(SINGAPORE) - The war on sugar is on. The Health Promotion Board aims to shave Singaporeans' sugar intake by 25 per cent. Target date? 2020.
The good news is that you will have time to adjust.
Some desserts here already contain less sugar, so it is a start. And the bonus is that less sugar does not mean it is any less delicious.
Here are some lower-sugar snacks and desserts to check out.
1. The Ugly Cake Shop
Address: 535 Kallang Bahru, #01-06 GB Point, Singapore 339351
Telephone: 8228 8300
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10am to 7pm
The Ugly Cake Shop says it uses less sugar than usual because it doesn't want to overwhelm the palate with sugar. It doesn't use fondant either.
One of their star cakes - and one that has the least amount of sugar - is the Nicholas. This bittersweet chocolate cake is frosted with dark chocolate ganache (made with 70 per cent Cacao Barry dark chocolate) and then adorned with crunchy chocolate pearls and cacao nibs.
You can get this in the form of a cake (from $60) or as a cupcake ($4.20).
Address: 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131
Opening hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 11pm; Wednesdays and Thursdays 5.30pm to 11pm
Afterglow specialises in raw food cuisine, so you can turn to them for healthier alternatives. It does not use processed sugar, dairy or any processed items in its menu.
The popular choice on the menu is the Raw Chocolate Fudge 'Salted Caramel' cake ($12.50), made with avocado, raw cacao butter and a cashew nuts base. The 'salted caramel' is made from tahini with sea salt.
This is great for guiltless indulgence.
3. Mad About Sucre
Address: 27 Teo Hong Rd, Singapore 088334
Telephone: 6221 3969
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12.30pm to 10pm; Sundays 12.30pm to 5pm
In spite of its name, Mad About Sucre is prudent when it comes to the use of sugar. Baker Lena Chan reduces the sweetness by more than 60 per cent from each recipe and uses only organic flour and raw sugar. But the tastiness is not compromised.
The cakes here are very decadent and, phew!, not as scary as it looks.
Cakes are priced from $60 a cake, or from $20.70 for a slice of cake with a pot of tea.
4. Xin Divine
Address: 10 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089594
Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm
Do not be deceived by how light Chinese desserts look. They can be laden with sugar.
A recent study by Hong Kong's Consumer Council and Centre For Food Safety found that most Chinese desserts have excessive amounts of sugar, with the mango sago with pomelo dessert the biggest culprit (averaging 11 grams of sugar per 100 grams).
So it is good to know that in Singapore, we have a Chinese restaurant that is mindful of the sugar content and has offered the Osmanthus Sphere ($12). The orb contains chilled winter melon soup - with less sugar, of course - and crystallised sprigs of osmanthus, wolfberries, and pang da hai (malva nut). This is served with a shot of aerated red date juice.
5. Kim Bird's Nest drink
While bird's nest is said to have health properties, some of the bird's nest drinks on the market contain a lot of sugar.
This one comes with a sugar-free option. The other two flavours available are Ginseng and Rock Sugar.
Drink it chilled or dilute it with warm water. It sells from $3.20 a bottle.
Book a meal at Afterglow, Mad About Sucre or Xin Divine with Chope.