Monday, October 20, 2008

Cakes, cakes and more cakes

Last Thursday was nannu Edgar's birthday, so since the mother-in-law decided to slave away baking a huge batch of vegetable lasagne and another batch of meat cannelloni, I offered to make the cake. It had to be sugar-free, and everyone agreed it had to be light cause we were sure nobody would feel like a heavy dessert after lasagne and cannelloni! So after looking for some cake recipes that used Splenda, I decided to give Diana's Desserts' version a try. Mother-in-law had a batch of strawberries that needed using, and hubby reminded me that he'd been wanting a cream-filled cake for ages.. so I came up with my own concoction. I made two cake layers, a mascarpone strawberry filling and covered the whole thing with sweetened whipped cream.

Here's what went into the filling:

1 tub (something like 250grams) mascarpone cheese
1/2 tub (about 100grams) light cream cheese
about 5 tablespoons red Martini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Splenda
about 2 cups small strawberries, cleaned and halved

I just mixed all the ingredients together except the strawberries. I spread a thick layer of sugar-free strawberry jam on the bottom layer of the cake, then I spread half of the filling mixture onto that, topped it with the halved strawberries, and proceeded to cover with the other half of the filling mixture. The top cake layer facing the inside filling was also spread with jam, I pressed the top cake layer onto the filling to make everything adhere properly, and then covered the top and sides of the cakes with whipped cream that was sweetened with Splenda. After allowing the cake the cool properly, I decorated its sides with chopped hazelnuts, placed a paper doiley on top and sifted powdered cocoa, removed the doiley and topped the cake with sugar-free chocolate dipped strawberries. The result was better than I expected - the cake rose perfectly even though it had Splenda rather than sugar, and cut beautifully revealing the nice contrast of the strawberries in the cream filling. And, most importantly, it was light enough to eat after lasagne - and the birthday boy liked it :)

Yesterday I baked the best banana cake ever. I omitted cinammon and sultanas, which I usually love in banana cakes, cause of hubby. The banana flavour came through more intensely however, and I ended up loving it. I added a generous amount of chopped walnuts and real vanilla extract, but what really set this cake apart from other banana cake recipes I'd tried before was the fact that I used 'OO' type flour (the kind that I usually only use for pizza dough). The crumb turned out really light and moist. I just drizzled some melted chocolate on top and that was it - a cinch to make really. I've finally managed to locate the recipe I used - Kato's Easy Banana Cake from Recipezaar. I made some of the batter into cupcakes and they worked out fine as well. This has definitely become a go-to recipe now!

I usually try to make Monday an easy slowly-ease-into-the-new-week kind of day. Judging by what I have in the freezer, it was either beef brodu or even easier, the beef barley soup I had tried a couple of months ago. Since it had gone down a treat with the hubby, I suggested it, and he actually preferred it to brodu.. which is all the better cause it meant shoving all the ingredients in the slowcooker this morning and now I'll actually go back home to dinner! Yes and I'll have plenty of time to catch up on housework hmmm...


aleta meadowlark said...

I love the dusting you gave that sucker! Did the Splenda leave an aftertaste for you?

sara angel said...

ooo this looks yummy. i'm so happy this was made with splenda!

Donna said...

@ aleta meadowlark - I was worried about the aftertaste, so I just increased the amount of cocoa powder I used in the cake layers - I'd say I used 1.5 times as much as the recipe says. No aftertaste whatsoever, even hubby said so, and he usually avoids food that's sweetened with Splenda - he still loved it! The dusting is sooo easy - but gives good results for so little work :)

SugarEd Productions said...

what is red martini? I want tot ry this!

Donna said...

@sugared productions - Martini Rosso, aka sweet red vermouth :)

SugarEd Productions said...

thank you so much! can't wait to tr it!

Gordy said...

Another Malteser with a blog... NICE!! Great recipes. Come and check out what I share.. Best Wishes!