Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just ask Google--applesauce to oil

We're having a few couples from church in tomorrow evening, and for dessert I'm serving warmed fresh blueberries over lemon cake with a dollop of real whipped cream. I'd thought some of mixing the blueberries in little blobs into the unbaked cake and swirling, but fortunately remembered the disaster of a few years back when I decided to mix cooked blueberries into a vanilla pudding mix for a pie. Because these mixes all have a little yellow food coloring (called yellow 5 or yellow 6) to make them look yummy and inviting, if you mix in blueberries, you get something that looks like pea soup--gray green. The taste doesn't change at all, but a lot of what we taste is really done with our eyes (which is why I always clean and take down the cobwebs before I invite people over for dinner). So, that disaster was avoided.

The Betty Crocker Super Moist Lemon cake mix (I never make a cake from scratch) called for 1/3 cup of oil. Now, that's not awful, but everyone I know is watching the calories, so I decided to substitute applesauce for oil. I know you can do it in baking, I just didn't know the proportions. That's where Google comes in.

Google answers millions of questions a day--I know because some of them end up on my blog since I write on 50 bazillion topics. Here's what I learned. In baking it's about a 1:1 swap, but don't do it with cookies or snacky things that need a bit of crispness or you get "frankensnack." Even with this cake, I used a little less than 1/3 cup of applesauce, and added about a tablespoon of oil. If the cake tastes a little less than perfect, the blueberries will cover for me; I've tasted them and they are fabulous. 2 Tbsp. flour, 3/4 c. Splenda, a few shakes of cinnamon, and a Tbsp. of butter; heat just to the point they start to burst. Then I'll reheat them before serving, but they won't be mushy.

My little Sunbeam mixer was a wedding gift, so it's 50 years old. I think I've blogged about it before. The cord is stiff, it falls out of its connection, it trips the outlet switch, and the beaters fall out about every 45 seconds. But how many more years will I be making cakes, so I don't replace it. Besides, at this stage, it would be like kicking out a member of the family.

Well, it's about time to take the lemon cake out of the oven. Smells heavenly. I'll let you know . . .

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