Feelin' Chalky

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Q&A Part One

I received my first questions today!  I am so excited to answer them! :)  Here goes...

"What did you use for the heavy cream in the ganache?"

I'd like to say that I used something very creative and healthy, but alas, I did not.  I used cream.  I wanted to make sure the ganache turned out and I hadn't found a replacement at the time of the party.  However, I DID find a dairy-free "heavy cream" at Sunspot the other day!  It is called MimicCream.  It is made out of almonds and cashews (yum-o) and comes in a little square box.  I am anxious to try it out!  I am planning on testing out a ganache this week using Earth Balance Butter (soy), MimicCream (nut-based), and non-dairy chocolate chips.  I will let you know the verdict once I try it!

"My questions are about sweeteners. I just found a good deal on agave at Trader Joe's. What is the best way to try to incorporate it into our diet? Is it better in baked goods or drinks, or both? Also, I know brown rice syrup is similar to HFCS, but what recipes do you use it in most? i think it seems expensive, and i'm not sure how much i would use it."

OK...first things first...agave and brown rice syrup are both expensive, yes, BUT agave is a concentrated sweet so you don't have to use much to get the results you want!  Yay!  I love agave in baked goods, desserts (like pies), drinks...ok, pretty much everything!  Again, it is very sweet, so go easy at first so that you don't overdo it.  Here is a handy guide to substitutions in baking (I am guessing that agave would also be 1/2 cup b/c it is similar in consistency and sweetness as maple syrup and honey):

In all recipes, 1/2 cup of sweetener (read: sugar) equals one of the following:
• 1 1/4 cups rice nectar
• 1 1/2 cups barley malt extract
• 1/3 cup molasses
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup fruit juice concentrate
• 1 1/4 cups dried fruit puree
• 2 cups fruit juice
• 1/2 cup unsweetened frozen juice concentrate
• 1/2 cup fruit juice + 1/2 cup carrot juice

Tip: Remember to decrease or increase the amounts of liquid and/or flour in the recipe to compensate for the liquid content of the sweetener.

As for brown rice syrup...right now I mostly use it in my "Bananas Foster Groats" recipe.  I haven't experimented much with it, but it has more of a warm, mellow sweetness and is very thick and rich.  The best part about it is that it has nutrition!  Woo-hoo!  HFCS cannot boast that!  Because it is made by boiling down rice...it holds some of the nutritive qualities of brown rice!  I think it is great in warm cereals and would probably be fabulous in homemade breads.  Oh...and I have also used it to make a yummy dipping sauce along with mustard for some black-eyed croquettes!

I hope this helps you out!  Keep those questions coming!!

The Incredible Shrinking Mama


  1. Please post "Bananas Foster Groats" recipe. That sounds yummy!

  2. love it aubri, thanks for answering! the weelicious site had a recipe using the brown rice syrup--her granola balls. they sounded so good. i tried them with honey and they were way too sweet and did not hold together. i am anxious to find other things to use it in though...i don't want to have the whole jar for one recipe! haha. so be sure to pass along that groats recipe!
    thanks for the tips about the agave...i will try it in a pie or something soon. :)

  3. The Bananas Foster Groats recipe is in a June post titled, "Chippin' Away." I also posted it on FB this morning! Enjoy!