As a dietitian, I welcome people knowing what goes into their food and home baking is an excellent way to discover this. Dietitians are trained to understand what causes the mix to rise, what holds it together and why anything that has a high level of fat, sugar or salt is far more tempting than foods without.
A slice of cake can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, but knowing some swaps and changes can give that slice a little additional nutritional value.
Are you new to baking? Have you struggled to cream butter and produce the “light and fluffy” consistency cookery books talk about? Well try using a vegetable based spread. Vegetable based spreads have around 17g saturated fat (yes the bad one) per 100g whilst butter has around 52g. Vegetable based spread is much easier to cream but works just as well as butter, and I’ve never had anyone be able to tell the difference!
Sugar is an essential part of this sweet treat and as we are starting to hear more reports about the adverse effects of sweeteners on the gut, how can we still enjoy a healthier option? Many cake recipes include fruit and vegetables to add sweetness. Fruit cakes get much of their sweetness from the dried fruit and a home baker can reduce down the added sugar in the recipe with no reduction in taste. Carrot cake is a great favourite but have you tried chocolate and beetroot?
My favourite cake recipe is so quick and easy and can be played around with to make lots of variations;
1 Step Sponge Cake
This cake needs some fast handling once the fluid touches the flour, so everything needs preparing beforehand.
- Heat the cooker to 190 degrees or gas mark 5
- Line a cake tin or loaf tin with grease proof paper
- Remove the core from an eating apple and cut into 8 pieces
- Measure into a bowl:
- 100g self raising flour
- 1 level teaspoon baking powder
- 100g vegetable based spread
- 75g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of milk or milk alternative (soya etc)
With a hand blender whisk it all up, keep beating until everything is blended together and pop in the tin. Arrange the apple on top and cook for about 20 minutes (until the top looks browned and bounces back when you press it.) Turn it out to cool or have it warm with ice cream.
Replacing 25g flour with cocoa and using tinned pears instead of apple makes a great pudding.
Depending what spread you use and the size of the eggs etc, divided into 8, a slice should be just under 200kcal.