Baking challenge #5, 6, 7 & 8 – partial failure, almost total failure, failure and success!

Never knew that baking could make me depressed but when things don’t work out the way I want, I’ve discovered that it really gets to me. I was trying to be creative for my ‘no-sugar, no-wheat, no-other-stuff friend’ and used my recipe for marmalade-pecan tea bread to turn it into a – you guessed it – no-sugar and no-wheat tea bread. I threw out the sugar and cinnamon, used 100 % fruit preserve (raspberry) instead of marmalade and doubled the amount to compensate for the sugar (used sheep’s yoghurt instead of cows because she also doesn’t eat cows dairy with the exception of butter, and used wholemeal spelt flour instead of regular flour). It didn’t turn out well….wasn’t very bad either though. There are positive things to be said about this tea bread. It was very moist, sweet enough and you could actually taste the raspberry. Negative things about it are the abundance of raspberry seeds and the tartness. If you’re a fan of raspberry preserve on sourdough bread without butter you might like it….but I cannot say that I recommend it.
I don’t know why but I wanted to stick with the marmalade-pecan tea bread as starting point. In retrospect not a good choice….
Whilst in the supermarket I saw a jar of date honey (dates made liquid) and thought that it would make a good substitute for sugar…dates worked well in the dried fruit muffins I made last week so why not use it instead of sugar in my marmalade-pecan tea bread recipe? I used about 25 % more of the date honey than sugar because date honey consist of about 75 % sugars (this is my logic ;). Didn’t have too much sheep’s yoghurt left so used only half of what the recipe called for. But I figured there was more liquid because of the date honey anyway so it would probably be ok (again my logic). Turned out that my logic wasn’t logical at all! The results were edible in the sense that it would (most probably) not hurt the human body if eaten. The bread was dry and tasted like it was burnt….looked burnt as well but that could have been the date honey in theory (in practice I just baked it too long for the amount of fluid inside). The lesson I learned from all this was that my creativity is all nice and stuff but thinking something might work doesn’t mean it actually will! I felt really depressed after the date honey tea bread…felt like I really sucked at baking… Haven’t even photographed the tea breads because they sucked and looked ugly anyway.
Luckily all I needed was a good nights rest to cure me from my baking depression. With newfound courage I started baking a recipe that I had already tried out last week and failed at (oops…haven’t told you about that one!). Think the failing was my punishment for thinking I could outsmart the great Donna Hay (used her recipe for maple syrup cakes). Instead of using sugar and maple syrup which the recipe asked for, I used only maple syrup. As usual I didn’t use regular flour but wholemeal spelt flour. I had read on the great and wise Internet that you should add half a teaspoon of baking soda per cup maple syrup if you used it in place of sugar. Thought that the fact that I was using wholemeal flour also meant I had to use a little more baking powder….wholemeal being heavier… Anyway…I used more baking powder than the great Donna Hay told me to use…the results:

Conclusion: Don’t mess with Donna!
Their appearance may not be very appealing but their taste was! Definitely a keeper! Made them again and this time with the amount of baking powder Donna called for. Taste was very good: sweet and maple-y. The texture was airy and cakey and not too fat. They looked much better too (see pic at top of page). Glad I can still bake!

Plan on making a cheese cake without sugar, wheat and cows dairy in a few days without testing it first…living on the edge 😉
I’ll keep you posted….

Mini maple syrup cakes (adapted from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay)

makes about 30

115 g wholemeal spelt flour
½ ts baking soda
½ ts baking powder
50 g butter, diced and at room temperature
140 ml maple syrup
1 egg
30 mini muffin paper cups (mine were 3 cm (1.2 in) at the bottom and 1.7 cm (0.7 in) in height)

Preheat the oven at 180ºC. Sift the flour with the baking soda and baking powder.
Mix the butter and maple syrup until it looks more or less smooth. Add the egg and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fill the paper cups and bake for 15 minutes.

1 mini cake – 118 kcal
100 g – 393 kcal

carbohydrate 61 g – protein 6 g – fat 12 g (saturated fat 7 g) – fibre 3 g

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11 Responses to Baking challenge #5, 6, 7 & 8 – partial failure, almost total failure, failure and success!

  1. Kristina says:

    Looks like you found a maple syrup recipe before I got one to ya! I will probably end up trying yours…

    One question though–who eats the results of all your baking experiments? There must be a lot of (wholesome) sweets to contend with. I love baking tons of stuff too, when I have time, but there is only so much two people can eat! If I make butter cookies, I usually freeze excess, or else I make hard biscotti (for dipping) which could probably keep for a year anyway! That would be a good thing to make with whole wheat flour, and maybe honey or dried fruits to sweeten them up a bit. Will look up my recipe-

  2. Marilyn says:

    This is my first time visiting your blog, and I am enjoying it! I also get upset when recipes don’t turn out like they should (although it’s mostly my fault).

  3. Ivonne says:

    What an incredible undertaking. And even though you experienced some setbacks, it sounds like you were so successful in the end.

    “Sweet” success is the best!


  4. linda says:

    Kristina – I eat most (Adriaan the rest usually)…but I try not to make the batches too big. Pies and cakes I only make when we have guests otherwise I would have to eat too much 😉

    Marilyn – thanks for stopping by! Stopped by at your blog too…saw that we’re both into baking & archaeology 🙂

    Ivonne – luckily some recipes did work out fine…and I’m hoping the cheese cake that I’ll make today will too!

  5. J says:

    hi linda, looks terrific! donna hay rocks 😉 am sure whoever was lucky enough to taste them was very happy

  6. linda says:

    Hi J, it was mostly me tasting them and I was very happy 😉
    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Rosa says:

    I find it good when people try out things and play the “scientists”; it shows the person’s courage to undertake things and the need to experiment with food… Unfortunately, it can’t always be a successful enterprise right from the beginning, but with time we learn and don’t repeat the same errors.

    Like you I hate when things don’t turn out right as I tend to question my own skills and get really depressed, but I’m sure that even great cooks go through such phases…

  8. Truus Engel says:

    Hello Linda,

    What do you think of “Bluf from The Hague”?(it’s a dessert)
    You just need the following ingredients:

    1 eggwhite
    75 gr.(basterd)sugar
    1 dl. rode bessensap (Flipje van de

    Just mix it all together with the mixer untill it get’s stiff.

    Good appetite and greetings from your auntie Truus

  9. sam says:

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I love that you are into baking! I also enjoyed reading your baking experiments. Baking depression sucks, but it happens to us all. I made marshmallows last week for the first time and it was a failure… but I learned from it. I apprecitae that you share your process. Thanks! I am also adding you to my blog list as sweet people need to stick together.

  10. linda says:

    Hi aunt Truus, of course I know ‘Haagse Bluf’. Used to eat that at aunt Nel’s…really good dessert…maybe something to add to my blog!

    Hi Sam, your right that us sweet people need to stick together…you were on my nomination list for adding to my blog list…your off the list and on my blog now 🙂

  11. Naomi from Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried is hosting a food blogging event that is all about baking gluten-free. This month’s theme is Teatime Treats. I happened to have a gluten-free cookie in stock for a while now so this event was the perfect

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