Tuesday, August 08, 2006

baking light

For three years, I subscribed to Cooking Light Magazine. It suited me well because it was a way to shake up my normal rotation. Every month, I'd find a new issue in my mailbox filled with new recipes to try. Some recipes are now regulars and others were simply heinous. Towards the end of my subscription, I started to notice that a lot of the recipes sounded the same. It seems that they have a few base recipes that receive minor tweaks on occasion. While it was a great relationship for at least two of the three years, it was time to take a break.

I didn't have a chance to look at my last issue of the magazine until a few days ago. I found a few recipes that seemed worth trying. However, it was the Fresh Lime Chiffon Cake that caught my eye. I have been looking for healthier dessert alternatives recently. Mr. Cupcake and I have been packing on the pounds, and it's time to put an end to it. The only thing is that I'm not a fan of cutting sweets out completely because it doesn't work. I end up gorging myself on anything sweet and fatty if I try to deprive myself.

Anyway, I ended up working on a few job apps this afternoon, and decided to take a break. The fresh lime chiffon cake was calling my name.

I was a little grossed out when I started making the batter, so I took a picture. It consisted of egg yolks, oil, water, and lime zest. The recipe also called for lemon extract, but I didn't have any. I just added a little more lime.

I mixed the wet ingredients with the dry, and then folded in some stiff egg whites. I'm always paranoid that I'm going to deflate the eggs whites because I find I'm never satisfied with my folding job and therefore have a tendency to over fold. I'm sure it's all just in my head.

The filling was actually the first thing I made, but it had to sit in the fridge for three hours to stiffen up. Somehow, my finger managed to find its way into the bowl thus creating an obvious well. I did my best to cover it up the evidence when picture time rolled around.

I baked the three layers in 9" pans instead of the 8" pans that the recipe called for. The tops became very sticky as they cooled. I trimmed them a bit to get rid of the gumminess.

I frosted the cake with my Safeway Cool Whip wannabe. The recipe calls for light whipped topping, but I only had regular. It was leftover from the last time R was in town. Oh, and he's coming back in a few weeks, so I will have more tales of our glorious food binges. Anyway, I was suppose to add more lime and sugar to the frosting. I went as far as making the sugar and lime mixture and then decided to abandon ship. The cake and the filling already had strong lime flavors. I figured lime in the frosting would be overkill. The Cool Whip imposter went solo.

The cake turned out to be a lot of work. In fact, I'm not sure the effort was worth the result. The lime flavor was slightly overwhelming. I'm glad I didn't add the extra flavoring to the frosting. The cake turned out to be a bit denser than say an angel food cake, but was still spongy and light. Mr. Cupcake said he liked it, but I think he was lying. If he still reads my blog he can post his true feelings. The worst thing that can happen is I'll cry. Just kidding.

It's been an hour since I tried a slice of cake. My tongue still has a very acidic feel to it. Perhaps if I had used the lemon extract the outcome would have been better, but I'm not so sure. Besides, I don't think it's worth the number of calories. I just pasted the recipe into this post and saw that this little cake has 16 servings! Scam.

Fresh Lime Chiffon Cake
Cooking Light Magazine

1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Cooking spray
1 tablespoon cake flour
2 cups sifted cake flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
3 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 1/2 cups fat-free whipped topping, thawed
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)
Fresh blueberries (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

To prepare the lime filling, combine 1 teaspoon lime rind, 1/4 cup lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk in a small bowl, stirring until blended. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°.

To prepare cake, coat bottoms of 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Lightly spoon 2 cups cake flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups cake flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until well combined.

Combine oil, 1/3 cup juice, 3 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon rind, lemon extract, and egg yolks in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into flour mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.

Divide cake batter equally among prepared pans, spreading evenly. Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Remove wax paper from cake layers. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a small glass bowl. Microwave at high for 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Cool completely. Fold into whipped topping.

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of filling over cake layer. Top with second layer, remaining half of filling, and third layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with mint, blueberries, and lime wedges, if desired. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Slice cake into wedges.

16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

CALORIES 290(29% from fat); FAT 9.3g (sat 2.1g,mono 4.6g,poly 2.1g); PROTEIN 5.3g; CHOLESTEROL 47mg; CALCIUM 122mg; SODIUM 218mg; FIBER 0.3g; IRON 1.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44.9g


mrcupcake said...

It's like eating a sponge. If you like sponges, this recipe is for you!

mrcupcake said...

Oh yeah, and what's with the fancypants new theme?

Juuuuulie said...

try cooking pleasures magazine. Whenever Mom, Jaclyn, or I try a recipe from it, we rarely are disappointed if ever. Well maybe once but that was because I don't really like bananas too much in the first place.

mrcupcake said...

banna banna bo banna bannana banna bo banna