As health kicks go, here’s one I’m really enjoying. Eating cakes that are not so naughty but terribly nice to eat. I’ve started to bake my way through Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache Cookbook which was in my Christmas cookbook stash. She’s a woman on a mission to bring the best of culinary pleasures without the calories and waistline busting levels of butter, sugar and eggs found in traditional baking. Her secret weapon is to use vegetables that bring natural sweetness, texture and moisture and ground almonds for fat content . For a lightness of touch her recipes use rice flour although she says they will work equally well with regular flour.
Aside from her nerve grating writing style and insistence on characterising cakes as imaginary friends and sugar plum fairies, the recipes in her cookbook are beautifully crafted, exact and so far as successful as she claims they would be. This is just as well as my baking addiction has accelerated beyond reasonable proportions and I can’t seem to help experimenting how many ways you can use a vegetable in baking. In the last week ‘ve baked walnut loaf, coconut, blueberry and lime slice and blood red Red Velvet Cake which was made without the food coloring she recommended but relying entirely on a home grown beetroot to show its true colours. I can’t wait to make the chocolate cake withed roasted aubergine as the star of the show.
My interest in growing and making food is reaching epic proportions and these cakes have added fuel to the fire adding a new level of satisfaction to weekend baking knowing that a central ingredient can be sourced from your own kitchen garden and a touch more seasonality to your cakes and bakes. No doubt it takes a bit of extra effort to baking using vegetables but all that peeling and grating is the perfect workout for the upper arms only further reinforcing my belief that these cakes are as close to a health kick that eating cake can be.