Halloween Cakes

Allow me a cooking diversion, to clear my mind from baseball and foul weather. Tis the season for Halloween goodies. Found this fun silicone mold at the cookware store mecca - Williams-Sonoma; six decent sized cakelets, 3 pumpkins, a ghost, a bat and a witch. If you haven't used silicone bake ware you have to try it out. Incredible details, quick release and easy to use. And this one is a Halloween theme, my favorite holiday. The cakes, quick breads really, were from a mix that is sold at Williams-Sonoma, Chocolate Peanut butter Quick Bread. I'm not much for baking from scratch, as much as I love my desserts, baking is not my thing. There are so many good bakeries around where I can just find something good, why bother to bake? Of course, there is that thing called trans fats to avoid, excess sugars, highly saturated processed goodies. To combat these devilish side effects, I've devised a way to make a box mix, even a good mix, even better and good for you. If you find yourself wandering around Williams-Sonoma pick up a package of this mix. It's not cheap, $10.50 for a package, good thing I have a discount, but well worth the splurge. To make the mix low/non-fat here's what I did:

Replace the 1 Stick of Butter with one 5 to 6 ounce container of non-fat plain Greek Style-Strained Yogurt(Fage pronounced Fae eh; Oikos,Chobani, or Trader Joe's Greek Style)
Replace the 2 eggs with either 1 whole egg and 1 egg white or 1/2 cup of Egg Beaters/Egg White Substitute
Replace the 3/4 Cup Water with 1/2 Cup Brewed and Cooled Coffee (it makes the chocolate taste more chocolatey)
Bake - 12-15 minutes, rotating the pan and testing to see if the cakes are done.

Note - the mix only works as a loaf bread or in the silicone molds. I've tried them in mini and regular sized muffin cups. The peanut butter chips sink to the bottom and caramelize, making it impossible to get the cupcakes out in one piece.

This recipe adaptation is a good way to reduce the calories and fat in any box mix. Substitute the oil and butter with either 1/4 cup or up to 6 ounces of unsweetened applesauce, or pumpkin puree. I love to switch out the liquid with coffee, juice or booze (sweeter liquors work best); as for the eggs, I don't get crazy with removing all the yolks, but I do like to eliminate some and just use egg whites. Every little bit helps. Almost makes your semi-homemade desserts not so sinful.

Go Phillies!


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