Friday, February 19, 2010

Low-Fat Double Chocolate Cookies

I had a burnin' urge to bake this afternoon but didn't feeling like making anything too excessively fattening. My logical solution to this was to Google "low fat cookies" even though I was doubtful of their existence. But, lo and behold...
Some recipes included weird ingredients (low fat butter? Seriously?! I highly doubt it worthy of consumption), but I did manage to sort through more creepy-looking recipes and find one that looked promising. Even then, I was skeptical. Sixty-five calories per cookie, even when containing real honest-to-gosh butter? ...And then I noticed the portion sizes. One is expected to shape the dough into teaspoon-sized balls. Teaspoons, people! Shameful. There is no way I could limit myself to one cookie.

These turned out to be surprisingly awesome. Even my younger brother (and we all know siblings can be our harshest critics) had three or four before the second batch was out of the oven. He kept swearing that his current cookie would be the last-- only to show up a few minutes later to snatch another cookie and exclaim "Damn you, Katie! Why must your cookies be so GOOD?"

I acquired the recipe from

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ginger Chiffon Cake with Key Lime Curd and Lime Buttercream

For months, I was dying to get my greedy, frosting-seeking hands on Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. When at last I did, I decided that the only proper way to celebrate was by making one of the kick-ass cakes featured in the book. (Sorry, Mom! I know you don't like it when I say "kick-ass" or "bad-ass.")

The ginger chiffon cake with key lime curd and lime buttercream looked perfectly drool-worthy and intriguing, so I dove right in. Admittedly I was a little self-conscious about the construction, seeing as how many other bloggers have already recreated this particular cake with such perfection. I ran into a few speed bumps during the way, which was not altogether encouraging-- but I made a few tweaks and it all came together.

The Cake
The ginger chiffon cake was both easy to throw together and darn tasty. If I were to make it again, the only thing I'd change is perhaps either adding some powdered ginger as well or just adding more of the grated ginger. The ginger flavor was light-- which some people might like, but it wasn't spicy enough for me!

The Key Lime Curd
Before this, I hadn't ever made or tasted curd. Maybe I made it wrong, but to me the curd just tasted like the egg yolks it contained (plus a little sourness from the key lime juice). I didn't find it to be appetizing at all! My dad tried it and thought it was quite tasty though, so I ended up whipping it together with some vanilla pudding to make it more bearable for those who couldn't stand it (aka me).

The Lime Buttercream
The buttercream recipe in the book was an Italian meringue buttercream. Having had attempted this particular kind of frosting before (and failed), I was feeling pretty wary about it-- but tried it anyway. And you know what happened? I failed again. The resulting "frosting" separated and just sat there, looking soupy and inedible. Curses! Egg whites are tricky buggers to work with, folks.

My solution was to just wing it and make up a traditional buttercream recipe using butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, with the addition of lime juice and zest. Ironically enough, the frosting turned out to be my favorite part of the cake.
(I know, I know. Egotistical much?)

Overall, I'd make this cake again-- but with a few changes.