Tricks of the cutting-fat trade

February 23, 1994|By The Hartford Courant

While developing and testing recipes for her book on low-fat baking, Susan Purdy found ways to cut the fat content without sacrificing flavors. Here are some of the tricks she used in "Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too."

* Maximize small amounts of nuts, which are high in fat, by sprinkling them on top of a cake or pie instead of mixing them into the batter or filling. "They have what I call 'taste visibility' that way," Ms. Purdy says. Toasting the nuts intensifies the flavor. Nut oils also are a way to add a nutty flavor to a recipe.

* Substitute cocoa powder, which does not contain fat, for solid chocolate, which does. Then enhance the flavor with a small amount of grated solid chocolate.

* Use a lattice top pie crust or decorate the top of a pie with shapes cut from pie dough instead of having a two-crust pie -- pie crust is notoriously high in fat.

* In an adapted mousse recipe, use unflavored gelatin to add the creamy quality normally supplied by whipped cream.

* Substitute non-fat cottage cheese for sour cream. Place cottage cheese in a strainer, cover with plastic wrap and gently press down on the curds for a minute or two to force out as much whey as possible. Transfer the curds to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

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