Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, my doctor gave me a list of good and bad foods. I remember that unsweetened rhubarb was a "free food" and, in my despair at the time, I recall sarcastically joking that I could eat all the unsweetened rhubarb I wanted - lucky me! Rhubarb is one of the earliest harvests of the spring garden and is abundant in stores and farmer's markets right now. It's full of antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium and fiber, so it is an excellent and healthy choice, but usually requires a lot of sugar to counterbalance the extreme tartness. This simple dessert is a good mixture of sweet and tart. It's easy and quick to prepare and I highly recommend that it be eaten fresh and warm out of the oven.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Makes 6 servings

¼ cup light brown sugar, unpacked
2 tablespoons zero trans fat buttery spread (I use Smart Balance)
Zest of ½ of an orange
7 ounces rhubarb (about 5-6 stalks)
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup zero trans fat buttery spread
1/3 cup Splenda, granular
1 egg + 1 egg white
2 tablespoons fat-free buttermilk (or skim milk)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In an 8-inch cast iron skillet (or 8" cake pan), melt 2 tablespoons buttery spread and brown sugar; stir to combine. Add orange zest and stir. Slice the rhubarb on the diagonal into 1-2" pieces and add to the brown sugar mixture and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, almond flour, salt, baking powder; set aside. With a handheld mixer, cream the 1/3 cup buttery spread and Splenda. Add the egg and egg white and beat until well combined. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat well.

3. Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Pour over the rhubarb and spread to cover. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Turn out onto a serving plate and cool for another 15 minutes. Serve immediately. This cake is best served warm.

Nutritional Information per serving: 215 calories, 17.5 g carbohydrate, 14.3 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 238 mg sodium, 1.3 g fiber, 4.2 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2011

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