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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Low fat, no sugar sponge cake

We're have a tasting session in our group at my slimming club tomorrow. This basically involves members being asked to take along something that we enjoy eating at home that fits in with the plan to inspire others.
I decided to finally brave making some low fat, no sugar cakes for the group tasting session, I've made it before but only for eating at home so it didn't matter too much what it looked like.
Anyway, seeing as the idea of a tasting session is to inspire others I thought it would be good to post the recipe on here to inspire a greater audience and prove that you really can have your cake and eat it!

I followed a really simple sponge recipe for this, substituting the butter for low fat spread and the sugar for sweetener. If you don't want to use the low fat spread or the sweetener just swap them for the full fat versions.


4 eggs
225g Self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup Sweetener
225g Low fat spread (I normally use Flora extra light)
1 tbsp Cocoa powder (optional)

For the filling:

1 tub Quark
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sweetener
3 passion fruits (optional)


Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and sieve in the flour, baking powder and if using it the cocoa powder. 
Add the sweetener and spread.
Mix until combined but don't over mix as that will stretch the gluten in the flour making the cake more dense.

For a big Victoria sponge divide the mix equally between two 8 inch sandwich tins which have been lined with grease proof paper and given a spritz with fry light (use butter to grease the tins if you prefer).
For making the small sponges I used a special 12 cup mini sandwich tin from Lakeland. Just fill each cup around 3/4 of the way up allowing for a bit of rise. 
Gently smooth the surface of the cakes and put in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes. 
The cakes are done when a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow them to cool for a few minutes in their tins before carefully removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Assembling the cakes:

To assemble the big Victoria sponge mix the quark with the 1 tbsp sweetener and 1/2 tsp vanilla. 
Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop the insides out into a bowl, discard the skin. Blitz the passion fruit seeds and flesh with either a hand blender or food processor until smooth (the seeds will still remain).
Sieve the passion fruit to take the seeds out, leaving the passion fruit purée. 
This bit with the puréeing is optional, you can use the whole passion fruit flesh, I chose not to as I don't like the seeds.
Spread a thick layer of the sweetened quark (about half of the mix) onto the bottom layer of cake and drizzle the passion fruit on top of the quark, leaving about a tablespoon to drizzle on top of the cake if you wish. Put the top layer of cake on and sprinkle with a teaspoon of icing sugar for decoration. 

You might notice in the picture that my big Victoria sponge looks a bit flat, that's nothing to do with the bake and all to do with me using the completely wrong size of cake tin! That will teach me to check these things before rushing ahead with them. 

For the mini sponges the procedure is pretty much the same. Slice the cakes in half and spread the sweetened quark onto the bottom layer. I didn't use any passion fruit on these though if I'd thought ahead I'd have used raspberries kept whole and sandwiched between the two layers with the quark. 
Then sprinkle the cakes with 1/2 tsp icing sugar.

A quick note on Quark - you may have never heard of it and therefore have no idea what it is, or you've heard of it and heard bad stuff about it. 
Quark is a virtually fat free soft cheese, used in baking and cooking. It tastes just like a mild soft cheese so it can be used in dips, cheesecakes, and in this case as a cream substitute when sweetened. Don't be put off by it's weird name or any bad press it may have had. Try it yourself before passing judgement. It's usually found in the cheese isle though can be a bit hard to spot straight away.  

Hopefully I have proved to you that healthy eating and baking do mix. Sometimes a bit of creativity with the ingredients is needed if you want to still feel saintly whilst having an indulgent moment, sometimes just go full fat and eat less! 

Do try these recipes and tell me what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Just made VANILLA Cake. Used low fat spread and sweetener, it taste's lovely I was really surprised. would love to know how many cals, well it has to be better than sugar and butter.