Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

In the US, the first Sunday in May is designated as a celebration of one of the most important persons in our lives, i.e., our moms! When I was growing up, I might make and bring breakfast to my mom, or clean the house, or just try to not fight with my brothers. As I grew up and started taking more responsibility in my life, I began to realize how...inadequate...those gestures were. Moms are truly super heroes made flesh! At times, my mom worked close to 20 hours a day for months on end in order to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs. And she did this with very little support from anyone. She was and is pretty darn remarkable for everything she went through and that she did it with as much grace as she did. So, on this day, I say Thank You, MOM!!

I also decided to make a cake for her. Not just any cake, though, but a cake based on her mother's recipe from the Depression Era called Poverty Cake. From what I've read, there were many different recipes for poverty cake out there, but from what I've seen, I think this may be one of the simplest recipes out there. That makes this poverty cake recipe really great for the 21st century cook who doesn't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen but still wants something sweet. I was also able to adapt the recipe to lessen the fat and sugars, making it decent treat for those of us with diabetes. So, without any further ado, here's Grandma Jean's Poverty Cake Recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Splenda Blend for Baking (or another sugar/sweetener blend)
1 teaspoon vanilla (pure real vanilla is best, but imitation will work as well)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350F (176.67C). Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and Splenda Blend to an 8-9" cake pan. Mix to distribute dry ingredients evenly. Create three depressions in the flour. Fill one depression with vanilla, one with the oil, and one with the white vinegar. Pour the water over top. 

Stir the batter to mix completely. All the flour should be wet! Bake for 30 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness (toothpick should be clean after inserting into the center). 
Allow to cool in pan. You can sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar if you like. 

While I have frosted this cake, it's really much better when you eat it with powdered sugar or a fruit topping (I like berries!). There's just something about it that begs for something lighter than icing. Cut this into 12 servings, and each serving has:

140 calories
5 grams fat
20 grams carbohydrates
2 grams protein

Not bad and the taste is "bolus-worthy"!

So, to all those fabulous mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!!