Vegetable" pizza and I was fine. Possibly the solution--for a person not suffering from real life gluten intolerance (or full blown celiac disease)--is to eat small amounts of food containing wheat from time to time, so as to keep one's stomach in, as it were.

The upside to all this, besides fitting into my favourite blue Hobbs dress with a little room to spare, is that many other foods taste sweet. Carrots taste sweet.  85% dark chocolate tastes sweet. Blueberries taste sweet. Strawberries taste very sweet. Apples taste just a shade too sweet. I suppose all this is okay if you like your sweet eggless. It's not okay if you like a nice eggy, almondy, custardy pie filling, such as one finds atop my raspberry bakewell tart.

Presumably the solution is to cut the amount of sugar in my raspberry bakewell.  I wonder how little I can get away with, and if I can substitute Hemsley + Hemsley's beloved standby maple syrup for the sugar. H+H seem to sweeten all possible puddings with 2-3 Tbsp of maple syrup, on the grounds that (unlike cane sugar) it possesses some actual nutrients. However, I am unlikely to make a whole raspberry bakewell just for myself, so I will have to enlist family members to taste-test.

One great consolation is that it is strawberry season. I can eat vast bowls of strawberries (£2 a punnet) with yogurt while my husband and mother eat pineapple tarts from Marks & Spenser, and nobody envies anyone else.

Update: The family members I was thinking of say that my raspberry bakewell tart is perfect and that I am not allowed to subject them to my sugar-free diet. Actually, it's a low-sugar diet, but they know I know what they mean.


  1. " Stonebaked Roast Vegetable" pizza-wow, that sounds amazing!!!

    And so true about giving up sugar! I really appreciate it, because it makes it so much easier to eat just a tiny bit of dessert when I do have some, instead of pigging out. :)

  2. That's definitely true for me. I had a tiny cup of S. Luca ice-cream yesterday, and I was happy with how small it was for I felt a little apprehensive eating it at all!