I’m seem to always be talking lately of cutting calories, trying to eat healthier, and high protein diets. Yet I can’t help but try to satiate my sweet tooth, which isn’t nearly as demanding as my wife’s. We gotta do something about this.
I had stumbled upon (not using stumbleupon) a recipe for creme fraiche. I’ve seen it made in the earlier years of my kitchen career, as it seemed every menu had creme fraiche on it at the time, though I had never made it myself. I could buy it, after all, or just use sour cream.
But I was inspired, so I whipped up a small batch. It’s surprisingly easy to do. I also decided to make my own ricotta, but there will be more on that later.
So, as I was testing the creme fraiche near its completion, I pondered on some uses for it. My sweet tooth started singing to me, with delicate whispers of fresh fruit or berries with a tender, not too sweet pastry. Thinking of a fairly light, summery dessert (I know it’s winter for most of you, but it’s 80 degrees here) that isn’t too heavy on the calories, the lemon short bread idea came to mind. Granted, it’s not health food, but some fresh berries, a dollop of creme fraiche, and a little lemon short bread can’t be that high in calories, right?
I’ll find out before the end of this entry. At least there will be antioxidants 😉
Start the creme fraiche before bedtime, as it will take 8-24 hours to finish, depending on your preference. The longer it sits, the more tart and sour cream like it gets.
I can’t find buttermilk in a store that’s less than a quart
save the egg wash for up to a week if you like
huh huh rack
\(o.o\) |(o.o)| (/o.o)/
I bought the buttermilk just so I could make the creme fraiche. But you can’t just buy two tablespoons, so I’ll be finding uses for it in the future. In fact, the shortbread recipe originally used just heavy cream, but I substituted half, as I thought it would go nicely with the lemon zest.
So why use cake flour and all purpose flour together? Cake flour adds a tenderness to the short bread. However, as cake flour is highly processed and stripped of the proteins that form gluten, it doesn’t hold its shape very well when being baked. The short breads would flatten out and be like weird and fluffy cookies. All purpose flour has the two proteins (glutenin and gliadin) that form together into gluten. Gluten is what provides structure to bread before it is baked. The same is true for the short bread, despite the fact that it isn’t mixed very much.
In case you’re wondering what provides structure to bread after it bakes, that would be gelatinized starch. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Oh, and that calorie count? Assuming you get ten short breads out of the batch, each is 168 calories. Two tablespoons of creme fraiche is 100 calories. A tablespoon of sugar, for the berries, is 48 calories. But I know you shared those berries with at least one person, right? So we’ll say 24. Grand total, 316 calories. Not bad, if you compare it to Olive Garden’s Lemon Cream Cake, rolling it at 610 calories. Much tastier, too 😉
Wait, you’re not eating at Olive Garden, are you? For shame.