Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte, Proteined Up

Pittsburgh, you have so much good, weird food. Burgers? Check. Pizza? Hell yes. Dessert? For the love of god, are you Alanis Morrisette? Because I am aware of the irony of going on a 3mi hike through town and then sniffing around Prantl’s. Not okay, Steel City, not okay. In any case, snarfing a single-sized burnt almond torte, arguably the specialty of Pittsburgh, in four sittings gave me an interesting idea when a package from Quest arrived late last week. The cake on the package of the vanilla almond crunch bar looked strikingly similar to my favorite, albeit nutritionally devoid cake. Could I make it and add an assload of protein? I absolutely could.DSC_2742I wanted to make a buttercream frosting that was high in protein, so I started with Nikki’s Coconut Butter in vanilla cake batter as the base- it’s a great source of healthy fats and nuts, and it’s vegan, adding chopped pecans, a little vanilla and milk, and finally, Quest’s new salted caramel whey protein isolate. Working the whey into the coconut butter was like creaming butter and sugar together and it helped create a much fluffier end result when I added the liquid at the end. The best part was that I was able to have almost triple the frosting of the original Prantl’s cake with only 250 calories and a whopping 25 grams of protein. (One serving of Quest is 130cal/21g, and one tablespoon of Nikki’s is 120cal/4g protein)DSC_2735The cake component was easy- I tore and shaped the vanilla almond Quest bar into four circles, patted into the bottom of a muffin tin, and baked them at 350 for five minutes until they were soft and chewy, and then layered them with scoops of the frosting and a sprinkle of chopped pecans. (I was out of almonds.) DSC_2739The result was fantastic- it lacked the toothsome sweetness of the original, but the soft cake texture and nutty, honeyed goodness was all there. The whole cake has less than half of the calories of a slice of Prantl’s- 360 calories, and 56 grams of protein. Yum.

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