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    The speciality outlets at Taj Coromandel now boast sugar-free treats on their menus, and we take a look at other options too

    We’ve scraped up every last morsel of our badam halwa and tried the chocolate fudge cake with and without the vanilla ice cream and plums that accompany — but still no way of telling there’s no sugar in both desserts. Pleased with the success of his labours, executive chef Alok Anand points to an apple peanut roll next. The crunchy pastry roll conceals sweet poached apple and peanut butter that hints of salt, and as this medley of flavour and texture does a number on our palate, we can’t believe this is from the new sugar-free list at Golden Dragon. But are we consuming some scary synthetic sugar substitute? “My sugar-free desserts use only levulose, which is a natural sugar substitute,” Anand promises, adding, “and some desserts like the fig and cinnamon pancake have zero sugar.”Sugar-free Desserts at Taj Coromandel - Chocolate Fudge Cake from Anise
    A passionate connoisseur of desserts (especially of the Bengali variety) chef Anand has been working on these sugar-free delights for several months. And while most restaurants across town offer an option or two on their buffet, Taj Coromandel offers three sugar-free desserts at each of its speciality restaurants. So while Southern Spice introduces a sugar-free semiya pal payasam, Prego impresses with the custard-like Zabaglione and Golden Dragon offers Cantonese date and almond fritters. Added to these treats are fresh fruits and sugar-free ice creams (at all restaurants) like the Kumbakonam kaapi ice cream at Southern Spice, that’s made with the same decoction that goes into their filter coffee.
    Tackling gluten next
    Interestingly, these sugar-free desserts that are priced no higher than their sugary counterparts, were not born out of demand. “We realised that most often, people with a dietary restriction chose to not have dessert than ask for something sugar-free. But when offered on the banquet buffets, at least 15 per cent of the guests went for them,” explains the chef, who believes that gluten is the next concern that needs to be addressed. “We already have gluten-free bread on the buffet at Anise, and La Patisserie has gluten-free muffins and tea cakes,” he signs off.
    From Rs 500 plus tax onwards. Details: 66002827

    Guilt-free, elsewhere
    Our search for more guilt-free indulgences, led us to ITC Grand Chola, where the team of chefs have a crisp selection of sugar-free desserts at their signature restaurants. Switched every six months and made with Splenda and sugar extract from apples and oranges, Royal Vega offers malai kulfi and kanak halwa, while Pan Asian does a tofu cheesecake and section of sorbets sans sugar. Other options include a berry pannacotta at Ottimo and palkova at Cafe Mercara Express. Rs 475 plus tax onwards. Details: 22200000.
    Elsewhere, The Westin will be introducing sugar-free desserts on their menus by the end of the month. Executive chef Joseph Rathna Raj says that in addition to the current options available on the buffet at Seasonal Tastes (Indian sweets by city-based makers of diabetic-friendly products, DiaBliss), he will be introducing desserts like lemon  cheesecake and crème caramel at Sunset Grill and Eest. Details: 66333777

    — Ryan Peppin

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