March 16, 2008

Gingerbread Cake - somewhat healthy

Today I learned to adapt a high-fat gingerbread recipe to a low-fat one, which I must admit came out very well! There's a lot of flavor in gingerbread and the cinnamon and ground ginger in the recipe can help cover up some flavor loss of having less fat. One of the keys is a jar of fruit puree from dried plums and apples I bought at the grocery store for just this purpose. It's called Sunsweet Lighter Bake. What's nice is that it's fat free and you only use half the amount. For instance, if my recipe called for a 1/2 cup of shortening, then I would only need 1/4 cup of the Lighter Bake. However, I decided to change things up in my recipe by substituting light butter as well. I use Land O'Lakes made with canola oil. All and all, a serving of this cake from the cookbook would have 11 grams of fat per serving. With my recipe, it's probably just over 2 grams of fat per serving. Yay! Also, instead of using all-purpose flour for the entire recipe, I used half whole wheat flour. Next time I might use all whole wheat to see how that goes! Serve this cake warm with light or fat free whipped cream for a great treat!

3/4 C. whole wheat flour
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. Light butter/margarine
2 Tbsp. Sunsweet Lighter Bake (or maybe just use applesauce)
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. mild-flavored molasses

Grease a 9x1 1/2 in. round cake pan (I used a pie plate because I don't have a cake pan); set aside. In a bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter & fruit puree mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until slightly fluffy (this will not fluff like regular fat and sugar would). Add egg and molasses; beat 1 minute. Alternately add flour mixture and 1/2 cup of water to the butter/fruit puree mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm if you can! Don't worry though, there's always the microwave. Here's one hint, if you're using a glass or dark-colored pan, try lowering the oven heat to 325 degrees and check the cake after 32 minutes of baking.

Enjoy this slightly healthy cake!!

What did you learn today?

March 2, 2008

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Today I learned a Whole Wheat Pancake recipe that I actually enjoyed! It's right from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.

1 C. whole wheat flour
1 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 T. cooking oil

1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside. Combine the egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Add additional milk to thin batter, if necessary. Cook over medium heat.

I definitely suggest adding strawberries, bananas, or blueberries to this recipe. It makes a great pancake!

Ellie Krieger
of the Food Network suggests this strawberry sauce to serve with whole wheat pancakes:

Strawberry Sauce:
16 ounces strawberries, fresh or frozen (unsweetened, thawed)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Puree strawberries in to a chunky puree. Heat them in a small saucepan over a low flame, until they are just warm. Stir in lemon juice and maple syrup.

What did you learn today?