Luckily low-fat cakes

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It was so nice over the weekend to grill outside and not have to put on winter clothes to get the job done. I filled the grill full of a variety of meat, and my husband was thrilled to have a meat buffet in the refrigerator. When we are strapped for time, he can reheat something quickly and be on his way. Yes, it was great to have warm weather and blue skies over the weekend. We look forward to more days like that ahead.

While looking for a recipe in my recipe drawer, I came across this recipe that I have kept and enjoyed for years. Usually I write on recipes if I have included them in this column before, but there was no notation. I love this salad and hope you can find a use for this recipe as well.

Sugared Almond Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

1 egg white

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

1 (11-ounce) can Mandarin oranges, drained

10 fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

1 green onion, thinly sliced

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Beat egg white, at room temperature, at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in almonds. Pour butter into a 9-inch square baking pan. Spread coated almonds in pan over butter. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until almonds are dry, stirring every 5 minutes. Set aside to let almonds cool completely.

Combine lettuce, oranges, strawberries and green onions. Toss gently.

Combine olive oil and remaining ingredients. Beat with a wire whisk until blended. Pour over salad, tossing gently. Arrange salad on individual plates. Sprinkle with almonds.

At the Senior Center, I had a homebound meal delivery volunteer ask me for some low-fat recipes he could try. The same day, another volunteer came into the office and had some low-fat recipes she needed to copy for a friend. I just made two copies to pass them along to you here. It seems like when I don't have any mail, it always works out that something like this happens.

Chocolate Cake

Less that 1 gram fat per serving

Nonstick cooking spray

1 1/4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/4 cup corn starch

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

1 cup water

1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. In medium bowl, whisk egg whites, water and corn syrup. Stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Makes 16 servings.

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

Less than 1 gram of fat per serving

Nonstick cooking spray

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

4 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional

2 egg whites

2/3 cup skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch layer cake pan with cooking spray. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Place cake pan in oven 3 minutes; remove. Add blueberries to pan in even layer. Set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, baking powder and salt, if desired. In medium size bowl, using fork or whisk, mix egg whites, milk, remaining corn syrup and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Stir until smooth. Carefully spoon batter over blueberries, smoothing top. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove pan from oven. Immediately run narrow spatula or table knife around edge of pan. Invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm or cooled. Delicious served with low-calorie, fat-free whipped topping. Makes 12 servings.

Carrot Cake with Vanilla Sauce

1 gram of fat per serving

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups liquid butter substitute, or 1 1/2 cups fat-free margarine

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

4 egg substitutes, about 1 cup

3 cups self-rising flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups grated carrots

1 cup raisins

1 cup whole grain, wheat and barley cereal

For the sauce:

1 cup butter substitute

2/3 cup sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoons vanilla

Cream together butter substitute, sugars, egg substitute, pineapple and vanilla. Add raisins and cereal. Add flour and spices. Fold in grated carrots. Pour into Bundt pan sprayed with nonfat cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

While the cake is baking, combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and cook on the stove. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Bring to a full boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. After cake is baked, cool upright in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the cake. If sauce is lumpy, use a hand mixer and beat until smooth. If the sauce is too thin, add a little more cornstarch. Makes 16 servings.

I hope this helps with those who are looking for lower fat dessert recipes. These recipes sound good and full of flavor.

I am out of room for this week.

Have a wonderful week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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