Ah, summer. Lazy evenings on the porch, backyard barbeques, only wearing shoes when absolutely necessary. And what better way to celebrate the most gloriously casual season of all than with a gloriously casual cake? Fork Optional Blueberry Lemon Cake is as deliciously refreshing as a cool breeze on a muggy midsummer night, serves a crowd (if you care to share), and tastes best when you cut a big hunk and eat it out of your bare hand. That fork in the picture? Fuhgeddaboudit. I did.
Better Baking Through Tofu
If I had to summarize this cake in one word, I’d go with luscious. The lemon flavor is succulent yet subtle, and calm, cool blueberries permeate every bite. It’s dense and moist, very compact, and has a texture reminiscent of fruitcake. This is a) a fairly unusual quality in a low sugar cake, b) what makes it so easy to eat with your hands, and c) attributable to one of the main ingredients, blenderized tofu. That’s right, tofu. Tofu makes an excellent baking ingredient because it’s low fat, high protein, and adds tenderness and rise to baked goods – especially important if you’re baking with a sugar substitute. It also eliminates the need for eggs and milk in many baking recipes, making them both lower in cholesterol AND vegan. Shazam!
Louise Hagler: Tofu Cookery Goddess
I wish I could say I thought up the whole baking with tofu thing on my own, but I didn’t. I discovered it via Louise Hagler’s outstanding cookbook,
Tofu Cookery,which is currently celebrating its 25th year in print. In fact, the basic Blueberry Lemon Cake recipe came from my 1982 edition of Tofu Cookery; I just doubled the recipe, made it with sucralose instead of sugar, and tampered with the flavorings. Seriously, if you’re going to invest in a healthy cookbook, Tofu Cookery is the one I recommend. It tells you how to make pretty much everything you can think of that’s tasty using tofu, and even if you’re not using tofu, the recipes are an excellent guide to cooking in general. Her recipes are very well explained, call for common ingredients, and cover everything from stuffed cabbage rolls to Korean barbeque to peanut butter pie. She tells you everything you need to know about cooking with tofu, including how to make your own at home if you’re DIY inclined. Louise Hagler is my girl, and I can’t recommend her cookbook highly enough.
Powdered Sucralose: It’s All Fun And Games Till Someone Makes a Glaze
The original recipe calls for a confectioner’s sugar glaze, which I attempted to re-create using powdered sucralose and soymilk. This was a learning experience; the main thing I learned is that powdered sucralose and soymilk make a pretty disturbing glaze. It somehow took on the properties of hardened glue, as you can see in the picture. However, sucralose powders quite nicely in a blender or food processor, and you can use it in place of powdered sugar to dust lightly over your sugar free goodies and give them a pretty, finished look. The next time I make a cake like this, I’ll skip the glaze in favor of faux-sugar dusting.
To make a batch of powdered sucralose, combine three cups of sucralose and three teaspoons of cornstarch in a blender or food processor. Pulse them together until you have a fine powder. This will yield about 1 1/2 cups of powdered sucralose, which should be more than enough to dust a big ol’ cake like this one. Store any leftover powder in a zipper bag, or mix it with soymilk and use it to tackle minor household repairs.
Now let’s get bakin’! For this recipe you’ll need a 10″ tube or Bundt pan and a blender or food processor.
Eat Healthy’s Low Sugar, Dairy Free, Fork Optional Blueberry Lemon Cake
(inspired by an original Louise Hagler recipe)
14 oz. soft tofu
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
the rind of one lemon, grated
1 cup oil (remember, this is a big cake)
5 cups flour (really big)
2 1/2 cups sucralose
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
one batch Faux Powdered Sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil the cake pan. Combine the first six ingredients in a blender or food processor, and pulse until the mixture is completely smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, and whisk them together until they’re well combined. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients. Fold in the blueberries.
Carefully transfer the batter into the pan, and bake for about an hour and a half. If the cake starts to brown excessively, cover it with a bit of foil and continue to bake. Let the cake cool before removing it from the pan. As soon as you have the cake unmolded onto a serving plate and optionally dusted with powdered faux-sugar, pop it into the fridge for at least an hour before serving. If you can refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight, do so. This will allow the flavors to mellow nicely, and should eliminate any sucralose aftertaste.
Check out some more choice sugar free dessert recipes!
|Stuff That Works (we know cause we use it!)|
silicone bundt pan
|9 in. springform|
silicone baking set