Conservation Gingerbread

Even though I’m nearly finished with this Dukan lark, I’ve set it as a challenge to find and master a few decent Dukan dessert recipes.  I haven’t made very many in the past three months, mainly because Steve doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, I could take it or leave it (for a few weeks) and when we did entertain, we served something non-Dukan of which we either didn’t partake or I enjoyed it as part of a celebration meal once I was on the Consolidation Phase.  I did try out a couple of Dukan dessert recipes, but to be honest they were a bit dismal.  We got La pâtisserie Dukan which is written in French, so I’ll try a few of those once I translate the recipes.

In the meantime, today I made gingerbread using a recipe from The Dukan Diet Life Plan, with a couple of modifications.  It called for 3 eggs, plus 3 egg whites.  I omitted the whites.  They didn’t seem integral to the recipe and what the heck am I going to do with 3 egg yolks?   Even though I have been, for the most part, completely obedient to the Good Doctor, I will not use Aspartame, a synthetic sweetener.  We use Stevia or Xylitol which are both plant based.  So here goes.  BTW, this can be eaten in the Cruise Phase.


  • ¾ cup fine milled oat bran
  • 2 tablespoons powdered skimmed milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons gingerbread spice mix (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves & nutmeg)
  • 2-3 tablespoons sweetener, to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fat free fromage frais or non-fat Greek yoghurt

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.  Stir in the eggs and fromage frais.

Another critique I have of Dukan dessert recipes is that they don’t specify size of baking dish.  I’m not very good at transmuting volume by eye, so I measured the capacity of my loaf pan by putting water into it and pouring it into a jug, then poured the batter into a jug to measure the amount, then put it into the loaf pan.  This recipe yields 2 cups of batter.

I studied Child Development for about a year in college and remember learning about Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and his theory of Genetic Epistemology (the study of the origins of knowledge).

Jean Piaget

Towards the understanding of mathematical development, Piaget conducted various experiments in which he provided tactual representations of mathematical concepts.  He believed that a child’s ability to solve spatial relationships are a precursor to true understanding of mathematical operations.

To test for conservation of continuous quantities, a liquid of the same amount exists in two identical containers, and the child acknowledges that the amounts are equal. Then, the liquid in one is poured into a container of different shape or multiple containers, and the child is asked which container has more liquid.

Picture from Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Piaget places the children into three stages based on their responses.

  1. The youngest children, in the first stage, generally identify the taller container or the more numerous containers as having more liquid. If the transfer is to one container, they can only reason in one dimension- in this case, height- and this perception is more important than whatever concepts of conservation they might have. Likewise, the presence of more containers is assumed to indicate more liquid.
  2. Children in the second stage (about four years old) may recognize conservation if height differences are small or if the original liquid is poured into only two smaller containers, but more extreme changes lead to failure.
  3. The third stage (about six years old) signifies an understanding of conservation; children can see that an increase in height can be compensated for by a decrease in width, and multiple containers do not change the volume of the liquid.

So I guess that as well as mastering Dukan desserts, I may just move up a stage (or two) in my mastery of the concept of conservation of quantities!

Bake at 350°F/180°C for about 35 minutes.  I try and remember to cover my cakes and breads halfway through with foil so they don’t brown too quickly.

It’s pretty darn good.  I may have put too many cloves in, but it has a light texture and good, moist crumb.  Now that I have the proportions mastered, I might make a chocolate version!

Info source: Jean Piaget’s  Genetic Epistemology