Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Black Forest Cake

Cake is usually off limits for diabetics, which makes it difficult and sometimes depressing when they can't even have a slice for their birthday or at the holidays. This was the case for me, so I became determined to find a way and began experimenting. With a net count of only 25 carbs per slice, this decadent "special occasion" recipe allows a diabetic to have their chocolate cake once in a while and enjoy it without guilt or the usual out-of-this-world spike in their blood sugar! This beautiful, rich cake is a show-stopper and one you'll be pleased to serve to everyone at the party.

At this time of year fresh cherries are available, so I have used them. But if they are not in season, substitute a can of sugar-free cherry pie filling that has been drained of the thick liquid in place of the chopped cherries. Also, don't be turned off by the grated beets in this recipe because you will not taste them, I promise. Beets are a common ingredient in traditional Chocolate Velvet Cake and add color and natural sweetness (which is why I can get by with so little sugar), plus they compliment and enhance the chocolate flavor. Have a happy, special day!

My Black Forest Cake
Serves 12 (or makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cake
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry buttermilk powder
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons Splenda granular
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
4 ounces beets, peeled and finely grated (½ cup)
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 TB hot water (can be decaf or regular)

For the white chocolate whipped cream frosting
1 pkg. sugar-free, fat-free white chocolate instant pudding (the size that makes 4 servings)
2 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup cold skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ tablespoon Splenda, granular
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup fresh sweet cherries (pitted and chopped) and 12 cherries pitted, but left whole for garnish. (If fresh cherries are not available, drain a can of sugar-free cherry pie filling in a strainer until much of the thick liquid has drained off.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom with parchment paper and lightly spray the sides of an 8-inch springform baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dry buttermilk powder and cocoa powder. Set aside.

3. Using a standing or handheld mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the eggs, sugar and Splenda for 4 full minutes until pale and fluffy. (Do not underbeat at this step because you need to incorporate air into the batter.) Add the oil and continue to beat for another 30 seconds. On low speed, beat in the grated beets, coffee, followed by dry ingredients and beat on low until the batter is smooth.

4. Pour into the baking pan and place in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted for doneness; it should come out clean. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes if needed, testing every 5 minutes. Do not overbake so cake doesn’t dry out. (NOTE: If baking 12 cupcakes, only bake for 12 minutes then check for doneness. Add an additional 5-7 minutes if needed)

5. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and unmold onto cooling rack. Cool on a wire rack until cold.

6. Meanwhile, make the frosting (see directions below) and refrigerate.

7. When cake is cooled, carefully cut into two layers with a serrated knife. Brush crumbs from bottom layer and spread 1/3 of frosting onto cake and smooth with a spatula into an even layer. Top with chopped cherries. Place top layer of cake on top of cherries and spread half of the remaining frosting on top and use the other half to cover sides. Garnish the top with whole cherries. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/12th of cake): 242.5 calories, 27.8 g carbohydrate, 11.6 g total fat, 2.7 g saturated fat, 2.6 g fiber, 5.6 g protein
1 plain cupcake (1/12th of recipe, no frosting or cherries): 184 calories, 23.2 g carbs, 7.7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2.5 g fiber, 4.4 g protein
White Chocolate Cream Frosting (1/12th of frosting recipe): 53 calories, 3.2 g carbs, 3.9 g total fat, 1.75 g saturated fat, 0 g fiber, 1.2 g protein

White Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting:

Measure 1 cup cold milk and vanilla into a medium mixing bowl. Add 2 oz. mascarpone cheese (¼ of 8 oz. container) and whip with a wire whisk until blended with milk. Using a wire whisk or handheld mixer, beat in 1 box of sugar-free instant white chocolate pudding mix until well blended and thickened. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until quite thick and set. Meanwhile, measure ¼ cup heavy whipping cream into a small mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat until beginning to thicken. Add ½ TB Splenda and ¼ teaspoon vanilla and whip until Splenda has dissolved and cream is thick and fluffy (do not overbeat or you'll end up with butter). Fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until fully blended and refrigerate for another 10-15 minutes before spreading on cake.

Original Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009
How does this recipe compare with the real thing? Black Forest Cake is usually frosted with 100% whipped cream, making it out of bounds for most people watching their fat, carb and calorie intake. My version is frosted with a mock whipped cream frosting that really is delicious and remains true to the original in taste and creaminess, but is a great deal lower in fat, especially saturated fat. Also, my recipe is significantly lower in calories and carbohydrates. For comparison, the nutritional content of 1/12th slice of a traditional Black Forest Cake is 622.4 calories, 81.9 g carbohydrates, 33.2 g total fat, 3.2 g fiber, 7 g protein.

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