During his seven years as Chef of the White House, Bill Yosses developed a theory: sugar should be the gracious note and not the cornerstone of great desserts. Here he shares some of his techniques to cut back the sugar from his latest cookbook The Sweet Spot .

  Subtle sweetness with outstanding crunching.
Subtle sweetness with pronounced crunch.
Photo of Rocky Luten

Honestly, I never felt myself obligated to sugar. As a pastry chef, my main concern was balance, and sugar was often an obstacle to achieving it. I've always tried to reduce the sweeteners in my recipes, but it was not until I started testing for my cookbook that I realized how much I could cut back.

When it comes to dessert, or explain less, the better. The last thing you want is for your readers to explain the dessert to the guests: "It's like chocolate cake, but with X, Y, or Z changes." They want to stick with recipes that are so delicious, guests "The mouths are too full to ask questions.

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When designing a new recipe, I always start with a sugar amount that is ridiculously lower than the standard value – 65% to 75% less. Surprisingly, some recipes work with dramatically reduced sugar content without many other adjustments. For example, my almond cake has only half a cup of sugar, but the richness of almonds gives the cake its own satisfying boost. But others require a bit more tinkering to get it right, so I use some sleight-of-hand tricks.

My first trick is to always use the best products. Whether fruits, nuts, grains or oils, the main rule when cutting sugar is the use of good ingredients. Serving fresh desserts will keep you and your guests happy without having to go back for seconds. (Not that anything is wrong with that.)

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Another trick is to distract the palate with surprising textures or tastes. For example, I use avocado in my famous chocolate cake to make it super creamy, spices like cardamom bring a bit of zing, and chili peppers and herbs create unexpected taste bursts. These tricks divert attention from the lack of sugar. It also focuses the palate on the balance of the flavors that make up the dessert.

There are some desserts that rely on sugar for texture and texture. These are my secret, the sugar by fruit fibers, such as. As apple reduction, pear compote or dried fruit mixture to replace.

For these biscuits it is crucial to compensate for less sugar with more varieties of dried fruit. and enough aroma to seduce the palate. Ideal biscotti must be thin in order to achieve a balance between crispy and tough. Whole wheat flour is well suited for this recipe because the flavors and textures are so nutty. This butter-free recipe contains about half the sugar of the standard formula, but making this recipe yourself leaves you free to reduce even further. It does not affect the crispy texture of the finished biscuit.

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nutty cherry biscotti

by Bill Yosses

  • 1/3
    Cup of pistachios

  • 1/3
    Cup of macadamia nuts

  • 1
    Cup of whole wheat flour

  • 1
    Cup of unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 04.01
    Cup of hard-packed dark brown sugar

  • 1
    teaspoon of baking soda

  • 3
    Dripping wild sweet orange essential oil or 1 tablespoon of grated tangerine peel

  • 3 1/2
    Tablespoon of rapeseed oil

  • 2
    big eggs, lightly beaten

  • 04.01
    Cup of whole milk

  • 2
    Tablespoons of local honey

  • 01.02
    Teaspoon of almond extract, such as Nielsen-Massey

  • 1
    Cup of mixed dried fruits (cherries, apricots, raisins, dates), finely chopped

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