Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cooking with Swerve Part 1: Carrot Garden Cupcakes



About a week ago this company by the name of swerve contacted me and asked if I would be interested in testing out their product. Swerve is an all natural, no calorie sweetener that is made up from a unique combination of ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables (unlike Stevia which comes from the stevia leaf). This sugar is diabetic friendly, easy on the digestive system, and is supposed to measure cup for cup just like sugar. I have been a fan of Truvia for years, but have found that with any natural sweetener I try it's always either SUPER sweet or has a funky aftertaste. When I heard of this magical Swerve product which sounded too good to be true I simple had to try it out!

Garden Carrot Cakes

(makes about 2 dozen)

adapted from Paula Deen's Mocha Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar OR Swerve natural sweetener
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
3 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

2.In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, coffee, and eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.

3.Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, for 16 to 18 minutes. Let them cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.

4.Take a small knife and cup a circle in the center of each COOLED cupcake, making sure to angle the knife towards the center to give it that carrot shape. Place the scooped out centers in a bowl and crumble, this will be the "dirt" on top of the chocolate frosting.


for the icing...

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 cups Swerve confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 or 3 TBS of milk

1.In a blender with paddle attachment, blend butter and sugar on low until incorporated.

2.While mixing on low add vanilla and milk until desired texture is achieved.

PART 2

1.Divide the frosting into three bowls (making sure that one of the bowls has a little more than the other two).

2.Take the largest of the three and dye it orange, this will be the carrot center.

3.Take one of the other bowls and mix in 3 TBS of cocoa powder (this will be the "dirt" frosting)

3.Take the last bowl and dye it green for the carrot tops.

Place the orange and green in a piping bag; the orange one with a rose tip and the green with a leave tip. For the chocolate I just smear on with a mini spatula. I couldn't find my rose tip, so that is why the carrot top isn't rounded.






The results:

I found that overall, this product is a win for those who require a low sugar diet or are wanting to cut back on calories. While I did find that it changed the color and texture of the cake slightly (I found them to be lighter in color and fluffier than normal) it is definitely, in my opinion, the best natural sweetener on the market. Swerve is available online and will be available at Whole Foods very soon.

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