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Low Fat Baking


Allura
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My father just had a stent put in to remove a blocked artery. Needless to say, the family's now trying to eat "heart healthy", which is both low salt and low fat. I'm a beginner baker, but I do bake from scratch occasionally, which is more then my mother does...if it comes in a package, she'll buy it. :shock: Anyway, I'd like to make the occasional sweet treat for them, but I really don't have enough skill to beging to adapt recipes myself. Hence, I turn to egullet. :biggrin: Does anyone have a recommendation for a low fat pastry cookbook? Thanks!

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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The best low fat desserts I've found have been from Cooking Light annuals.

As for books with only pastries etc, two I can recommend are

1. Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts.

I haven't had any failures whatsoever from Alice Medrich and am pretty convinced she's a genius :). I love this book, as it actually has dessert recipes I wouldn't be embarrased to serve to company.

2. Susan Purdy's Have Your Cake and Eat it Too.

I don't own the Susan Purdy book, but I've made a few of her light recipes and they've turned out great. She has a very good reputation.

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Here are 4 easy recipes.

Low-fat lemon cream pie filling:

Soften 1 tsp unflavored gelatin in juice of ½ lemon (about 3 Tbs) for 5 minutes. Don’t use the stuff in a green bottle—use water or your favorite liqueur if you don’t have fresh lemons. Warm for 20 sec in microwave until liquid and clear.

Beat together until smooth:

• 1 8 oz pkg neufchatel cheese (or non- or low-fat cream cheese) at room temperature

• ½ C non-fat sour cream

• 1 14 oz can non-fat sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated skim milk)

• ½ tsp almond extract

Beat in lemon juice/gelatin

Pour into a pre-baked pie or tart shell and top with sliced berries or other fruit*. Chill at least 2 hours.

Variations:

• Omit the lemon juice and put in ½ C key lime juice instead—key lime pie.

• Omit the lemon juice, add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, use 1/3 C water + 1 Tbs instant coffee or espresso to dissolve the gelatin, and add 4 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and top with walnut halves — chocolate mocha pie.

Apple Upside Down Cake

• 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced ⅛ in thick

• 3 T sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon

• ¾ C sugar

• ½ C Egg Beaters

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 C all purpose flour

• ¼ t salt

• ½ t baking powder

• 1 t baking soda

• ½ C coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

• 3 T unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8” oven-proof skillet (I use cast-iron) with Pam and dust with about 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Toss sliced apples with salt and 2 tsp cinnamon sugar. Spread a layer of apples in tbe bottom of the prepared skillet.

Beat eggs, 3/4 C sugar, and vanilla until creamy; stir in applesauce. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder and fold into mixture. Fold in remaining apples and walnuts. Pour batter over apples in pan and dust top with remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake 45 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes in skillet. Run a knife around the rim of the skillet and invert onto a plate. Serve warm.

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together:

• 2½ C flour

• 4 tsp baking powder

• ½ tsp baking soda

• ⅛ tsp salt

Beat together until smooth and creamy:

• 1 C applesauce (or any combination of pureed fruits such as overripe bananas)

• 4 eggbeaters

• 1½ C sugar

Stir in:

• 4 Tbs poppyseed

• ¼ C lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)

• minced lemon zest from 2 lemons

Mix dry mixture into egg mixture until just blended. Don't overbeat (a few lumps are ok)

Immediately pour into bundt pan sprayed with Pam. Bake 50-55 minutes until cake springs back and begins to shrink away from pan.

Low-Fat Brownies

• 1¼ C all purpose flour

• ¾ C cocoa powder (Droste Dutch process is best) (= 6 gms fat)

• ½ tsp baking powder

• pinch salt

• ¾ C “Egg Beaters”

• 1½ C sugar

• ½ C apple sauce

• 1 tsp vanilla

• 1 tsp espresso powder/crystals

• 1 C coarsely chopped walnut pieces (90 gms walnuts = 60 gms fat)

Preheat oven to 325°F and spray a 9x9” pan with cooking spray.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt.

Beat together egg beaters and sugar until thick. Stir in apple sauce, vanilla, espresso. Fold in walnuts. Mix in dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-55 min.

