Bakers ranging from topnotch stores to smaller home-based ones are serving up low calorie products tailored to suit the taste buds of everyone, including fitness freaks as well as those with health concerns.
Chef Nitin Upadhyay, who recently gave a makeover to the confectionery at The Suryaa hotel, has focused on fresh bakes with inclusion of low-calorie and sugar free bakery.
The hotel's culinary showcase, Ssence, includes items like oat peach crumble served with details of each ingredient and its quantity jotted on a display board. This, says the hotel enables a customer to make a choice suitable for their diets.
"We have focused on fresh variety. Instead of spending our time in decoration, we have utilised it to do fresh desserts. People can see their cake being baked and get its essence. We do sugar-free cakes on demand as well, and some desserts can even be customised, like dessert at the crepe station," says Upadhyay.
He also points out that seasonal fresh fruit tarts and special 'essence' fruit salad also makes a presence felt on the dessert menu.
Besides low-cal bakes, Upadhyay, with an experience of 24 years as a patissier has included some of global classics like Nanaimo bars, a Canadian traditional sweet delicacy.
Nivedita S Bhansali, a Delhi-based home baker and owner of Cocoa Cult,a startup venture, also acknowledges the need for healthy bakery products.
Bhansali does a variety of real fruit muffins, gingerbread muffins, pumpkin and pomegranate muffins, squash muffins, cinnamon raisin cake, flax seeds and apple muffins.
And for the chocoholic, she also bakes healthy chocolate chip whole wheat muffins. Banana walnut bread, honey-oat muffin, and poppy seed and herb buns are some other products offered by her startup.
"Instead of using artificial sweeteners, I prefer natural ones like honey. I avoid using sugar-free, unless and until the customer especially orders for one. I implement simple methods to make my bakes healthier, like substituting refined flour with oats and bran," says Bhansali.
Bhansali also does oat and whole wheat pancakes. "I start it on a pan and finish it up in a oven," says the baker.
She claims that her pumpkin and pomegranate muffins are a good source of energy, while her squash muffins are good for diabetes.
Although, some bakers say they feel the demand for healthy bakes are less but nonetheless, they stock it to cater to all demands.
"I do only a handful low-cal bakes since the demand is too less. But I do it on customers request, using honey as a sweetener," says Bayiravi Mani, owner of Bee the Baker.
The Gurgaon-based home baker does whole wheat banana cake with honey as the sweetener and whole wheat almond chocolate biscotti, with no butter or oil in it.
Nadia Suryakanth, owner of the Cup-n-Cake another bakery based in Gurgaon says that since demand for sugar-free cakes in her bakery is only 5 per cent, she chooses to do it only on request.
"I'm still working on sugarless bakes; as of now we do apple and carrot cupcakes. I've had sugar free desserts and I personally don't like it much. A diabetic or a person with a sweet tooth will anyway be drawn to the sweet cakes.
"It's basically the family members of the diabetic who orders such cakes for him or her. When such orders come, I do it using brown sugar. But again, in India we do not use pure brown sugar. So I'm still working on it," says Suryakanth.