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Old 12-11-2006, 10:21 AM   #1
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need advice

Hi all! I'm invited to a holiday dinner and wish to bring a desert. There will be between 13-18 people present.

I'm originally from Romania, and I remember around the holidays, we had a lot of pastries and cakes. They were moist and each had its own rich flavor that came from the ingredients and not from the sugar! I'm searching the Internet for recipes, but I do not want anything that is super sweet. I would like to make a homemade cake completely from scratch, maybe with layers and such.

Anyway, I've had two ideas in mind, but with them come two fears which hopefully you can all help me with:

1) Look for foreign recipes online (such are Romanian recipes) which are not too sweet. The fear is that I won't know what ingredients to buy at the store which match this recipe. Things are labeled differently here or the potency of certain items are off, etc.

2) Find regular recipes online, but add less sugar than indicated. The fear here is that the recipe is based on that amount of sugar and therefore the consistency will be way off.

So, are there any recipes you can point me to or some advice regarding making my own cake without it being excessively sweet?


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Old 12-11-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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Here is a link to over 1500 dessert recipes, of all types and styles from Old World to New Age, in alphabetical order, from COOKING LIGHT MAGAZINE. You can count on these not being overly sweet because, living up to their Cooking Light name, they are very strict on sugar and fat content.

If you have a specific dessert type in mind, you can search within this list. For example, I searched for KUCHEN, and got 6 different hits. I understand that cheesecakes are traditional holiday fare in Romania, so I did an internal search for CHEESECAKE and got over 50 hits. This should give you plenty to think about. I just hope you can make a selection before Christmas!
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:08 AM   #3
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thank you!

I will definitely give it a try.

I do know that I don't want it to be overly sweet, but I'm not very concerned about the fat content (for the special occasion anyway). In Romania the pastries and cakes were very rich... lots of cheese and butter, etc. but just not too sweet. Here everything is sooo sweet that you can barely taste any of the other flavors.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:22 PM   #4
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Pastries and cakes use relatively standard and simple ingredients ... so unless a recipe calls for some exotic ingredient or flavoring ... you should be able to find all of the ingredients called for in a Romanian recipe in a local store - even if you live in Kentucky.

Here is a site with Romanian Recipes that might help you ...
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:06 PM   #5
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if you're thinking about cakes, you can reduce the sugar of many recipes considerably.

compare the amount of flour with the amount of sugar. if the sugar is less than the flour, it's known as a low-ratio cake (although low-ratio can also mean the percentage of fat compared to flour, too). if the sugar is more than the flour, it's a high-ratio cake.

low-ratio cakes can go down to around 75% sugar as compared to flour, or to say another way, 3/4 cup sugar per 1 cup flour. some high-ratio cakes can go over double the amount of sugar as compared to flour, or 2 cups sugar to every 1 cup flour.

so, you can generally reduce a high-ratio recipe to say equal amounts of flour and sugar, and you probably wouldn't consider it to be too sweet.

sugar adds not only sweetness, but moisture as well. if you reduce the amount of sugar by a large percentage, you might want to increase the fat or liquid (butter, milk, liqueur, etc.) by a tablespoon or two.

my standard genoise recipe calls for:

6 eggs
1 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c clarified butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

if you substitute half of the flour with cocoa powder, it's not a particulary sweet cake in the least, as is. as is, you could probably reduce the sugar by an ounce without any problem.

good luck
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