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First published 6/9/14
I like creating new recipes, but I love repurposing old ones. It’s easier. And it’s more likely to turn out edible. Unlike the cake I made the other day.
Random side-trip: I’ve been working on a strawberry layer cake recipe in my head for a good while. I finally put actions to my dreams a week or so ago since we had fresh strawberries in the house. The cake was a total flop (my sister said it looked like someone had vomited and I baked it; kind of tasted like it too). It was a really muddy color: not pink at all. It was also a very interesting consistency, and ended up crumbling to mush when I tried to get it out of the pans. Hating to waste things, I decided to bake the cake in the oven (in pieces)…you know, toast it and use it for cereal. Long story short, I ate the toasted-but-still-slightly-soggy cake for breakfast for about two mornings and then ended up throwing the whole mess in the trash because it was starting to smell fermented. Not everything in my kitchen turns out, lest you think that I’m some sort of super-chef.
Back to topic. I still wanted a strawberry layer cake. Not wanting to waste any more strawberries, I decided to go with a twist on a tried and true recipe: the “Secret Agent Brownie Cake” from the book Trim Healthy Mama. Add a pudding recipe that I’ve been wanting to try and you have a layered pudding cake with strawberry chunks that is very reminiscent of one of my favorite desserts: Jello cake. Bon appetit!
This makes a two-layer cake (with fairly skinny layers). I would’ve liked a four-layer cake, but since the recipe used here includes beans, a serving is 1/9 of the batch. If I were to make a double batch and have four layers, the serving size would be 1/18th of the cake, which is a very skinny sliver. So I have a fairly short cake, but that’s OK, because you get a nice-sized piece and aren’t as likely to over-do the carbs. However, I do see a four-layer cake in my blogging future…someday…
- use Great Northern Beans instead of black beans
- use only ½ cup of egg whites (this is a personal preference as I find it gives the cake a less eggy consistency)
- replace the 4 T cocoa with oat fiber
- I prefer to use 2.5 oz. cream cheese instead of ricotta cheese.
- 2½ tsp. Knox gelatin (if using beef gelatin such as Great Lakes brand or THM Just Gelatin, add an extra ½ + ⅛ tsp.)
- 2½ oz. unsweetened almond milk
- Sweetener to taste (I prefer THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder)
- Scant ½ tsp. salt
- 12 oz. unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened (to be added the next day)
- The day before you want to eat your cake, make the Secret Agent Brownie Cake with the above tweaks. Spray two round 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the paper with more cooking spray. Divide the batter into the two pans, then top with ½ cup of chopped strawberries each. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes (I baked mine for 22) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before lifting them out of the pans using the parchment paper and transferring them to a cooling rack. I suggest keeping them on the parchment paper as they are fragile. Cover and refrigerate overnight after cooling as this really helps the texture and flavor (less beany).
- The same day, make the pudding. Bloom the gelatin in 2½ oz. of almond milk, stirring with a fork or whisk to remove lumps (let this mixture set for several minutes before adding anything). In the microwave, heat 12 oz. of almond milk for 2½ minutes. Meanwhile, to the bloomed gelatin mixture, add the sweetener, salt, vanilla, and egg yolks. Beat with an electric hand mixer. When the almond milk is heated, start mixing with the hand mixer and gradually pour in the gelatin mixture while still beating. Beat until well-combined. Let cool on the counter and then cover with saran wrap and chill in the fridge overnight with the cake layers. The pudding will take several hours to gel.
- When you're ready to assemble your cake, beat the firm pudding on high with an electric hand mixer until it is pudding consistency (it may still be slightly lumpy), then add the softened cream cheese and beat some more. The cream cheese helps the gelatin pudding to achieve a smoother consistency.
- Carefully transfer one cake layer to a serving plate/stand. Top with a good layer of the pudding frosting. Add the next cake layer and top it with pudding frosting as well. You'll probably have some pudding left over, so just eat it.
- You can serve right away, but it's a good idea to let the cake chill for several hours to firm up. Also, when the cake chills in the refrigerator, the pudding soaks down into the cake somewhat and the flavors meld together and you have a nice, moist, pudding-y, Jello-cake-y dessert. It's good the next day, too. In my opinion, this cake tastes the best when it is given a night in the fridge before it is assembled and then another half-day before it is eaten. Do what you have to do though. It's yummy. Do not exceed 1/9 of the cake as that will take you close to your carb limit for an S meal. And, like seriously...1/9th of a cake? Don't be a pig. And don't ask me how much of the cake I myself ate...
- Oat Fiber
- THM Oat Fiber (gluten-free)
- Unflavored gelatin
- THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder can be purchased from the Trim Healthy Mama online store.