- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Who says you have to give up the pleasure of baking and eating cake after the new year?

It is a good time to cut back on sweets and excess calories after the holidays, but no one says we have to be denied all dessert.

Just look for recipes that are lighter. Today’s recipe comes from Kathy McClanahan of Kingston Springs, Tenn., who incorporates buttermilk and applesauce into the cake batter for richness, and uses egg whites instead of whole eggs to cut back on fat.

Store this cake in the refrigerator overnight, where it gets unbelievably moist, and serve cold with berries.

This cake benefits from the pudding-enhanced mix. Since you have omitted the egg yolks, the pudding helps to keep the cake moist. Buttermilk also keeps the cake moist.

Five time-shaving ways to slim down in the kitchen

Here are a few of the ways I save fat and calories but don’t compromise flavor in cooking.

• Use olive oil instead of butter in savory recipes. The calories are about the same, but the monounsaturated fat in olive oil is good for your heart.

• Reduce the fat in baked goods by a third. I do this by spraying the pan with vegetable oil spray and reducing the amount of oil or butter called for by about a third. Then I look for a way to increase the moisture of the recipe, adding what I took away in pureed fruit or nonfat plain yogurt or buttermilk.

• Forgo frostings and opt for a sprinkling of powdered sugar atop the cake.

• Bake fruit pies with just a top crust so it browns and gets crispy.

• Serve a salad every night at dinner. Drizzle it with just olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar, then a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Better-for-you pound cake

The preparation time is 5 to 7 minutes, and the baking time is 35 to 40 minutes.

Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan

1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix with pudding

11/4 cups buttermilk.

1/3 cup sweetened applesauce

4 large egg whites

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup nonfat sweetened condensed milk

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, buttermilk, applesauce, egg whites and flour in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.

Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again, if needed.

The batter should look well combined and thickened. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.

Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a serving platter. Poke holes in the top and sides of the cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick.

Brush the cake generously all over with the sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Lightly cover the cake with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, slice and serve, with fresh fruit. Makes 16 servings.


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