Sugar with that?

Why is it that modern cake recipes still insist on adding a cup of sugar into the mix?

These are young, health conscious chefs and cookbook editors recommending this and as a family, we can't work it out.

Amanda, my wife, baked two loaves over the weekend. A pumpkin loaf and a walnut loaf. She added half the sugar each time and the results were very good. The taste was superb both times. We all thought that we could taste the cinnamon, cloves and ginger more readily. If that was a problem they could be reduced by a smidgen and we would probably taste the pumpkin or walnuts better.

Baking with half the recommended sugar has become a regular feature amongst our baking friends and jam with half the sugar worked very well for my brother-in-law's black currant jam this year too.

I've made chocolate ice-cream with half the sugar, and sorbets too. Marvellous stuff.

The real advance made this weekend at our house was the Lime, Lemon & Bitters drink we made. It is 11-year old Frances's favourite. We had limes and lemons down from Gisborne on the bench, mint in the garden, bitters in the cupboard, ice cubes in the freezer and a new Sodastream sparkling water-maker (half price from Briscoes). Muddle it all together and we had a refreshing Lemon, Lime & Bitters that Frances said she enjoyed and not a scrap of added sugar.

I have a sweet tooth but not nearly as sweet as it once was. I am learning to live with less sugar, slowly but surely.

Keep asking great questions ...