If you look back through the Ask Dana archives, you’ll see I have written, in the past, about pork rinds, the fact that they are not, as some assume, egregious junk food, but actually the most nutritious thing in the snack aisle. In that article, I mentioned that once, years ago, an outraged online detractor of low carb diets threw in my cyberface the accusation that I ate pork rind cake. That accusation is now true.
Wednesday, I finally got around to making pork rind cake. Only took me, what, 7-8 years? Hey, you get busy, you know?
Anyway, here’s the recipe I started with, as found in many places online:
CINNAMON SPICE PORK RIND CAKE
- 7 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 cups of pork rind flour (One 80 gram bag of pork rinds yields exactly one cup of pork rind flour)
- 2 1/4 cups Splenda or 6 tablespoons Sweetbalance (use more or less to adjust to personal tastes)
- 1/2 cup cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup soured, scalded, heavy whipping cream (33-35% milk fat)
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 4 egg yolks
Using a blender or food processor, grind pork rinds into a fine flour or brown sugar-like substance by placing one pork rind at a time in blender or food processor and grinding it.
To sour the cream, add 2 tablespoons vinegar to the heavy whipping cream. To scald cream, bring to a slow boil and remove from heat immediately.
Direction: Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Farenheit. Lightly grease one 16X16 rectangular cake pan, or two round 8 inch cake pans, or two 8X8 square cake pans. Set aside. In a large bowl, add pork rind flour, sweetener, cinammon, nutmeg cinammon extract, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until thouroughly blended. Add scaled, soured cream and boiling water. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer, or with a hand whisk, until well blended.
Add egg yolks and beat until smooth.
Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed, or with a hand whisk, until egg whites are thick and frothy. Increase electric mixer to high speed and continue beating egg whites until stiff, white peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites, as they will lose begin to lose their volume. Gently fold in 1/4 of the egg whites into the cinammon batter.
Fold in the remaining egg whites, working quickly yet gently to preserve the volume of the egg whites…. Bake for 30-36 min.
I just tried my first piece of this cake and can tell you guys it tastes like carrot cake. I used the cream cheese frosting 8oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1 tbsp vanilla, and splenda, I probably used 1/2 cup of splenda or so… don’t really know for sure… I can’t believe this cake is made from pork rinds, you have got to try this.
And then: the carb count for the recipe itself is 111.671 carbs with 30.003 grams of fiber, for a net carb count of 81.668.
And then: Around 4.5 grams per serving, supposing 9 squares each from two 8×8 pans.
So I made the pork rind cake. I started with the canonical recipe, making these changes:
- I used sour cream instead of heavy whipping cream I soured with vinegar or lemon juice.
- I cut back on the cinnamon. The original recipe called for a half a cup, which is a heckuva lot of cinnamon. It’s also 43 grams of carb, although 30 grams of that is fiber. I used 6 tablespoons, or 25% less.
- I left out the cinnamon extract, simply because I didn’t have any. Indeed, I’m not even sure where I’d buy it.
- Instead of Splenda I used a stevia/erythritol blend that measures roughly 1/2 cup = 1 cup Splenda (or sugar.) I also used it to equal 2 cups, rather than 2 1/4 cups, sugar.
The recipe specified either 2 8×8 square pans, or two 8″ round pans. I only have one 8×8, and one round cake pan, and that one is 9″ across. (I used to have two cake pans; I have no idea what happened to the other one. It’s not like I bake a lot of layer cakes, you know? If I’m going to do the grain free, sugar free baking book I’ll need to get another, though.) It also said you could use one 8×16, but I don’t have one. Closest was about 8 1/2″ by 14 1/2″, so that’s what I used.
So how’d it come out? Not bad, actually. Didn’t rise tremendously, despite baking soda, baking powder, and 7 egg whites beaten stiff and folded into the batter. Still, the texture is perfectly acceptable; it’s reasonably moist, too. Might be that it would rise higher if I used the heavy cream instead, since the batter would be more liquid. Might be that the erythritol/stevia blend affected rise, as well.
Too, rise might be a function of the pan size, but that can’t be critical, since the pan sizes specified are somewhat different – an 8″ round pan has 50.24 square inches, while an 8×8″ square has 64 square inches. Accordingly, I figure it would rise higher in the 8″ round pans. (By the way, I have since done the math, and a 9″ round cake pan is very nearly the same size as an 8×8, so feel free to use two 9 inchers. I knew that sixth grade arithmetic would come in handy some day.)
I was glad I cut back on the sweetener a little; it was plenty sweet this way.
Despite leaving out a quarter of the cinnamon, and all the cinnamon extract, it’s very cinnamon-y – really a little too cinnamon-y for my tastes. Clearly whoever devised the original recipe is a big cinnamon fan. It’s nice to note that cinnamon is a pretty powerful blood-sugar-lowering herbal medicine. Since the cake is very low carb, you might even call it therapeutic. Since pork rinds are a great source of gelatin, this should be good for your joints, too. Whoopy! Medicinal cake.
While the cake is okay, all by itself it’s not super-scrumptious. However, the recipe specified a cream cheese frosting. I didn’t feel like hauling out the mixer this morning, so I took some whipped cream cheese I had in the fridge, and stirred in some vanilla and a couple of drops liquid Splenda, and spread it on a square of cake. This improved the cake quite a lot; with this simple frosting it became quite delicious. That’s how we’ll be eating the rest of the cake.
Unlike cake made from flour and sugar, pork rind cake is seriously filling. I had a square about 5×5, with cream cheese frosting, for breakfast first thing this morning – was around 9 – and I wasn’t hungry again until 3. That’s 6 hours of appetite satisfaction. Try that with a doughnut.
All told, this cake was enough of a success to peak my interest. I’m thinking it would make a good gingerbread, and I’m very fond of gingerbread. I’ll try that next, and if it’s good, I’ll let you know.
© 2011 by Dana Carpender. Used by permission of the author. What do you think? Please send Dana your comments to Dana Carpender.