Food & Drink

Stir Crazy: Readers ask for flourless cake and pan bars

With space being at a premium this week, I’m heading straight into two reader requests.

Mary from Glen Carbon called to ask for help finding a flourless-cake recipe she thought she saw in a paper while vacationing in Florida. I’m pretty sure this is the one. It’s from Linda Cicero at the Miami Herald, who got it from “Food, Family and Tradition” by Lynne Kirsche Shapiro.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE NUT CAKE

10 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

6 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled

2 cups walnuts, finely ground

Pinch of salt

Optional raspberry sauce (see note)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment paper cut to fit. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and light yellow. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate. Then fold in the nuts.

In a separate large bowl beat egg whites until stiff, adding a pinch of salt when almost done. Carefully fold the whites into the cake mixture. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake cake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove pan to a rack to cool. Using a thin spatula loosen sides and remove from pan. Transfer to a serving platter. Slice and serve with fresh fruit, a dap of whipped cream and fruit sauce on the side, if desired.

Note: To make a fresh raspberry sauce, place 1 pint raspberries in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. Add sugar and continue to puree until almost liquid. If desired, strain sauce to remove the seeds. Refrigerate and cover until needed. Makes about 1 cup.

Makes 12 servings (minus sauce), each with 330 calories, 21 grams fat, 156 mg cholesterol, 9 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 95 mg sodium.

I saw this recipe while going through my email and thought of a reader who emailed recently looking for a dessert to serve at a bridal shower. I thought this pan bar might fit the bill. The recipe is from Betty Crocker.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars

1 pouch (1 pound, 1.5 ounces) sugar cookie mix

1 box (4-serving size) French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup toffee bits, finely crushed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray bottom and sides of 13-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, pudding mix and brown sugar.

Combine melted butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and 1 whole egg, then add to dry mixture until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining whole egg, 3 egg yolks and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over crust in pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set in center. Immediately sprinkle top with crushed toffee bits. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes 36 servings, each with 200 calories, 11 grams fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 22 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams sugar, 2 grams protein. Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 2 fat. Carbohydrate choices: 1 1/2 .

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