Monday, October 5, 2015

Sugarless Surprise!

We at A Book of Cookrye, in response to burgeoning health concerns, have decided to help people who seek to aid their health! Yes, indeed, we are going to excise sugar from our diets because sugar is the evil devil! It's worse than gluten and fat combined! And what better recipe might there be to begin such a noble undertaking than...
All Electric-Mix Recipes Prepared Specially for your Dormeyer Mixer, 1946

Apparently corn syrup doesn't count as sugar.
We should add that this is Marcus' birthday, so like all people who get sanctimonious about their health kick before the grease has dried on their most recent drive-thru wrappers, we're taking this out on other people. Besides, he got a peanut butter and jelly roll scroll last year.
Like all health recipes, this one begins with excessive and pointless work.

Now, these lovely people may think we're going to grate the rind into tiny pieces, but we at A Book of Cookrye had to use other methods.

Also, in an attempt to get more vitamin C into our sugarless cake (and not at all because we forgot to buy lemon extract), we are deploying fresh lemon juice into this delightful creation.

You know a corn-syrup-choked cake has got to be one of the most all-American recipes we at A Book of Cookrye have ever made. Bring on the high-grade vegetable shortening!

Let's get to the sugarless part of sugarless surprise! We would like to repeat that this does not count as sugar. At all.

Look at that beautiful high-grade vegetable shortening and corn syrup. The recipe writers probably meant to sound super modern, but doesn't "high grade veg. shortening" sound like something you'd use to grease factory machinery?
The orange rind means it's got vitamins.

All right, let's sic an electric mixer on this and see what happens.

Believe it or not, it at least passed for normal cake batter. But how does it taste?

I really wanted to like it, but that was not possible.

It tastes like a 50-50 mix of vegetable shortening and bland. There was, however, a fix to make what batter remained in the bowl pass for mediocre.

And what did we think of the surprisingly sugarless batter once we dumped more non-sugar into it?
It's probably not bad, we did add more Splenda to it."


"Y'know, not bad!"

insert contemplation about the massive collaborative effort of countless scientists and mathematicians that ultimately culminated in two people using a phone to take pictures of themselves eating cake batter here

Believe it or not, it visually passed for a regular cake when we got it out of the oven. You know how sometimes you go to a potluck and someone who's on a health kick has brought carb-free gluten-free non-dairy ice cream which passes for the real stuff until that awful moment you actually taste a spoonful and realize it's impossible to discreetly get to the kitchen sink and dump the rest out so now you have to choke all of it down?
It looks oddly like a big pan of the "cake" they use to make Twinkies.

 And now, we at A Book of Cookrye decided to taste this marvelous Sugarless Surprise cake! We could have changed our minds and made a real cake, but this thing was right in front of us, and it actually didn't look bad. It was also really light and fluffy, so if nothing else it looked like cake.
"See? It looks like cake!"

"All right, we have to actually taste this thing. Y'know, since we made it."

"Are you sure it's cake?"

left to right:
"This is... not good."
"What is this?"

The resignation when we realize that no matter how much we want to convince ourselves otherwise, this is pretty terrible.

This thing was so bland. You couldn't even taste the lemon and orange in it. It's a big cake of nothing. Despite containing more corn syrup than I've seen deployed in cakes outside of the Hostess factory, it was not sweet at all. Maybe that's what put the surprise in the Sugarless Surprise. Seriously, it wasn't even kinda sweet like those Hawaiian rolls would be.
We tried to convince ourselves it might be a decent bread even it fails as cake, but it's just so bland. It tastes like absolutely nothing. Unsalted saltines have more flavor than this thing did.
So if you have a bottle of corn syrup left over from the last time you did a pecan pie and really want to make a cake out of it, don't forget to put this in too.
The Sugarless Surprise will not be complete without pinching a fistful of these from a gas station.


  1. Sugar was rationed during WWII but corn syrup was not. Rationing didn't end until sometime in 1946 which may be the rationale for this recipe.

    1. Suddenly this recipe (and the name they gave it) makes a lot more sense. Also, the taste of it explains why corn syrup cakes seem to have gone the way of scrap drives once the war was over.