reducing sugar in muffins
I love sweet breads and muffins. However, I often find those with pumpkin or zucchini are so sugar loaded that the bread/muffin is more like a dessert. I modified chowhound Caitlin's prize winning pumpkin muffins by reducing the sugar 25%. Instead of 1 cup brown sugar plus 1 cup white sugar, I used 3/4 cup of each. The flavor remains true, the texture remains moist, and I no longer get sugar shock! How wonderful.
Any other hounds have similar experiences or comments?
I've been using a pumpkin bread recipe from new Joy of Cooking, that calls for nearly as much sugar as flour (1 1/3 cf 1 1/2). I've been cutting the sugar in half (roughly), and using a mix of whole wheat, bran and ground nuts for the flour. I am also using sweet potato puree, which brings its own sweetness to the party.
In bread like this most of the moistness comes from the puree (and the fat). It is evident from other quick bread recipes that sugar is not an essential part, since some are savory rather than sweet. So the sugar use is largely a matter of taste.
I find most muffin/ cake recipes are too sweet and always reduce the sugar. I read a post a while back that you can reduce by up to 1/3 with no adverse recipe impact - not sure how true this is. For cakes, muffins and slices I usually reduce the sugar by 25% as a starting point then play around from there.
I always thought I had a sweet tooth because I loved my mom's baking. Then I had some storebought muffins - waaaaay too sweet. Turns out my mom had been reducing the sugar by 25-50% in everything all along.
I do the same thing when I bake now, especially if it's a fruit-based dessert. When I make fruit crisps or pies/tarts, I don't add any sugar at all. I find you can usually do that without altering the texture.