A Trusted Friend – Make Desserts Healthy!

Today, I want to bring you a trusted friend, a book that I have used numerous times to bake cakes that are healthy and delicious at the same time. I am not sure why I never heard anyone talking about this one, but for me this is really one of the most useful baking books. You see – cooking is easy, whether you put a bit more or less of one thing or the other, you can always play it by your personal taste.

In baking, however, measurements matter. You really don’t want to throw out a cake if you put too much or too little of something. I do manage to experiment a bit anyway, but usually with something that I’ve made a few times before.

Before talking about the recipes though, I have to go back to the history of this book in my life.

In Russia I didn’t have many cookbooks, although it seems that whatever money we had, we used it to buy books. Most of them, though, we had to leave behind as we were only allowed two measly bags per person to be taken with us. Besides, cookbooks were hard to find. The only one I remember in my house growing up was, of course, “книга о вкусной и здоровой пище” (the book about tasty and healthy food) – a staple in every household published in Stalin’s times. I think my mom had a couple more tiny ones, but that’s all.

When I came to New York, I started working in a big corporate travel agency (thanks to my IATA diploma, which I got after graduating a rigorous course – one of the few good moves I made in my life). After a little while I started to work on what was called “publishing desk”. This meant that we were booking author tours all over the country and sometimes even the world. Working with the publishes and authors was really hard, too many demands changing too often, so after a successful tour we sometimes got little gifts – books! The authors happened to be cookbook authors, so the books – cookbooks! Since I was the only kosher observant person on the desk, the kosher ones went to me. I cherish them a lot!

This amazing book was, I think, the first one I got, and most likely the most used until today. It brings lots of parve recipes that can be baked a day or sometimes two before, which is really what you need if you are observant and are hosting guests for Shabbat or holiday.

One of my favorite, really foolproof recipes is the orange-cranberry cake.

The author, Penny Wantuck Eisenberg, recommend it to be made for Sukkot, which is great, but I found that you can really bake it any time from cranberries that have been sitting in your freezer forever. It’s that good! And – that easy!

Another of mine and the whole family favorites is the date and apple cake. While the batter seems threateningly think, not to worry. It will bake nicely into a moist and not too sweet delight (I do actually use even less sugar than she recommends). I will be happy to post a recipe should you guys want one. Just comment below.

All of the recipes are very doable, and much healthier that you would expect the dessert recipe to be.

The pages of my book are all stained from all kinds of ingredient drops on the them, but that’s what shows that the book is always used, no?

Wishing you happy baking!

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