My men cherish their sweet tooth. My husband and I grew up during the good old times when nobody considered sugar harmful or dangerous. Sweet innocence! Nowadays I feel guilty that I did not raise our son sugar free. The list of harmful effects for consuming refined sugar seems endless: depression, diabetes, tooth decay, osteoporosis, insulin sensitivity…when you do a little research on the internet, you end up convinced that sugar is the enemy.
But what would be life without a little sweetness? When I read all the well meant messages about the evils of sugar I feel sometimes compelled to shout: Give me some sugar to blur the rough edges! Ok, I never really shout, but I want to enjoy a sweet treat once in a while and I want to be able to feed my men without feeling like a monster.
One way to avoid sugar would be replacing it with chemical substitutes. Unfortunately, these substitutes are at least as harmful as sugar itself. The only chemical without proven long term harmful effects seems to be sucralose which is widely sold now as sugar substitute for diabetics. The reason might be the matter of fact that sucralose is a relatively new product. On the packet is printed ‘not recommended for children’. Do I need to write more?
Honey does not offer a solution because it tastes different than sugar and is full of pesticides. I have tried stevia which I found as a dried herb. So far, all my experiments with stevia have failed miserably.
Luckily there is one sugar product available in India which - I hope - avoids most of the pitfalls of refined sugar: Raw sugar from the Mumbai-based company Conscious Food. This company promises that no chemicals are used in making this sugar. It is slightly brown, but it tastes like ‘normal’ sugar. Whenever I can, I use this raw sugar in my sweets although it costs more than double than normal sugar.
The philosophy of Conscious Food is to work to a standard, not to a price. They offer natural and organic food products that come from small organic farms all over the country. I am happy to pay some more money to support these people.
I introduce the recipe for this dairy free chocolate-walnut-cake because we discovered that our son suffers from various food allergies, including milk. At the moment I am busy developing recipes for my sweetheart which cater to his allergies. One of these recipes is this chocolate cake. As life is not perfect, I use raw sugar for the cake and normal icing sugar to give it a polished look. If you want a really healthy cake, just forget about the icing.