LOW FAT BAKING : Lo-Cots

TIMES FOOD STYLISTS

The surprise in this moist cake is that the frosting is inside.

The ginger-scented cake is filled with apricot halves. And the apricots halves are filled with a mixture of low-fat cream cheese and candied ginger. As it bakes, some of the cream cheese flows into the batter, so when you bite into the cake, it seems as if you're getting a bit of cream cheese frosting with every forkful.

Although you'd never know by the taste, this cake is extremely low in fat. The cream cheese is the new low-fat alternative cheese. And all the fat in the batter has been replaced by an equivalent amount of fruit puree. (For this we used apricot puree; you may use baby food if you like, but why not take advantage of the season and use fresh fruit? Select ripe, bruise-free apricots, and your cake will be sweeter.)

There is one place where we haven't eliminated the fat: We've used a small dab of butter to brush the bottom of the baking dish. Those who want to eliminate even that amount of fat can use a non-stick spray.

GOLDEN APRICOT GINGER CAKE

3/4 teaspoon butter

8 whole apricots, split, pits removed

1/2 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese

2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger

1/2 teaspoon plus 1 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

2/3 cup nonfat milk

1/2 cup apricot puree (from 4 to 5 medium apricots)

1/4 cup thawed frozen egg substitute

1 tablespoon ginger juice

1 1/3 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons finely crushed gingersnaps

Butter 10-inch round glass tart or flan baking dish. Set aside.

Blend together cream cheese, crystallized ginger, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Spoon cream cheese mixture into centers of apricot halves. Set aside.

Whisk together nonfat milk, apricot puree, egg substitute and ginger juice until blended. Stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add apricot mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour into prepared baking dish. Push filled apricots at random onto cake batter. Sprinkle with gingersnap crumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees about 20 minutes or until center of cake tests done. Serve warm with additional apricot puree if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Note: To make ginger juice, place 1 (2- or 3-inch) piece ginger root in food processor. Puree, then wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze out juice.

Each serving contains about:

179 calories; 103 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 36 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.27 gram fiber.

For the Record Los Angeles Times Thursday June 4, 1992 Home Edition Food Part H Page 28 Column 1 Food Desk 7 inches; 239 words Type of Material: Correction; Recipe In last week's apricot cake recipe in this column, parts of the sugar and the vanilla were inadvertently left out from the method. Here's the corrected recipe: GOLDEN APRICOT GINGER CAKE 3/4 teaspoon butter 8 whole apricots, split, pits removed 1/2 of (8-ounce) package light cream cheese 2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 cup sugar 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla 2/3 cup nonfat milk 1/2 cup apricot puree (from 4 to 5 medium apricots) 1/4 cup thawed frozen egg substitute 1 tablespoon ginger juice 1 1/3 cups cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons finely crushed gingersnaps Butter 10-inch round glass tart or flan baking dish. Set aside. Blend together cream cheese, crystallized ginger, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Spoon cream cheese mixture into centers of apricot halves. Set aside. In small bowl, whisk together nonfat milk, apricot puree, egg substitute, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and ginger juice until blended. In separate bowl, stir together flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Add apricot mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour into prepared baking dish. Push filled apricots at random onto cake batter. Sprinkle with gingersnap crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees about 20 minutes or until center of cake tests done. Serve warm with additional apricot puree, if desired. Makes 12 servings. Note: To make ginger juice, place 1 (2- or 3-inch) piece ginger root in food processor. Puree, then wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze out juice. Each serving contains about: 179 calories; 103 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 36 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.27 gram fiber.
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