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Non-calorie sweetner makes for a tasty dessert

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What’s for dessert? This is the question I always get whenever I cook a meal. 

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I must admit I like dessert too — maybe too much — after all, that’s one of the very first things I ever learned to cook at age nine. So, it just might be inevitable that people will ask me that very important question.

It’s kind of funny though, because my grandfather always loved his dessert, but immediately after eating it he would take a bite of meat, he said “to cut the sweet taste in my mouth.” When you have a sweet tooth, that’s exactly the taste you want left in your mouth and I want to savor it.

I recently made an angel food cake for a friend, but while making it I thought a lot about making it sugar-free. Could I possibly make it with Splenda?  Believe me, when I say that I thought about it. It almost consumed me until I just bit the bullet and did it. Since my son-in-law is diabetic and I knew he would be coming for dinner soon, I decided that now was the time to test my cooking skills.  All I did was substitute Splenda (not the Splenda/sugar blend) for the sugar.

What I found was that it did not bake as high, but it tasted good. Really good. A few days later I checked out the Splenda website and it did state that recipes you substitute Splenda for sugar, may not rise at the same volume as the recipe with sugar. Also, you may not have to bake it as long, which was the issue with my cake. I turned my oven light on and watched it periodically. When it got to a light tan color, I checked it for doneness. It only took about 25 minutes when using the Splenda. Otherwise, the cake did well and my family loved the dessert, especially my grandson.

Angel Food Cake

12 egg whites

1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups sugar /Splenda

1 cup sifted cake flour

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar/Splenda, 2 tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle sifted cake flour over egg white mixture, one-quarter cup at a time; fold in carefully.  Fold in vanilla and almond extracts.

Pour batter into ungreased10-inch tube pan (use a pan specifically for angel food cakes where the bottom comes out), spreading evenly.  Run knife through batter to help remove air bubbles.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert cake over a bottle. Let cool for 40 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula (I use a butter knife). Remove from pan. Place cake on a serving plate and top with fresh berry sauce and Cool Whip, if you like.

For my topping, I mixed two pounds of sliced strawberries and one pint of fresh (locally grown) blueberries together.  Next,  I  took about 1/3 of the berries, placed them in a medium sauce pan and added two tbsp. of sugar-free  strawberry jam, plus about 1/4 cup Splenda and 1/4 cup water. Cook them on medium heat to the boiling point (it’s at this point the blueberries will pop and that’s what you want); cool and mix with remaining berries. Refrigerate until ready to use on cake.

This will make a beautiful display for July 4 too.

Enjoy!

Lonnie Sundermeyer is a retired professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.