Agave and Sucanat Usage Questions

khandiSeptember 8, 2008

I bought some Blue Agave and some Sucanat (brown sugar) and I'm not sure how to use them in a recipe.

I'd like to make this zucchini bread with some substitutions. Since sucanat is sweeter and you use less, I'm not sure how to adjust the other ingredients. Since agave is a liquid, how do you adjust the other ingredients?

- I want to cut down the amount of white sugar and use brown sugar and/or the agave.

- I know that I should change the white flour, but that's all that I have right now.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I love to bake stuff and would like to really minimize the use of white sugar.

Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups white sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

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    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 7:56PM
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For sucranat, I just replace the sugar in the recipe with it one for one. I do the same whether the recipe calls for white sugar or brown sugar. If it calls for 3/4 cup each of white and brown, I put in 1 1/2 cup of sucranat. The results have always been good. I don't find the sweetness that much different than regular sugar.

However, if you are doing something that calls for white sugar and normally has a white color, you will find that it comes out a little bit tan with sucranat. And sucranat has a brown sugarish flavor. I think it will be very good in the zucchini bread recipe. If you are doing something that has a very subtle flavor and you don't want to change it with the brown sugar flavor or if you are making something white and want it to stay white, don't use sucranat.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 8:47PM
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According to Grainlady...the agave is used at about 1/2 the rate of sugar or honey. It is very sweet..
The agave should work fine in your bread..

Here is a link that might be useful: Agave mentioned on a blog

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 9:45PM
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The general rule for substitution is 3/4 c. agave nectar for each cup of sugar, but I find that is often too sweet (and too expensive) and use 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of sugar called for in recipes. I only use 1/4 c. agave nectar in my favorite Banana Bread Recipe, that originally called for 1/2 c. sugar. You may also need to add 1/8-1/4 c. additional flour in your Zucchini Bread recipe because of the liquid from the agave nectar.

Like honey, agave nectar browns quickly, so expect the bread to be darker. Make sure you use a toothpick/cake-tester to check for doneness. The color of the bread can be deceiving, when it comes to doneness. You may also want to tent some foil over the loaf if it's getting too brown, for part of the baking time.

If you have information for substituting honey for sugar in recipes, the same information usually works for agave nectar. Recipes where honey is used as the sweetener also work well with agave nectar, using equal amounts.

Here's a recipe I recently adapted to agave nectar. Because of the added sweetness of pineapple in the recipe, I used 1/2 the amount agave nectar as sugar called for, rather than 3/4 c. agave nectar for each 1 cup sugar. My changes to the recipe are in (---).

(it's a quick bread, not a cake)

3 eggs
2 c. sugar (1/2 c. agave nectar)
2 t. vanilla
1 c. cooking oil (1/2 c. coconut oil)
2 c. zucchini, peeled and grated
3 c. flour (1 c. hard white whole wheat and 2-1/4 c. spelt - freshly milled)
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. soda
(1 t. Penzeys Cake Spice)
1/2 c. raisins
1 c. nuts
1 c. crushed pineapple, DRAINED

Beat eggs until blended, add sugar, vanilla, oil and zucchini. Blend well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in pineapple, raisins and nutmeats. Bake in one large greased and floured loaf pan (9"x5") OR two small loaf pans. Bake in 325°F oven for one hour. (I baked mine at 325°F as well.)

(Original recipe from: Mrs. Vernon Moseman, Fremont, Nebraska, November 1, 1977 printed in "Heart of the Home Recipes" - Favorites from Capper's Weekly.)

For Sucanat, equal amounts or less, depending on what other "sweet" ingredients, like fruit and "sweet" spices like cinnamon, are in the recipe. You may get different results to the texture of baked goods using grainy sucanat, compared to the crystals of sugar. You'll also get more molasses-like flavoring and darker crumb in a quick bread from sucanat. I prefer sucanat as a substitute for brown sugar, and turbinado (which is more crystaline) as a substitute for white sugar. Those sugar crystals found in turbinado can make a difference in the baking science.

I like to use sucanat in crumble-type toppings.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:29AM
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Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:30AM
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