This Singapore cafe sells sugar-free Mao Shan Wang gelato and desserts you can indulge on

Now you can have your cake and eat it — not just cake, but gelato, desserts, chocolates... all without guilt!

The weather has been unforgiving lately, and if you're hoping to cool off with more than one serving of gelato but worry about your expanding waistline, you can cast your fears aside when you drop by Camaca, a sugar-free dessert cafe.

Camaca, located at King Albert Park, was birthed out of a simple idea by Taiwanese TCM professor, Leo Li, who wanted to bring to the masses healthier food that's safe to consume, while not compromising on its taste.

PHOTO: Camaca

From the outside, you may think Camaca is just another pretty dessert cafe.

Unless you step in to find out more, you wouldn't know that the products here are promoted as "guilt-free indulgences", with 95 per cent of their products being sugar-free.

But, like many others, I was a little skeptical — how can the desserts be labelled as healthy, much less sugar-free; it was certainly a bold statement to make.

I later found out that Camaca's desserts are made with sugar alcohols (maltitol, isomaltitol, erythritol, trehalose) as a substitute for sugar, as they have little to no impact on blood glucose levels.

SAFE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES

When Senior Consultant Endocrinologist Dr Sue-Anne Toh was asked to conduct an assessment on the impact of Camaca's desserts on blood sugar, she too, was curious to find out if the desserts' "sugar-free" claims were true. 

She conducted an experiment with 21 people, of whom 12 have diabetes, seven are pre-diabetic and two who are diabetes-free. 

They were given Camaca's signature products, such as brownies, gelato (Musang King durian and vanilla flavours), tartlets and pound cakes to try in their own time over two weeks.

PHOTO: Camaca

The participants' sugar levels were constantly monitored with a sensor, and Dr Toh observed that Camaca's desserts only caused a small rise in glucose levels (1.5 mmol/L) as compared to regular desserts (5 mmol/L).

CAMACA'S SIGNATURE DESSERTS

Now that we've got past establishing that the desserts are safer to consume for diabetics, I was curious to find out if they were tasty.

I went for the Musang King durian gelato ($6.80), which was highly-raved by participants of the experiment.

These plastic-looking orbs look like giant macarons sitting in the chiller, but make no mistake, they're actually capsules containing the gelato, to avoid cross-contamination (or the pong of durians from permeating the other flavours).

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

The capsules are then dispensed from the custom-made gelato machine in the shop.

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

Right off the bat, the gelato boasts an unmistakably Mao Shan Wang durian flavour because of how strong the smell is even while it was still dispensing.

The gelato was creamy and rich, and even though it is sugar-free, it was still adequately sweet.

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

The other desserts were served in sample sizes for us to try, and the plates were soon wiped out with not a crumb to be found. Definitely a good sign.

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

The only dessert that isn't sugar-free is the caramel choco macadamia ($20/150g), and it's only due to the natural sugar from the nut.

IN-HOUSE ROASTING 

You're in luck if you're a coffee-lover because Camaca also brings in more than 20 different coffee beans that customers can have with their desserts.

They roast their beans in-house using hot air instead of fire, to prevent over-roasting the beans and thus developing a bitter taste profile.

For something refreshing and cold, you can get a cup of nitro coffee or try the ice-drip coffee that is steeped in the coffee towers hanging on the second floor of the cafe, which doubles as part of the decor.  

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

I'd be sure to return for more guilt-free desserts, and although it's sugar-free, all good things are still best in moderation.

Where: 9 King Albert Park, #01-11/12, Singapore 598332
Opening hours Mon-Fri: 11am – 10pm, Sat-Sun: 9am – 10pm

melissagoh@asiaone.com

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