Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Low-fat King Cake

Each year, for the past five or so years, we've followed the tradition of eating King Cake on Mardis Gras. I have until this year, used the same recipe. However, that recipe is really loaded with fat. After doing some research on reflux, I have learned that fat can actually be worse for some people's reflux than spicy or acidic food. Fat slows the digestion down, which means that those digestive juices are flowing for a longer period of time. Since we haven't yet figured out what causes
Francis' symptoms, I'm trying to avoid all of the known triggers, or at least reduce them.

I looked around for a low-fat King Cake, but it seems that's a bit of an oxymoron. You see, King Cake is all about the fat -- you know Fat Tuesday and gorging ourselves before Lent. So, I took the recipe that I linked to in my menu and ran with it. I wouldn't exactly say it's low-fat, but it's definitely
lower fat. I substituted all the lower fat stuff for the high fat stuff, and I actually came up with a version that is better, in my opinion (and Doug's) than the original version. The kids had no opinion, but that didn't keep them from eating it. This version is very moist. The cheese oozed into the center of the cake, but that has happened before with the regular version. It doesn't change the flavor a bit. It does, however, cause me to bake it longer, which maybe dries the edges a little. But the frosting really takes care of that.

The only thing bad about King Cake is that you make it the day before Ash Wednesday, so there's really no way to eat the leftovers -- call in a crowd if you make it. You can also, of course, make this cake on any number of other "Kingly" feast days.

Low-Fat King Cake
serves 14-20

8 oz. fat-free sour cream
8 oz. low-fat vanilla yogurt
cup sugar
cup butter
teaspoon salt
(1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
cup warm water
tablespoon sugar
large eggs, lightly beaten
to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 oz. low-fat cream cheese
3/4 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
teaspoons ground cinnamon mixed with 2 T. sugar
powdered sugar glaze (see below)

Heat sour cream, yogurt, butter and 1/3 c. sugar in a medium saucepan
over low heat,
stirring often, until butter is very soft
(or heat in a microwavable bowl on medium in the microwave until
mixture is warm and butter is very soft).
Set aside, and cool mixture to lukewarm.

Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water,
and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup;
let stand 5 minutes.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed
on a stand mixer, until smooth.
Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour
(4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (or use dough hook in mixer);
knead until smooth and elastic (about 7-8 minutes).
Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover with a towel or plastic wrap.

Cover and let rise in a warm place,
for one hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough, and divide in half.
Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle.

Place cottage cheese in food processor bowl with metal blade.
Process until cottage cheese is almost smooth.
Add cream cheese and process until creamy.
Add egg, sugar and vanilla and process until smooth.

Spread cheese mixture down the center, lengthwise, of each dough strip,
leaving several inches on each side (lengthwise) and two inches on each end.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Fold top down, starting at long side, and then fold bottom up.
Pinch long seam together securely.
Place dough roll, seam side down,
on a lightly greased baking sheet or pizza pan,
bringing ends of roll together to form a ring,
moistening and pinching edges together to seal.
Repeat with second dough roll.

Heat oven to 375° and put cakes in immediately --
leaving space between racks for cakes to rise.
Bake for for 25 minutes or until golden
(switch cakes top to bottom halfway through cooking time).
Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).

Mix 2 c. powdered sugar with 2-3 T. milk
until of drizzling consistency and smooth.
Drizzle glaze evenly over warm cakes;
sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands.
Let cool completely.


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