When Desserts Just Don’t Turn Out…

When I come up with my heavenly dessert recipes for you guys, I have a lot of fun playing in the kitchen. I get to experiment with new ingredients, come up with substitutions and dip my finger in the batter for a true taste test!

It takes a bit of creativity to get something delicious that’s also healthy.

But sometimes, the dessert comes out a little bland and I make notes to tweak it a little the next time I try the recipe.

Other times, I make several batches and add little tweaks to each batch and enlist the Bottomless Pit to award the best tasting batch. And regardless of which one wins, he usually eats them all. 🙂

He also helps me out when I need it, as you can see in the picture to the right, so I don’t mind letting him be the judge and jury.

Along the way, I’ve learned some tricks and tips that work when making mostly gluten-free desserts and using healthy, divine ingredients in my recipes. Some substitutions are easily made and always turn out.

Others take a lot of testing and tweaking and what you don’t see are those recipes that never made it because sadly they were a complete FAIL!

My favourite desserts are those that are fluffy and moist and scrumptious with every bite. You know, the kind that just melts in your mouth. Well, last week, I thought to make a scone to satisfy that craving.

I took a look at a few standard recipes that I found to get an idea of what ingredients were normally used for scones. As always, these ingredients were less than divine – ingredients like brown sugar, pastry flour, margarine, etc.

So I wrote down some healthier substitutions for these SINgredients and then got to work in the kitchen.

Well, let’s just say that what came out of the oven was not scone-like at all!

Not fluffy. Not moist. It was more like a biscotti, but not tasty like the one in your recipe guide.

We don’t like to waste food around here (our parents did teach us well), so I kept these scones in an airtight container and put them next to my trusty Bodum in hopes of enticing someone (the Bottomless Pit) to grab one with their daily coffee.

But alas, there were no takers and they still sit there a week later. They’ll probably find their way to the trash. 🙁

With every botched recipe in the kitchen, I learn something new about what works and what doesn’t. So now I’m off to make a tastier scone! Results to come…

– Helen

Leave A Reply (11 comments so far)


  1. Traci
    6 years ago

    I would not say disaster but I would say the didn’t look NEARLY as pretty as yours did. I made the Reeses Doughnut holes. They were super yummy, but were much more blobby then your beautiful sphere shaped ones:) Any tips for firming up the mix?

    Also, my black bean brownies had an AMAZING texture and moistness to them, but I substituted Truvia (4 packs) for the 4 pinches of stevia according to your substitution chart and they were definitely NOT sweet at all! Did I do something wrong?

    LOVED the Crazy Choco Chip Cookie Dough!!!! YUMMO!~!
    Thanks for what you do. Us recovering sugar junkies love you for it!

    [Reply]

    The Dessert Angel Reply:

    Hehe that’s OK – as long as they taste good that’s the most important thing. 🙂

    I’ve never used Truvia before, so perhaps it’s not as sweet as some of the other stevia blends I’ve used in the past. The good thing with stevia is that you can just add more and it doesn’t add calories! As always – taste the batter. 🙂

    [Reply]


  2. Lana Brodeur
    6 years ago

    Well Helen, I made the Sexy in White Cookies and they were very dry no taste, i have not yet tried them again but I might one day, but I did make the Brownies with black beans today and OMG my 13 yr old son who is the pickyest eater every wants to eat the whole pan Thank you lana

    [Reply]


  3. Regina
    6 years ago

    Well said Dessert Angel! : )

    [Reply]


  4. Amanda
    6 years ago

    I am totally understand your feeling. Recently I made the ‘Sexy in White’ Chocolate cookies which you gave me. Since I don’t have stevia, I use honey the first time. The result is the cookies tastes bitter! I ended up eating it with some jam (self made :)) Then I tried to use chocolate chips, as suggested by you but still the ‘sweet’ taste is not so mixed well with cocao. For the third time trial, I melt the dark chocolate and mix with other ingredients (with less cocao powder). Well, the result (I mean the taste) is much better! I feel the great sense of achievement! I think the cookies looks too attractive to motivate me to try and try and try…Thank for your sharing and looking forward to your recipe of healthy scone (my daughter loves eating scone!)

    [Reply]


  5. Jennifer
    6 years ago

    Can’t wait for the scones! They are a favorite treat of mine for sure!!

    [Reply]


  6. Becky Giudici
    6 years ago

    I would like to know the ratio substitution using honey in recipes instead of stevia. I don’t like the after taste of stevia. Thank You!

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    Hi Becky, as Helen told me that a lot of honey may be needed. I found that using 70% dark choc (melt it to mix) with less cocoa powder is a good substitution. Approx. I used 6 squares (60g). Hope this help.

    [Reply]


  7. Karen
    6 years ago

    I have been an experimental baker for years. I have tried a number of different flours, sugars, etc. Sometimes it was to make something whole grain/high fiber, sometimes gluten-free, sometimes just healthier ingredients. My fails usually come with trying different “flours” Coconut flour and almond flour for example are completely different than grain flours and take a lot of testing. I also hate to waste food and so dumping the failures in the trash is always difficult. When they sit on the counter for a week with no takers, that’s a sign they should have gone straight to the trash! 😉
    Keep up the experiments! Your final results are fantastic!

    [Reply]


  8. Samantha Rayment
    6 years ago

    Hi Helen – I have made the brownies using coconut oil instead of olive oil, also I found most of the dark choc chips (available here in Australia) were really high in sugar so I use an 85% Lindt chocolate block (chop up a couple of rows). Also – I use the Sweet Chocolate Frosting on top of the brownies (plus I put a pecan half on top). Everyone loves them! Obviously it makes them higher in calories, etc – but I find I get more than the 10 serves (I cut them in about 2 inch squares and get at least 20). Thanks Helen 🙂

    [Reply]


  9. Anna-Carin Rahm
    6 years ago

    You make me laugh, thank you for that!
    I think I´ll print out your scones-picture not feeling so alone in my sometimes kitchenmisery 🙂
    Learning by trial and error, that´s life I guess…

    [Reply]