Hello! I’m Lawrie, and I’m the guy who decided that making cakes with flour, butter, eggs & sugar was just too motherflipping easy. And if I’ve learned nothing else (and I guarantee you that I have not, ever), it’s that if you’re going to do something yourself, then why not make it virtually impossible?
I’m a something-something-old web developer who had virtually never cooked or baked a single thing before 2015. Unless you count cheese on toast or sandwiches (which, by the way, I am amazing at). I got bitten by the baking bug shortly after discovering that sugar was basically the Ming the Merciless of foodstuffs, and idly wondering if I could make my own healthy, sugar-free cookies and cakes to have with my afternoon tea (I’m English by the way, and afternoon tea is literally ALL WE DO over here). I’m still trialing, experimenting, and still looking for that perfect sweetener for my tea.
If you’re here, then I’ll go ahead and assume you’re already on board with the whole sugar = bad school of thought, and you’re probably already aware that fructose is the big bad in sugar and sweeteners – and that means not just table sugar, but other forms like honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, blackstrap molasses, and many other ‘sugar substitutes’ that are, for all intents and purposes, just the same as sugar. If you’re not all that clear on how and why fructose is a terrible, terrible thing that will eat your children and steal your thunder, then I recommend glossing over this article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
I am approaching my whole sugar-free thing from a number of angles, and some of them potentially conflicting. Having read a lot of studies on the subject, I agree with most that fructose appears to be BAD NEWS, and that sugar intake as a whole needs to come down drastically. However, I disagree with some who advocate ‘giving up sweet stuff in favour of savoury snacks’. If that was what we were meant to do, then why did pterodactyls evolve into donuts? That’s just basic science.
So, my approach is to try to make sugar-free stuff (cakes; cookies; other, more different cakes), but that doesn’t just taste kinda okay, or “yeah, I get that conceptually this is supposed to be a brownie, and it’s only its extreme sugar-free healthiness that makes it taste like I’m licking an ashtray” – no; I want to make sugar-free cakes that TASTE LIKE CAKES. For me, that is the entire point. If you feel like you’re having to give something up, then you’ve already lost.
My advice to you is: don’t give up. Don’t give up on food, and don’t give up on yourself. There’s no such thing as a ‘quick diet’; only lifestyle changes that can (and will!) improve your health for good. And in that kind of plan, there’s always room for cake.