Edited by JayBassin (log)
He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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They all sound good, but Dad loves apples, so the apple cake sounds great. I need to get myself an ovenproof skillet at some point, though, unless my Calphalon "everyday" is ovenproof - which, it turns out, it is.

Edited by Allura (log)

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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I second the recommendation for Alice Medrich's "Chocolate And the Art Of Lowfat Desserts." It's excellent. Check out her "Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Cake." It's an almost- flourless, very deep chocolatey cake, which you'd never know was lowfat!

Edited by merstar (log)
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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My father just had a stent put in to remove a blocked artery. Needless to say, the family's now trying to eat "heart healthy", which is both low salt and low fat. I'm a beginner baker, but I do bake from scratch occasionally, which is more then my mother does...if it comes in a package, she'll buy it.  :shock: Anyway, I'd like to make the occasional sweet treat for them, but I really don't have enough skill to beging to adapt recipes myself. Hence, I turn to egullet.  :biggrin: Does anyone have a recommendation for a low fat pastry cookbook?  Thanks!

You can also substitue non hydrogenated vegetable margerine (Earth Balance) and egg beaters in recipes. This works well if the predominant flavor you want is not butter. I have even made brioche this way and while its a different product, its fine in its own way.

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Some foods are naturally lowfat and don't need tweaking.

Meringues are egg whites and sugar. You can add chocolate or nuts, etc. to them for variation. You can make them in container shapes and fill them with fresh fruit, etc. Angelfood cake is also naturally lowfat. Marshmallows should be lowfat.

Also consider fruit desserts. Baked apples are classic, but any fruit can be peeled, drizzled with sugar, dusted with nuts and baked. Poached fruits can be superb.

Also, when you do need to use fat in cooking or baking for him, stick with the monounsaturated fats. Olive oil is great for savory cooking and even is used in baking. Grapeseed oil is another monounsaturated fat with a neutral flavor and has a higher burning point than olive oil. There are some recipes for cakes and pies that call for oil rather than butter and other sat fats. Some Italian cake and pie dough recipes use oil. (I personally stay away from canola.)

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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Is there general interest for a no/low fat thread? Baking and/or cooking? I do a lot of low-fat cooking and baking because my wife insists on it. :cool:

Another way to reduce fats (or at least use better fats) in baking desserts is to use nut-crumb crusts instead of pastry crusts for pies and tarts. 1-1/2 C ground almonds or walnuts bound with 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 Tbs sugar (or splenda) will line a 9" pie pan. This compares to 1-1/2 sticks (12 Tbs) butter for a typical pastry crust (pate brisee).

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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We have talked about baking for diabetics which in turn turns into a discussion about sugars and vegan baking. But I don't think we've talked strictly about low or no fat baking until this very thread.

I think we are all interested to some extent in this topic.

Have you broken down many recipes and done calorie comparisions JayBassin? How does a graham cracker crust compare to a nut crust calorie wise?

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Have you broken down many recipes and done calorie comparisions JayBassin? How does a graham cracker crust compare to a nut crust calorie wise?

I don't think calorie comparisons work because calories don't reflect the type of fat. For example, most (all?) commercial graham crackers contain trans fats, which are seriously bad news. Nuts have more grams of fat than graham crackers, but depending on the nut (avoid macademia), the fat is monounsaturated and may actually be good for you (in small doses).

You can reduce calories from sugar by using splenda instead of sugar, but after all, it is a dessert!

BTW, Wendy, I really like your p/b forum and look forward to participating in the pie demos.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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Many years ago, there was a fatfree mailing list. It was maintained by Michelle Dick and was truly a labor of love. The recipe archive is still out there and here is one of the cakes that I continue to enjoy from that list when I've got calorie-conscious guests

fatfree cocoa fudge cake:

It's one of those "mix-it-all-up-and-throw-it-in-the-oven" recipes. (I usually use regular eggs when I make it.)

Here's a fudgey brownie recipe that I submitted. It's not as good as the one in Alice Medrich's book but I think it comes out lower in fat. When I submitted the recipe, it caused an uproar because of the peanut butter and the folks who felt that the recipe didn't qualify but eventually, everybody settled down.

jayne

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I posted a recipe for nonfat creme caramel (flan) on the flan thread HERE. Also put up a recipe for low-fat cream pie fillings on the pie fillings thread HERE.

These threads should be moved to the pie-filling thread.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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