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Sweet nothings

india Updated: Mar 27, 2010 00:37 IST
Aroma Sah

Weight watchers stay away from it and diabetics shun it. It’s the delectable sugar we are talking about. And for those with a sweet tooth, keeping their hands off sugar-laden desserts is a painful process. However, there’s respite in the form of a wide range of sugar-free goodies that are filling up the shelves in bakeries now.

Crafted with perfection
“We have sugar-free cheesecakes and mousse in a variety of flavours such as lemon and orange. Coffee is the most sought after one and there are some seasonal flavours such as strawberry and mango, which we prefer over crushes as they are healthier,” says Gayatri Kakkar, owner, Divin-e-licious at Select Citywalk mall, Saket.

The demand for sugar-free products has increased in the last couple of years. “From brownies, cakes and cookies to muffins and mousse, we can make sugar-free variants of everything. And this option exists even in our open menu concept,” says Adnan Vahanvaty, managing director, Bagels & Brownies, Greater Kailash-I.

“Our ‘Health Zest’ series offers sugar-free desserts with the highest quality dark chocolate that has malitol as the sweetener,” says chef Keshi Nisudan, managing director, Cioccolato Confectioners Pvt Ltd.

Most bakeries that offer sugar-free desserts use sucralose over aspartame as the sweetener, but agree that the particular taste of sugar may be missing.
While the shelf life of the product remains the same, Vahanvaty says, “There’re certain results which only sugar can create, like a thick crispy crust.
This cannot be replicated in a sugar-free variant.”

Cost of the matter
One also needs to shell out more for such sweet nothings. “Customers who want sugar-free desserts are not deterred by the high price.
A regular cheesecake costs Rs 800 per kg, while a sugar-free one would cost around Rs 1,000,” says Kakkar. And sugar-free products that use a high quantity of pure chocolate, like mousse, could even be double or triple the cost of a regular one!

Sugar-free chocolates are gaining popularity every day, too. Sanjiv Obhrai, Chocolatier, CR Park says, “The demand has grown over the years. We understand that sugar-free is meant for those who should medically avoid sugar, so we use a natural sweetener that is derived from flowers. All flavours can be recreated in this variant but at a price that goes from Rs 2,000to Rs 3,500 per kg.”

While the regular ones are priced between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000, the sugar-free variants using malitol derived from plums are double this amount. In sugar-free chocolates, the cocoa percentage ranges from 30 to 40 per cent. “The 70 per cent cocoa regular chocolates cannot be made sugar-free,” he adds.

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