Hazelnut Vanilla Cake

Meredith McCarty has done it again with her recently released third cookbook. Her current book, "Sweet and Natural," is devoted to healthy desserts. You won't find milk, butter, cream, or refined sugar in any of these recipes. Only the finest natural ingredients are combined for some of the most delicious natural foods desserts that you will find anywhere. Gone are the days when a healthy cake tasted like compacted sawdust.

Makes 12 to 16 servings or 1 Bundt cake



1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned, nuts chopped Rose geranium or mint leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brush Bundt pan with oil.

2. To prepare cake, in a large bowl mix the dry ingredients well. In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk gently until batter is smooth with no lumps remaining. Pour into pan.

3. Bake until cake tests done in the middle; looks golden on top; springs back when touched; and pulls away from the sides of the pan, 45 minutes.

4. Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool completely.


Season's Fruit Sauce

Makes about 4 cups

This sauce is very popular because of its generous presentation and the dazzling colors of the luscious fresh fruit. Any of the liquid sweeteners work well here.

1. To prepare sauce, place all ingredients except fruit in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to boil, whisking occasionally. When mixture thickens and clears, in a minute or so, turn heat off.

2. Add fruit. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes before serving. Or remove sauce from refrigerator an hour before serving and whisk again or gently heat (do not boil) if sauce has thickened too much. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup sauce over each portion of cake.

Meredith McCarty has been a natural foods chef and instructor for more than twenty years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her previous books are American Macrobiotic Cuisine and Fresh from a Vegetarian Kitchen.

How to Get Meredith's New Book

Sweet and Natural ~ Over 120 Naturally Sweet and Dairy-Free Desserts

You don't need to desert dessert just because you want to eat healthy. Here are low-fat, no-cholesterol desserts that contain no sugar, milk, butter, eggs, gelatin, or cornstarch, but deliver all the delicious, satisfying flavors we expect at dessert. Using fruit, whole grain flours (some free of wheat and gluten), natural sweeteners, vegetable oils, soymilk, tofu, agar flakes, and arrowroot powder, and spanning cakes, pies, crisps, cookies, fresh fruit desserts, and sorbets, these cutting-edge dessert recipes come with complete nutritional analyses. So, welcome the opportunity to trade in a plain apple for some guilt-free Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Bundt Cake. 272 pages, St. Martin's Press.

Signed copies of hardcover edition $35, includes sales tax, shipping and handling. Paperback edition to follow. Contact Meredith at www.healingcuisine.com


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