As my recent post on low-fat brownies was so popular, I thought it would be worth trying out more low-fat recipes with unusual ingredients. I trawled the web for a while and eventually came across Harry Eastwood’s ‘Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache’ and immediately had to buy it!
I read a few interesting reviews about this book including one on Kitchlit. I completely agree that the author describes each recipe in a very, um, interesting fashion. She personifies each bake which is a little bit over the top and her tone is just a little too ‘twee’ for me. For example, the Victoria Sponge I made was described as follows; “It’s a bright lemon day in early June and the cake stalls are all laid out behind the vicar’s house. This cake is young and shy, with a perfectly ironed apron on, and her hair neatly plaited down her back. Although she would be mortified for anyone to suspect this, she is secretly hoping to win first prize, which is why her chest is slightly puffed up with pride”. Truly sickening!
That being said, the recipes are well written, easy to follow and the book contains some lovely shots of the bakes. The great thing about this cookbook is that each recipe (bar one) features some form of fruit or veg! I really admire Harry Eastwood’s determination and imagination when coming up with such lovely recipes!
Most of the recipes contain rice flour, something I struggled to get in the large Tesco near us however, I did find it in the Chinese supermarket in town. When buying the flour I was also able to pop to the market for some strawberries….two punnets for a pound seemed like a bargain…or so I thought!!
Low Fat Victoria Sponge
3 medium eggs
150g caster sugar
200g peeled and finely grated potatoes
100g white rice flour
2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
Tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
90g icing sugar, sieved
Tsp boiling water
Half tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
150g strawberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Lightly oil the base and sides of two loose bottomed cake tins (18cm x 5cm). Place a circle of baking parchment over each base and oil lightly.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale, fluffy and tripled in size. Stir in the potato, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Stir well to ensure that everything is incorporated.
Divide the mixture between the two tins and cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tins and transferring to a wire rack.
For the filling, whisk the margarine then add in the icing sugar one tbsp at a time. Add the boiling water and whisk to combine. Add the vanilla and salt and beat again.
Ice the bottom of one of the cold cakes covering the other one with jam. Sandwich the cakes together.
A few tips; do not cut corners with this recipe! My cake tins are very good so I did not think I would need the parchment. I soon found out that the parchment stops the cake batter from leaking out of the tins so it is really an essential step!! Also, I didn’t grate the potatoes finely enough. The cake still tasted good but the texture was a little off. My boyfriend also thought there should have been a little more icing in the middle – I reminded him that the whole point of the recipe is that it is lower in fat!!
Unfortunately, I did not have any strawberry jam so raspberry had to do. I should have made my own really but time was of the essence! I sliced up some macerated strawberries (strawberries sprinkled with sugar!) and added these to the middle also.
The cake was really very tasty and the perfect addition to our impromptu picnic. Unfortunately though, we found out that the strawberries from the market weren’t very fresh as when Mr MAC went to have a slice of the cake two days later, they had all gone mouldy!! Sadly we had to throw half of the cake away!!
I really am looking forward to trying more recipes from this cookbook. The chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes featuring butternut squash are next on my list, I will just make sure that I don’t get the ingredients from the same market stall in future!