27 May 2011

Sinfully Sinless: Superfood Desserts Demo Class

Past Sunday I attended Chef Joycelyn's Sinfully Sinless: Superfood Desserts Demo Class at Shermay's Cooking School. Gosh, I can't remember when was the the last time I attended any Chef Joycelyn's class. In fact, I deliberated for quite some time whether to attend this particular class as I'm not really into Superfoods. Then again, I was curious about all the ravings on healthy baking/eating these days. Can a girl really have her cake and eat it too? Can any dessert/cake/pastry actually taste nice without the basic foundations of wheat, sugar, egg and butter?

4 recipes were demo-ed in the class and 2 additional bonus recipes were included in the recipe pack.
  1. Kinako and Soy Milk Gelato - Soy milk gelato with touch of Japanese Soy Bean Powder
  2. Chocolate Chip and Cocoa Nib Cookies - Wheat-free cookies made from oat and brown rice flours.
  3. Lemon, Polenta and Almond Cake - Gluten free, moist and damp Italian-style torta
  4. Blueberry Quinoa Muffins - Wheat-free muffin made from quinoa and oat flours and sweetened with agave nectar.
These chocolate chip and cocoa nib cookies look every bit like any ordinary chocolate chip cookies; I guess save for the oat and brown rice flours used instead of plain flour. One key ingredient though is the use of Xanthan gum whose property works in replacement of wheat/gluten. Though only a tiny amount is used, it is essential in many recipes where wheat is not added.

I must say this tasted really good, like I said, just like any chocolate chip cookies. Crispy on the outside and slightly chewy in the inside (depends on baking time). Very suitable for people who are allergic to wheat/gluten.
I was very interested in this particular recipe as the sweetener used is agave nectar which is relatively low on the glycemic index. Since I'm controlling my sugar intake, this would be a perfect dessert. Moreover, quinoa and oat flours are used; these are supposedly to be very rich in protein and good for our bodies.

Taste-wise, well, not as good as the usual blueberry muffins, but I can still accept. It's not too sweet, with a cakey texture.

For this, Polenta flour is used. I didn't even know what Polenta is until this class. Relatively easy to bake as key ingredients are similar to the usual cake.
However, I didn't really like it. In the first place, I didn't like lemony cakes. Though the cake was really moist, found it a tad too sweet and didn't like the gritty bite to the cake due to the polenta and ground almonds.
The Kinako and Soy Milk Gelato is really simple to make. Very light and refreshing like sorbet. But I don't really like the kinako after-taste.

Each participant brought home one cookie and one muffin. I let dear son try both. He hated the blueberry quinoa muffin though he liked the usual blueberry muffin that I baked for him using Chef Keiko's recipe. Great, I was still thinking of baking this for him. For the chocolate chip cookie, he took a few bites then didn't want anymore. I wasn't sure whether he liked it or not.

I'm still hesitant to try these recipes as the list of ingredients is extensive and most of them are not very common. Don't want to buy a whole lot of ingredients and end up not using them. Well, we'll see.

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