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LOW-FAT COOKING

Little Angel Surprises

May 07, 1997|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

Surprise Mom on her day with angel cakes. They are small, light, low-fat angel food-type cakes baked in muffin cups and flavored with lime oil and strawberries.

I tried flavoring the cakes with grated lime peel but the flavor did not come through, so I turned to lime oil, a natural product pressed from fresh limes that retains its full flavor even after baking. The oil is available in cookware shops and gourmet food shops; it also comes in lemon and orange flavors.

After baking, the whole muffin pan, cakes included, needs to be turned upside-down to cool or the cakes will fall. To do this, spread a small dollop of the raw angel cake batter into the bottom of each cup before pressing a paper muffin liner into the cup. When the cakes are baking, this dough will bake onto the muffin cups and liners so the cakes won't fall out of the pans when inverted. Leave empty two muffin cups in the center of each pan so you can invert the pan onto two glasses or anything that fits into the muffin cups to keep the muffin pan elevated while the cakes cool.

ANGEL CAKES

1 cup flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups (14) egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon lime oil

1 cup diced strawberries, about 1/2 pint

Sift together flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating only until soft, smooth peaks form. Beat in vanilla and lime oil. Fold in dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, then fold in strawberries.

Spread small dollop cake batter into bottom of each muffin cup. Put cupcake liner into each muffin cup, pressing bottom. Leave 2 muffin cups in middle of pan empty.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees until tops are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Invert muffin pan on two empty glasses until cakes cool. Remove cakes from pan and serve.

24 cupcakes. Each cupcake:

86 calories; 91 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 19 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.05 gram fiber.

* Shutter window from Biaggi Flower Shop, Wall Street, Los Angeles.

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