Happy Endings

One thing people seem to dread when the Easter season approaches is the over abundance of chocolate and other high fat sweets that inevitably find their way into our homes. This month, I am making an effort to keep spirits high by offering a dessert that is both delightful and fat free. Yup, that's right -- no fat in this treat!

By replacing the water called for in the angel food recipe with orange juice, a slightly tangy flavor is imparted to the spongy cake. Add a little orange peel and a drizzle tangy citrus dessert sauce when serving and you'll find yourself in heaven ... or at least well on your way there!

Orange Angel Cake

  • 1 (6.2 oz.) pkg. Angel Food cake mix
  • 1 c. orange juice, divided
  • 2 T. grated orange peel
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 (11 oz.) can mandarin orange segments in light syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium glass or metal bowl, combine cake mix and 1/2 cup orange juice. Beat on medium speed of a mixer until well mixed -- about 1 minute. Carefully fold in the grated orange peel. Pour mixture into an ungreased loaf pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown -- do not under bake.

Cool the loaf pan on its side to insure a high cake for at least 1 hour or until cooled.

For the orange sauce, combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the orange juice. Mix until well blended. In a small saucepan, combine the juice from the mandarin orange segments and the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice. Heat until boiling and add cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the mandarin orange segments. Chill until ready to serve.

To serve, top thin slices of orange angel cake with the orange sauce.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time

For those of you who are trying to cut down on the overly sugar and fat-laden treats normally associated with the Easter season, here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Sneak some healthy treats into those Easter baskets -- unusual fruits make a great addition to a lovely basket. Try keeping the recipient in mind when you make your choices. For instance, if your basket owner is an avid hiker, try including a special tin of trail mix!
  • Who said that candy has to be the focus of an Easter basket? Try including small gifts of toys, trinkets, books or even picture frames with special photos in your baskets this year. Memories can be made with such simple, thoughtful gifts.
  • Avoid those huge Easter baskets. It's hard not to overdo it when you have to fill a basket the size of Rhode Island! Try using smaller baskets and spend some extra time decorating them with lovely ribbons and beads. You won't miss the extra space -- and neither will your waistline!
  • Make everyone go on a hunt for their baskets. Place plastic eggs all over the house, yard, and neighborhood with clues to the location of the baskets. Make everyone get a little exercise and don't make the clues too easy!
  • Plan to eat any major meal early so you have time to take an evening stroll or go fly kites as a family. You'll help avoid an upset stomach and enjoy your loved ones that much more!

Whatever you plan to do to celebrate this Easter season, I wish you all a Happy Easter and a Happy Spring!