Sherry cake goes light without giving up taste

February 07, 1996|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,KNIGHT-RIDDER TRIBUNE

For most of her 78 years, Elizabeth Reynolds of Richmond, Va., never worried about fat or calories in food. Then, her husband, Oscar, survived a heart attack. Since then, the retired couple has searched for ways to reduce fat in their diets without completely abandoning the foods they have long enjoyed.

The Reynolds thought they would have to give up their favorite sherry cake, but a few fat-lowering adjustments to the Southern-style recipe shaved off almost 10 grams of fat per serving without changing the cake's flavor. Yellow cake mix and a box of vanilla pudding are the foundation of the dessert, but the batter is also heavily flavored with sherry and nutmeg.

The new recipe uses fat-free pudding mix, three egg whites and one whole egg for extra flavor. It also replaces 3/4 cup of oil with a mere 1/4 cup, combined with 1/4 cup of fat-free vanilla yogurt, which saves 964 calories of fat. The cake still has plenty of nutmeg and sherry flavor, but gets just 22 percent of its calories from fat.

Elizabeth's sherry cake

Makes 12 servings

1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix

1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding

1 teaspoon nutmeg

4 eggs

3/4 cup oil

3/4 cup sherry

GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons sherry

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan. Set aside.

Combine the cake mix, vanilla pudding and nutmeg in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low to combine. Add the eggs, oil and sherry to the dry ingredients and beat on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the lumps have disappeared. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is set and has pulled away slightly from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool 15 minutes.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons of the sherry and stir to form a thin glaze without lumps. Pour half the glaze on the top of the cake. Wait 15 minutes and invert the cake on to a rack. Remove the pan and pour the remaining glaze on the bottom of the cake. Invert the cake onto a plate and cool completely before serving.

Per serving: calories, 400; protein, 3 grams; carbohydrate, 55 grams; fat, 17 grams (39 percent of calories from fat); cholesterol, 71 milligrams; sodium, 388 milligrams.

Light sherry cake

Makes 12 servings

nonstick cooking spray

1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix

1 (3.1-ounce) box fat-free vanilla cook-and-serve pudding

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

3 egg whites

1/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup sherry

GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons sherry

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the inside of a 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cake mix, fat-free vanilla pudding and nutmeg. Beat on low to blend ingredients. Add the whole egg, egg whites, fat-free vanilla yogurt, canola oil and sherry to the bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the lumps have disappeared. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until cake is set and has pulled away slightly from the edges of the pan. Allow to cool 15 minutes.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons of the sherry and stir to form a thin icing without lumps. Pour half the glaze on the top of the cake. Wait 15 minutes longer and invert the cake on to a rack. Remove the baking pan and pour the remaining glaze on the bottom of the cake. Invert the cake onto a plate and allow to cool completely before serving.

Per serving: calories, 311; protein, 3.5 grams; carbohydrate, 54.6 grams; fat, 7.6 grams (22 percent of calories from fat); cholesterol, 19.6 milligrams; sodium, 311 milligrams.

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