Friday, November 13, 2009

Vanilla-Pineapple or Blueberry Pudding Cake

This is part 2 of the suite of dessert recipes I created recently. As I mentioned in my previous post, I originally sought out to create a sugar-free, diabetic-friendly dessert without artificial sweetener. But I didn't think stopping at pudding was enough - I needed to go all out for this to prove that it's possible for a home cook to make a good dessert under those kinds of constraints.

I racked my brain trying to think of what I could do with pudding. And then I remembered I had seen some recipes for cakes using yogurt. So I figured, why not replace yogurt with pudding!

The problem was I couldn't really find anyone with a decent pudding cake recipe. So, I bravely decided to try my own - which was a big deal for me. I had never created my own cake recipe before, always sticking to the lore that baking must be precise, you must always stick to the recipe.

However, I entered my endeavor adequately prepared - I cross-referenced Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food with Michael Ruhlman's Ratio and decided to use the muffin mixing method - my cake would essentially be an oversized muffin. Borrowing a little from the basic ratios/recipes in those books, as well as the technique I was able to come up with a recipe that turned out to be quite a hit.

The cake does in fact look like an overgrown muffin (it's even a little poofy in the center) and the crumb texture has uneven air pockets, also classic muffin texture. I reserved half the pudding mixture to create a delicious creamy topping for the cake as well. The cake is incredibly moist and addicting. Beware.

Also, note that if for some reason there are any leftovers of the blueberry cake for some odd reason, if you keep in in the fridge (you should do so) it seems like the color of the cake turns from a grayish-blue to a greenish color (I'm guessing because of the blueberries oxidizing or something). Fear not the color change - it still tastes just as good!

Vanilla Pineapple pudding cake, made with no sugar or splenda

Vanilla Pineapple Pudding Cake (sugar-free, no artificial sweetener)

1 batch sugar-free vanilla pudding
1/2 cup applesauce, divided
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, unsweetened
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp honey
pinch salt

1. Mix dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt

2. Mix wet ingredients: 1/2 of pudding (=1 cup), 1/4 c applesauce, oil, 1/4 c honey, eggs, 1/2 can of pineapple

3. Add wet to dry & mix. Do not overmix.

4. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 min or until a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

5. Combine remaining pineapple, pudding, applesauce & 1 tbsp honey in a bowl and mix - this will be the topping for the cake.

6. Let cake cool for 20 minutes. Prick cake with holes using a fork and spread topping. Let cake continue cooling. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Serves 12-16.

Blueberry pudding cake variation with blueberry topping

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Make cake as before, except use 1 batch of blueberry pudding. Leave out one egg and pineapple, and add an extra 3/4 cup applesauce to the cake batter.

This is what the cake actually looks like before the topping

Sugar-Free Variation, using Splenda

Make cake as directed except swap 8 packets Splenda for honey.

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