Getting Started: Using Sunsweet Ingredients in Baking
Rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, prunes have long been associated with health and wellness. When used as an ingredient in baking, prunes can also sweeten with less sugar, reduce fat and calories, replace artificial caramel coloring, and retain moisture. To make it even easier to use prunes in baking all Sunsweet Ingredients—from powder and concentrates to puree and paste—are made with prunes.
Benefits of Baking with Sunsweet Prunes
Helps reduce or replace fat
Helps reduce sugar
Binds with moisture, improving texture
Helps reduce salt and spices by boosting flavor
Prevents the formation of rancid flavors
The following are ways to get started using Sunsweet Ingredients to improve baking recipes.
The carbohydrates in Dried Plum Puree or Prune Juice Concentrate bind with water, interrupting the gluten network in dough and helping to make baked goods tender. The puree not only mimics fat but also enhances moisture.
Options on replacing or reducing butter or vegetable oil
Replace up to 50% added fat with Prune Juice Concentrate. Because this is a concentrated ingredient, add only 25% of the weight of the fat that was removed. (If you take out 100g of fat, replace it with 50 g of the concentrate.) To make up volume, add some water to the recipe. For the results, you may notice more caramelization compared with the original recipe as well as a light toffee flavor.
Replace up to 50% with Dried Plum Puree. The color will be deeper than the original and the flavor will be more caramelized. This ingredient is best in items that benefit from being chewy, such as ginger molasses cookies. If the results are too dark or dense, follow the advice listed in the first bullet point and cut back on the amount of puree, making up the difference in weight with water.
Reconstitute Prune Bits in water or flavored liquid until they soften, then stir the liquid and bits together to form a paste. This can be used in place of 50% of butter or oil for a milder effect than the previous two ingredients. It is not concentrated, so there is no need to add water to the recipe.
Sunsweet Ingredients are easy to add into recipes for fat reduction or for other benefits. Here are a couple of options:
If using Dried Plum Puree to replace butter, add the puree while aerating butter and sugar. If using Dried Plum Puree to replace vegetable oil, mix the puree into the oil and eggs first.
Lower Sugar, Improve Flavor
Some of the sweetness in our ingredients comes from sorbitol, which adds sweetness without affecting blood sugar levels. This allows us to keep sugar levels lower while maintaining sweetness in baked goods and bars.
To lower total sugars in a recipe, use Prune Juice Concentrate in place of 30% corn syrup, sugar, or brown rice syrup.
Some ingredients made with prunes are too dark to use in lighter-colored baked goods like lemon pound cake or vanilla madeleines. When a deep, caramel color is not desired, you can use Fresh Plum Concentrate, a lighter-colored ingredient that boosts color subtly. Because it is high in antioxidants, it can stave off rancidity.
For a test, add Fresh Plum Concentrate to basic vanilla shortbread in the same quantity as vanilla extract. The cookies bake faster and keep longer before going stale.