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Less-Guilt Plantation Cake still a treat
Revised recipe has 321 calories and 13 fat grams

Dear Jeanne: Having just made a Plantation Cake, the thought struck me that perhaps you could lower the calorie content of this delicious, sinful cake that I guiltily make once a year. Many of your recipes have become favorite standards for me. Hope you never stop your Cook It Light column. Thank you in advance. -- Jeanne Piper, San Diego

Dear Jeanne: Even though I lightened up your special cake, it still remains a treat to be enjoyed only once in a while. I reduced the amount of nuts, oil and egg yolks, as well as the amount of sugar. I left enough of all these things to keep the cake moist and flavorful. The sherry in the glaze wonderfully enhanced the warm flavor of spices in the cake.

PLANTATION CAKE

6 ounces pitted prunes, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

Hot Sherry Glaze:

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/4 cup medium-dry sherry

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

2. Combine prunes with walnuts in small bowl and stir to mix well; set aside.

3. Combine flour, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl; stir to mix well.

4. Beat eggs with sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in oil and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk until well blended. Stir in prune-nut mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until top of cake springs back when lightly touched with fingertip. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make Hot Sherry Glaze: Combine sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup in large saucepan. Bring slowly to boiling; lower heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring very often to prevent boiling over. Remove from heat. Stir in sherry and vanilla.

6. Poke holes all over top of cake with fork. Slowly pour Hot Sherry Glaze over. Let stand until glaze is absorbed. Serve warm or cold. Makes 16 servings.

LESS-GUILT PLANTATION CAKE

6 ounces pitted prunes, chopped (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 whole egg

3 egg whites

1 1/4 cups sugar

2/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup lowfat buttermilk

Hot Sherry Glaze:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/4 cup medium-dry sherry

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine prunes with toasted walnuts in small bowl and stir to mix well; set aside.

3. Combine flour, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl; stir to mix well.

4. Beat egg, egg whites and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in oil and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk until well blended. Stir in prune-nut mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until top of cake springs back when lightly touched with fingertip. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make Hot Sherry Glaze: Combine sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup in large saucepan. Bring slowly to boiling; lower heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring very often to prevent boiling over. Remove from heat. Stir in sherry and vanilla.

6. Poke holes all over top of cake with fork. Slowly pour Hot Sherry Glaze over. Let stand until glaze is absorbed. Serve warm or cold. Makes 16 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 488 calories; 29 gm fat; 58 mg cholesterol; 316 mg sodium; 53 gm carbohydrates; 6 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 321 calories; 13 gm fat; 18 mg cholesterol; 261 mg sodium; 46 gm carbohydrates; 5 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.

Help stretch your food dollars while delighting your family and friends with truly tasty dishes. My booklet Potatoes Are Not Fattening is full of recipes for every occasion. Order it for $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope from Pasta, PO Box 5541, Riverton, NJ 08077-5541. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She also is the author of 32 cookbooks, most recently "Jeanne Jones Homestyle Cooking Made Healthy" (Rodale Press, $27.95). Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light (Name of Newspaper) PO Box 1212 La Jolla, CA 92038 Please include a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed envelope. (C) King Features Syndicate Inc.