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Lighter, Naturally Red Velvet Cake

Just the name "red velvet cake" suggests something elegant and rich—dramatic, supermoist layers of tinted chocolate cake.



By Sidney Fry, Cooking Light

Just the name "red velvet cake" suggests something elegant and rich—dramatic, supermoist layers of tinted chocolate cake coated in a dense, creamy white frosting. 'Tis the season for such decadent pleasures, right? Although it may be the time of year to splurge, it's hard to justify an 880-calorie, 57g-of-fat piece of cake. Ho-ho-holy cow! We had to find a better way to bake this favorite holiday cake and feel better about eating it, too.

Our secret weapon: red beets. Cooking the vibrant-red, naturally sweet vegetables with nonfat buttermilk and vanilla, and then pureeing them into a luscious cream adds an ultramoist, velvety texture to the cake that also allows us to use less oil and butter—a savings of 255 calories and 22g fat. Double bonus: The red beet color eliminates any need for artificial dye. And rather than weigh down the entire cake with a cream cheese and butter icing, we create two frosting elements: Between the layers, we spread a light cream cheese and Greek yogurt filling, sweetened with a touch of sugar and whipped until fluffy with a splash of cream. Then we cover the entire cake with a fluffy, cloudlike meringue—a decadent white icing combo that saves 344 calories and 16g sat fat over cream cheese buttercream. It's the dramatic splurge you'd expect: tender, moist cake with rich, creamy frosting—for only 284 calories per slice. You simply can't "beet" it.


Hands-on: 48 min. Total: 2 hr. 7 min.


Ingredient

Cake

  • 1 (10-ounce) beet, peeled and cut into 
  • 8 wedges3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cake flour (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • Baking spray with flour

Filling:

  • 4 ounces 
  • 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Meringue frosting:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash of salt

Preparation 

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • To prepare cake, place beet in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly.
  • Place beet in a food processor; process until very finely chopped. Remove 1 cup beet from processor; reserve remaining beet for another use. Combine 1 cup beet, buttermilk, and 1½ teaspoons vanilla in food processor. Process until very smooth.
  • Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  • Place 1½ cups granulated sugar, butter, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and 1 egg white, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add flour mixture and beet mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among 3 (8-inch) round metal cake pans coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pans on a wire rack. Remove cake from pans; cool completely on wire rack.
  • To prepare filling, place cream cheese, cream, yogurt, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and dash of salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed 1 minute or until well combined (do not overbeat).
  • To prepare meringue, combine 2/3 cup granulated sugar and remaining ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water 2 to 3 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 160°, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat. Beat egg mixture with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form; beat at high speed until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat).
  • Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spread half of filling over top; top with another cake layer. Spread remaining filling over top; top with remaining cake layer. Spread meringue frosting over top and sides of cake.

CALORIES 

  • 284; FAT 9.6g (sat 3.7g, mono 3.9g, poly 1.4g); 
  • PROTEIN 5g; 
  • CARB 46g; 
  • FIBER 1g; 
  • CHOL 39mg; 
  • IRON 1mg; 
  • SODIUM 199mg; CALC 55mg

See more at: Cooking Light

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Cake Magazine: Lighter, Naturally Red Velvet Cake
Lighter, Naturally Red Velvet Cake
Just the name "red velvet cake" suggests something elegant and rich—dramatic, supermoist layers of tinted chocolate cake.
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