The arrival of the Roscón de Reyes brings with it one of the great debates: why is there candied fruit on the cake? Although it is presented as a preference in taste, this type of fruit is usually in almost all classic roscones.
In the past it was admired to find glistening candied fruits on top of sweets, but tastes have changed. The master pastry chefs candied whole pineapples, dates, figs, blood oranges, pears and wild berries, to show that the fruit could be consumed in different ways. Although this was not the healthiest.
Candying the fruit is a time-honored tradition throughout the world. Whether we start with a fruit cake, sugar-dipped plums, or sinful chocolate-dipped oranges. But is it really healthy? How much sugar does this type of candied fruit contain?
81 grams of sugar
Candied fruit is prepared by soaking chunks of fresh fruit in a sugar syrup and then heating the mixture until all of the original water content of the fruit is replaced with sugar. When turned into candied fruit, the orange and lemon slices, strawberries, melons, kiwi, grapefruit and pineapple retain their vibrant color. As the sliced fruits simmer in the sugary syrup, the sweetness seeps into the fruit, making it plump and juicy. The sugar acts as a preservative agent , keeping the individual fruity flavors of each candied slice intact.
The most common form of this sweet is called candied fruit. However, there is also crystallized fruit (it is a fruit that has been glazed with powdered sugar) and glazed (one that has been coated or sent in a sugar syrup). Even small fruit jellies made with fruit juice are sometimes labeled as candied fruits as well, but this is a mistake because they are just fruit-flavored sweets.
And since everything that is added to the fruit is pure sugar, the amount of this substance is quite high. Specifically, 81 grams of sugar for every 100 grams of fruit. Keep in mind that you can also add more sugar to add brightness and fluffiness to the sweet. Therefore, each bite can be a bomb on the palate.
Is it better to use dried fruit?
There are no healthier ways to make candied fruit, not even by adding sweeteners. Although they do not contain calories, the effect on insulin can be very similar to that of sugar.
For this reason, there are those who think of substituting this type of fruit for a dehydrated or dried one. However, you must take into account the recommendations of the recipe. It is possible that the fruit dipped in sugar is used for a specific reason (to add hydration to the dough, for example). So adding a fruit without water and of less size can alter the final result .
However, you can look for recipes with dried fruits or dehydrated fruits to obtain a less sugary and somewhat healthier cake. Although going back to the Roscón de Reyes, does someone really eat this type of fruit?