Special festive treats with a healthy twist

Healthier Christmas offerings on the market include Antoinette's La Foret savoury sandwich cake (above) .
Healthier Christmas offerings on the market include Antoinette's La Foret savoury sandwich cake (above) .PHOTO: ANTOINETTE
Bud of Joy's organic log cake.
Bud of Joy's organic log cake. PHOTO: BUD OF JOY

If you are still searching for something sweet or special to complete your Christmas party offerings, here are some of the healthier, quirkier choices on the market.

ORGANIC CAKES AND TARTS

Artisan bakery Bud of Joy, which sells goods made with organic ingredients, has four Christmas items on sale this year.

One of them, the Organic Christmas Nut Tart ($55), is made with several types of organic nuts, organic butter, organic raw honey and seeds and Himalayan rock salt.

Organic unbleached white flour is used, though a fully wholemeal version ($60) can be requested.

Parents should consider its gingerbread cookies if they want healthier treats, as these are fully wholemeal and do not have refined sugars or artificial food colouring.

 
 

In addition to organic ingredients, the gingerbread cookies ($3.40 for one, $11 for four) are made with aluminium-free baking powder.

The bakery also offers an organic Christmas log cake and organic fruit cake which has no alcohol.

All its baked goods are made without preservatives, trans fat, artificial colours and flavours, bread improvers, refined sugars, palm oil, alcohol, soya, peanuts and GMO products.

Its owner-baker, Mr Lim Her-Yi, lists all the ingredients used and said its customers include people who want healthier options as well as those on special diets.

He started the bakery in February 2013 to cater to people like him who want food that is untouched by pesticides, chemical fertilisers, growth hormones and antibiotics, he said.

A SAVOURY CAKE


Antoinette's La Foret savoury sandwich cake (above). PHOTO: ANTOINETTE

This may sound like an alien concept here, but decorated savoury sandwich cakes known as smorgastarta are very popular in Scandinavian countries.

Here, at Antoinette bakery cafe, chef-owner Pang Kok Keong has created his own version for Christmas, called La Foret. This quirky Christmas offering has no added sugar.

La Foret consists of bread that is drizzled in olive oil and layered with various condiments, including onion marmalade, tomato jam, Serrano ham, homemade orange duck rillette and foie gras mousse.

The $75 cake is available until the end of the year, though Antoinette will take special requests for it.

Chef Pang said it will keep for three days in the fridge, but "strongly recommends that it be consumed on the day itself so the bread doesn't dry out". He first introduced savoury sandwich cakes earlier this year, for Father's Day.

GLUTEN-FREE CAKES


The Bakery Depot's flourless chocolate log cake. PHOTO: THE BAKERY DEPOT

These cakes are free of gluten - a protein that can be found in grains like wheat, rye and barley.

People with celiac disease cannot eat gluten as it causes inflammation in their small intestines.

The Living Cafe in Bukit Timah Road, which is known for its raw food menu, has two raw Christmas sweets that are gluten free, in addition to being dairy and egg free.

One is a Raw Lemon Pistachio and Cranberry Tart ($84++ whole) and the other, a Raw Velvet Cake ($60++ whole). Order three days in advance. Raw food is uncooked, unprocessed food.

The Bakery Depot chain also has a flourless chocolate log cake ($52) for Christmas, which has remained popular for the past seven to eight years, a spokesman said.

SALADS


Saint Pierre Market's Chef's Favourite salad. PHOTO: SAINT PIERRE MARKET

You can easily put together a salad, but if you want something more sophisticated, buy one from new gourmet deli Saint Pierre Market in Ngee Ann City. The deli by the Emmanuel Stroobant Group sells a salad that is good for about 10 people ($68).

Order three days in advance and choose from different flavours such as the Chef's Favourite with chickpeas, romaine lettuce and walnuts, a kale soba salad and more.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'Special festive treats with a healthy twist'. Print Edition | Subscribe