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A lean chocolate sigh cake: is it possible?

UNSWEETENED COCOA is the star of this lightened-up version of a Sunset favorite, Chocolate Sigh. The original cake was a calorie-laden chocolate inside and out.

Cocoa, lighter and leaner than chocolate, lends intense flavor to this cake and pudding-like frosting. Switching from butter and whole eggs to nonfat milk and egg whites also reduces calories. A garnish of candied violets (available in fancy food stores) and green leaves replaces the original garnish of chocolate leaves.

The 1991 variation looks as luscious as the full-fat counterpart. Its texture is slightly denser and the flavor has bittersweet overtones.

The cake, as its name implies, puffs up when baking then sinks on cooling.

Cocoa Sigh

1 cup sifted cake flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons each baking powder and baking soda

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 cup nonfat milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 large egg whites

Cocoa frosting (recipe follows)

Candied violets (optional)

2 or 3 nontoxic leaves (such as citrus or camellia), rinsed and dried, optional

In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat 3/4 cup sugar, milk, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour mixture and beat until evenly moistened.

In another large bowl and using clean, dry beaters, whip egg whites on high speed until frothy; gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) until stiff, moist peaks form. Immediately add to cocoa mixture, gently folding in with a wire whisk until evenly blended.

Pour batter into a lightly oiled and floured 9-inch cheesecake pan (at least 3 in. deep) with removable rim. Gently zigzag a spatula through batter; smooth top.

Bake in a 350[degrees] oven until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack (as cake cools, it settles and sinks slightly in center).

Remove pan sides. Spread cake top and sides evenly with cocoa frosting. If made ahead, cover with a large bowl and chill up until next day. If desired, garnish just before serving with candied violets and leaves. Cut into wedges. Serves 12 to 16.

Per revised serving: 155 cal.; 4.2 g protein; 1.5 g fat (0.8 g sat.); 35 g carbo.; 154 mg sodium; 0.6 mg chol.

Per original serving (first appeared February 1982, page 152 North edition, page 154 South and Desert editions): 370 cal.; 5.5 g protein; 16 g fat (9.1 g sat.); 56 g carbo.; 141 mg sodium; 89 mg chol.

Cocoa frosting. In a 1- to 2-quart pan, stir together 2/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa and 1/2 cup sugar. In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1 cup nonfat milk until well blended and no lumps remain. Whisk cornstarch mixture into cocoa mixture until well blended.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping pan bottom and sides with a whisk, until glossy and thick, about 7 minutes.

Remove pan from heat; add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla; beat to remove lumps. Cool completely; stir occasionally. If made ahead, cover and chill up until next day. Just before using, bring to room temperature (if cold) and beat until smooth. If desired, use a whisk to push frosting through a fine wire strainer to remove any lumps.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 1, 1991
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