September 23, 2023

Elegant Cooking

Only Marvelous Food

Baking With Agave Syrup

Agave syrup is a natural sweetener that is commercially produced in Mexico. It comes from the agave plant, which interestingly is the same plant that is used to make Tequila. The sap is harvested and heated at temperatures below 118 degrees Fahrenheit. This process breaks down the long chain sugars into fructose, but keeps the enzymes alive.

Therefore agave nectar is considered to be a raw and natural sweetener, which is safe to use as a sugar substitute. It can be used in lieu of sugar in tea, coffee, cereals and desserts as well as in baking.

Baking with Agave Syrup

Agave syrup can be used in recipes for pies, cakes, cookies and breads. However, baking with agave syrup may take a little practise, as agave is almost twice as sweet as sugar, and thus less is required to obtain the desired sweetness.

In addition, sugar is a dry ingredient, but agave syrup is liquid. Thus adding the syrup to a baking recipe will require that either more dry ingredients such as flour is added, or other wet ingredients are reduced.

Every recipe will vary, as some will turn out great when a bit more flour is added, but others may not turn out so well. Thus experimenting with each recipe may be necessary until it turns out as desired.

Helpful Tips for Baking with Agave Syrup

Substituting for White Sugar. When substituting agave for white sugar, substitute about ½ to â…” cups of agave for each cup of sugar. Then reduce other wet ingredients by about ¼ cup, or simply add a bit more flour or corn starch until the desired consistency is reached.

Substituting for Brown Sugar. Brown sugar is naturally moist, and thus when substituting agave for brown sugar other liquids will not have to be reduced by as much. Thus it may be a good idea to practise substituting with agave by using recipes that call for brown sugar.

Preparing the Pans. Agave nectar sticks more than sugar, and thus it is necessary to ensure that the pans are thoroughly greased before adding the batter.

Oven Temperature. Agave also browns or burns easier than sugar, and thus the oven temperature should be reduced by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. This slows down the baking process and therefore the baking time needs to be increased by about 6 percent or so, depending on the oven.

Remember that these are only guidelines, and that different adjustments will have to be made for each recipe and each oven.

The Benefits of Baking with Agave

Agave is a natural moisture retainer, and thus anything baked with it will remain fresh and fluffy for a longer period. In addition, agave is also much healthier than sugar, and is particularly beneficial for those suffering from diabetes, as it does not spike the blood sugar levels.