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Cure for low-fat "rubber cake"?

l
Loeb Feb 5, 2002 05:42 PM

I bake a lot. Sometimes to cut down on fat I'll substitute 1/2 C apple sauce for 1/2 C butter. My husband likes the resultant "chocolate chip rubber cake" (then again, he's an actor :o) )but I'm sure there's got to be an applesauce/butter ratio that won't totally force us to sacrifice aesthetics and texture. Advice?

  1. l
    Lindsay B. Feb 5, 2002 06:21 PM

    Here are some things you I'd try:

    1. Increase the sugar. Sugar tenderizes baked goods by interfering with gluten formation.
    2. Use a lower protein flour. If you're baking with unbleached all purpose flour, try bleached flour. If you use bleached flour, try substituting cake flour for some or all of the AP.
    3. Eggs might help. You could try adding some extra whole eggs, an extra egg yolk (only 5g of fat each), or folding whipped egg whites into the batter at the last minute.

    Let me know if any of these strategies help.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lindsay B.
      m
      Mimi Feb 6, 2002 07:10 AM

      These are excellent suggestions, could not have written it better, myself! But if the main point of using less butter is to keep calorie count or fat content down, then any improvement in texture will result in adding calories (more sugar) or fat (egg yolks) both of which are terrific tenderizers.

    2. r
      russ parsons Feb 6, 2002 12:46 PM

      we've done a lot of this stuff in our test kitchen. What's really imperative is NOT overmixing the batter. Without fat to break up the gluten strands, these things get tough in a blink.

      3 Replies
      1. re: russ parsons
        l
        Loeb Feb 6, 2002 06:41 PM

        Thanks, everybody! I am often guilty of overmixing, and I'll experiment with the sugar and eggs (I have to watch cholesterol, husband brags about his amazing "lipid profile"!).

        Russ, when you talk about testing recipes, etc., what proportions of apple sauce/prune butter and fat do you use? (If that's something you've worked on a lot.)

        1. re: Loeb
          r
          russ parsons Feb 7, 2002 03:08 PM

          i haven't done this; it's done in our test kitchen. check out the website www.latimes.com/food and look for Light Cooking, or something like that.

          1. re: russ parsons
            l
            Loeb Feb 7, 2002 05:42 PM

            Will do. Appreciate it!

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