Sunday, November 8, 2009

To good health

So all this heavy baking has taken its toll on my self control. I've gone from not wanting cake at all to thinking mmmmm a good piece of mudcake would be delicious right now. This behaviour must stop! But I cannot give up my what's a baker to do? Substitute of course!
This week I wanted to try out two healthy substitutes for that sweet tooth fix.
The first comes from everyone's favourite queen of substitutes; Hungry Girl. It's not listed on her website as a recipe but while she was on Goof morning America, she mentioned that if you mix 1 can of pureed pumpkin with any cake mix, you end up with a perfectly good cake, with no pumpkin flavour.....impossible you say?
Well I'd be skeptical too if I hadn't already tried HGs cake substititutions and had moderate success. Plus it made sense.....pumpkin is pretty watery and mild so it would be good in cake right?

I did this on a whim as I had some pumpkin left from the whoopie pie experiment and a box of spice cake mix leftover from Halloween sales. I figured if HG failed me, and the pumpkin flavour did come through, at least the spice cake would be a good flavour companion.
I mixed the cake mix an the pumpkin together and it was thick, which is expected. I decied to mae them into muffin/cupcakes because those are portion controlled. I didn't realise the thick batter would not settle out and form a nice smooth done on the cakes but they have a nice homestyle look to them that I can appreciate. They were also DELICIOUS and not dry at all. I wouldnt use the substitute for anything that needed to be cut/carved or stacked higher than maybe 2 tiers because it didn't have the structural integrity of a cake with eggs, but for a quick dessert it was great. I must try this with other flavours because the pumpkin flavour really didn't come through too noticeably.
So they're not the prettiest....but at 130 cals a pop.....I'll let em time I will smooth the tops down.

So then I thought, what if  I don't really want cake....what if I get a craving for something smooshy and comforting...mmm like a good fudgy brownie....surely pumpkin is a little too watery for brownies right?

So I googled what to use with a brownie mix and I found TONS of advocates for blackbean brownies. You just puree a can of blackbeans (with water not brine) and mix that with any brownie mix and ta da! I had to try. And wouldn't ya know it....brownie mixes were BOGO at Publix this week.
The blackbean brownies are currently cooling and waiting to be sliced but so far they look delish! I sliced my finger making the blackbean puree (note to a food processor!) so that set me back a little. But the process was relatively painless and the warm brownie I tasted (I'm jus testing for doneness...gosh!!) had no black bean flavour and was surprisingly very filling which is an always welcome side benefit of the fiber and protein from the beans.

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