All the recipes in this blog are free from refined sugar and use either zero or low sugar natural sweeteners. 

These include xylitol, stevia and yacon syrup - demonstrating that it's possible to enjoy sweet goodies without raising your sugar levels.

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Chocolate Babka

This is a bit of a wide ball. It contains wheat flour for a start…. Eek!   
AND….it’s got a tiny teaspoon of molasses in it… What????

Admittedly, it would be a very rare visitor in my kitchen for both these reasons but when a friend told me about this traditional Jewish cake, I couldn’t resist giving it a go. If you don’t have to be as careful with your sugars as me, then this adapted recipe is still a healthier version of the original recipe. It’s good fun to make, cos you have to plait and mess about with the dough before you put it in the loaf tin and it’s bloody gorgeous, especially slightly warmed or toasted.

Basically this cake is a brioche, which needs a good stretchy dough. I couldn’t see how almond or coconut flour, my usual low carb standbys would cut the mustard in this case. I wasn’t entirely sure that the diabetic friendly sugar alcohol sweetener I used would cut the mustard to work with the yeast either. The dough just sat in the bowl like a depressed limp thing until I helped it out with a smidgen of molasses and then it started to rise happily. The rest of the cake is low sugar though……honest.

For the brioche part:
150ml milk
140g butter (softened to room temperature)
250g wholewheat flour
2 tbsp xylitol
1tsp vanilla essence
1 sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp molasses
2 eggs

For the filling:

60g butter
50g No added sugar plain chocolate 
50g 100% cocoa solid plain chocolate
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Warm the milk and 40g of the butter in a pan. (Don’t let it boil).
Combine the flour, salt, sweetener and yeast.
Make a well in the dry mixture and add one of the eggs beaten and the warmed milk and butter and a teaspoon of molasses. Combine well.
Cover and leave in a warm place for an hour until it has risen.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the filling by melting 60g butter and chocolate until smooth. Add the cinnamon and cocoa powder.
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle 28cm x 60 cm.
Spread the filling over the dough.
Roll up like a swiss roll.
With the swiss roll seam underneath, cut the roll in half lengthways leaving the top 4 cm attached.
Twist the 2 strands around each other.
Then lay the dough in a greased 2 IIb loaf tin from one end to the other in a zig zag.
Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes. The dough will be ready if a slight prod leaves an indentation.
Brush the top with the remaining egg beaten.
Bake for 1 hour at Gas mark 4 350F/180C. Cover the top with foil after 25 minutes in the oven.
Leave in the tin for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto a wire tray to cool.

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