I can have my cake and eat it!

6 Mar

Yes, I can finally eat cake without feeling guilty and having to inject more insulin than I want!

Thanks to Lauren of Healthy Indulgences, I have found two cakes for the low carb diet. Since I am now equipped with coconut flour and erythritol, I tried out two of her recipes – her Gluten-free Low Carb Yellow Cake and her Healthy Chocolate Cake. About a week has gone by now since I’ve tried these recipes. I made both cakes into muffins with differing success rates and I’ll explain why further on.

Both cakes use beans – yes, BEANS! I’ve made muffins and cakes with carrots and zucchini and know about the uses of pumpkin but beans? This never crossed my mind. After baking these, I’ve been googling other beans and guess what?  Beans are a very versatile ingredient. I found recipes using white beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans and azuki beans.  It’s all out there folks. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you probably know this secret by now.

The Yellow Cake came out firm while the Healthy Chocolate Cake came out moist and soft. The big difference between the two was that the Yellow Cake has the addition of coconut flour and that is probably what contributed to the firmer texture.

I’ll review the Yellow Cake first. I followed Lauren’s recipe instructions and everything came together quite easily. Here is what the batter for the Yellow Cake looked like – a firm batter, easy to scoop into the muffin cups.

The baked muffins looked wonderful …

… and had a nice dense texture when cut in half.

It was difficult to peel away the paper from the muffins without having thick crumbs still adhering to the paper. I thought it was because I did not spray the paper liners with oil spray as recommended in Lauren’s recipe but then I saw that in her photo, the paper liner also had crumbs stuck to it, so obviously the oil spray did not make a difference.

After taking a bite, I could taste the erythritol (I now think it was the baking powder or baking soda and not the erythritol but it goes away after at least 2 days) so I decided to make a topping. Since I did not have xylitol for the topping recipe she had (a comment was made that erythritol did not produce the same results), I decided to make a ganache using a chocolate with 81% cocoa content. Here’s what the end result looked like.

I left the muffins in a tupperware box on the kitchen counter for the first two days and put the rest later into the fridge. They were still moist and did not harden up. I even froze a couple and defrosted them later with no problems. At the end of 6 days, I hardly noticed the erythritol aftertaste. These are absolutely fabulous! When I discovered I needed very little insulin per muffin I was in seventh heaven. I had a hard time limiting myself to one muffin a day.

The Healthy Chocolate Cake was quite different. I didn’t have black beans so I just used white beans. The batter was very liquid. I thought I’d done something wrong, re-read the instructions but found that all the ingredients called for had been added.  So I scooped the batter into the muffin cups and put the tray into the oven. There was still leftover batter so I decided to experiment. This time I buttered the insides of the second tray generously and sprinkled on some almond meal, hoping that the muffins would pop out easily. Boy, was I wrong. I had to pry the cooked muffins apart causing the base to tear – not a pretty sight. Even the muffins in the paper liners weren’t any better. The cooked muffin stuck to the paper meaning a lot of lost cake!

Then I took the taste test. The chocolate muffin was moist, lightly chocolatey but not sweet at all – reminded me of devil’s food cake without the sweetness – but the erythritol aftertaste came through. So I decided to make the buttercream frosting which came with Lauren’s recipe – this one used erythritol. I got a light, ‘crunchy’ buttercream – crunchy from what else, the erythritol. The recipe says to grind the erythritol into powder in a grinder which I did but maybe I didn’t grind it long enough. Anyway it still tasted good and paired together, the muffin tasted great.

After a few days, the muffins, left on the kitchen counter in a tupperware box, were still moist. Today, about 5 days later, I had the last muffin and honestly, I didn’t notice the erythritol aftertaste nor the crunchy erythritol in the icing. This icing is much lighter than my ganache topping. I savoured my last muffin. Here is a photo of the last two muffins – one with topping and one without.

I’m keeping these recipes and next time I will make these into cakes so that I don’t loose any cake when peeling off the muffin paper liners. I will also make these a few days before serving so that any erythritol problems dissolve!

If you would like to try these recipes, click on the links above. The nutritional information is also given there.

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2 Responses to “I can have my cake and eat it!”

  1. Jayalakshmi (@Vetrimagal) January 9, 2012 at 12:20 #

    We dont get white beans in India. What will be a better substitute?

    • franinmunich January 9, 2012 at 13:27 #

      I believe you can get butter beans in India (dried form) or else red kidney beans. Of course, if you are using red kidney beans this will affect the colour of your cake but if you make a chocolate cake, the cocoa will hide the red colour. I did not have much success using chickpeas in my cakes – the taste was not good.

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