It’s funny how you can own a cookbook for years and then suddenly rediscover it. There it sits on your shelf, and your eyes run over it daily but it simply doesn’t register. You find yourself on a hunt for a particular recipe and you can’t quite remember where you saw it, so you thumb through your collection and happen upon the neglected cookbook. And suddenly you are drawn in. You thought you knew all the good recipes in this book, but now you are seeing them again with fresh eyes. You are finding more and more great recipes that you had dismissed on earlier perusals, and you feel that little spark of excitement that comes when the creative juices start flowing. Hey, now, that would be a good complement to tomorrow’s dinner! Ooooh, I could make that! Perhaps if I tweaked this a bit, added a little more of that, I could make it even better!
Well, that’s how it happens for me at least. And that’s what happened a few days ago with Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Food: Great Food Fast”. The book was a gift from my husband’s parents a while back, and we’ve made a number of the dishes in it. In my head, it had already been mined for the gold and I didn’t need to read it beyond those few favourites. I picked it up rather absent-mindedly when my husband had it off the shelf for a chicken burger recipe, and suddenly I couldn’t put it down. There were so many good recipes jumping out at me, it was a good half hour before I could pull my nose out of it.
I’d been planning on attempting low carb cake with some of the specialty flours I had purchased online (Netrition.com). This recipe seemed like an ideal one for a low carb makeover. Cranberries are naturally low in sugar and carbs, which is why you almost never find them unsweetened. On their own, those suckers are TART! I started scheming almost instantly. Granulated erythritol to sweeten the topping and the cake. A combination of almond meal and carbalose flour for the cake itself. Lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side. Scrumptious!
I wasn’t completely confident about what I was doing, so I searched other low carb cake recipes online. A lot of them used pre-packaged low carb bake mixes, and I wanted to use what I had in my cupboard. Fortunately, I am hardly on the forefront of the low carb movement and many wonderful cooks have come before me. The best find was Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carbing website. She has created a few of her own bake mixes, and although I didn’t use her proportions, I did use some of her ideas. And it worked!
The Results: I can bake my cake and eat it too! Although the cake did not have the fine crumb of a conventional sponge cake, it was delicious and had a nice, dense mouthfeel. To my surprise, the topping even got a little carmelized around the edges, making a delightful little crunch. And the best part? After dinner with a sizeable slice of cake for dessert, my sugar levels were on target (and not even the high end of the target range!).
Cranberry Upside Down Cake
2 tablespoon butter, room temp
¼ cup granulated erythritol
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 ¼ cup cranberries
½ chopped pecans
6tbsp butter, room temp
⅓ cup granulated erythritol
½ cup almond meal
⅓ cup carbalose flour
¼ cup vanilla-flavoured whey protein powder
¼ cup vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup almond
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup water
Preheat oven to 325F
Rub two tablespoons of butter on bottom and sides of 8 inch round cake pan. Mix erythritol, cinnamon and allspice together in small bowl and sprinkle over bottom of pan. Arrange cranberries and pecans in single even layer on bottom of pan.
Beat remaining and erythritol together in large bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined.
Whisk together almond meal, carbalose flour, whey protein, vital wheat gluten, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together almond milk, mayonnaise and water until combined.
With the beaters running on low speed, add dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the almond milk mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and beaters as needed. Continue to mix until well combined.
Pour batter over topping in prepared pan and smooth the top. Place pan on baking sheet and bake until center is set and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Flip out onto serving plate.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Serves 12. 15g total carbs per slice, 5.4g if you subtract erythritol (net carbs).