arctic-roll

Arctic Roll

This is a dessert that every child who grew up in the 90’s (and probably 70’s & 80’s ) will know and love. This retro wonder is vanilla icecream, wrapped in a swiss roll sponge with a layer of jam.

This, along with a Vienetta was the staple post Sunday lunch dessert for our family and it holds serious nostalgia value for me.

Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/REX (4550102bn)

This was always shop bought, never homemade, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. For old times sake of course – and because it’s bloody brillant.

I used cheap vanilla ice cream, because that is what arctic roll is about. I also used sugar free strawberry jam, because I’m diabetic. The only homemade part is the sponge, so this is surprisingly easy to make. It’s really all about the assembly.  The trick is to buy ice cream that is not soft scoop, because you will not be able to shape it properly without it melting.

I’m so glad I made it as it left me with the warm, fuzzy nostalgia feelings I was looking for. And a boatload of ice cream, obviously.

Arctic Roll
Serves 8
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
30 min
334 calories
58 g
116 g
8 g
7 g
4 g
136 g
88 g
40 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
136g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334
Calories from Fat 75
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 4g
22%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 116mg
39%
Sodium 88mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 58g
19%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 40g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
5%
Calcium
9%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 750ml/1pint 7fl oz good vanilla ice cream, softened
  2. 4 free-range eggs
  3. 110g/4oz caster sugar
  4. 110g/4oz self-raising flour
  5. 250g strawberry jam
Instructions
  1. For the ice cream, soften slightly and place onto a sheet of baking parchment, then roll up and mould into a sausage 5cmx30cm/2inx12in long and freeze until solid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line a 23cmx33cm/9inx13in Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  3. Place the eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk until very light, fluffy and thickened.
  4. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in carefully.
  5. Pour into the lined tin and smooth with a spatula until evenly spread out.
  6. Bake the sponge for 10-12 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.
  7. Place a sheet of baking parchment that is slightly bigger than the tray onto the work surface and dust with some caster sugar.
  8. Turn the sponge out onto the parchment paper, then peel off the parchment on the bottom of the sponge. Set aside to cool slightly.
  9. To assemble the roll, spread the strawberry jam over the cooled sponge, leaving a 2cm/1in gap around the edge.
  10. Place the ice cream cylinder along the long side of the sponge, then using the parchment paper underneath, roll up the sponge so the ice cream is encased in sponge.
  11. Roll the sponge off the parchment and cut into slices to serve.
Notes
  1. This keeps well in the freezer wrapped in parchment paper. You just need to leave it out long enough for the sponge to defrost slightly before serving.
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calories
334
fat
8g
protein
7g
carbs
58g
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Full As An Egg http://fullasanegg.org/

 

The best chocolate cake

Brooklyn Blackout cake

This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made.  I adore chocolate, so am no stranger to a chocolate cake but this one stands out as it’s just so decadent, moist and moreish. 

The cake consists of a really soft sponge and a custard icing, which I’d not made before and is delicious,  while keeping the cake really moist and not too sweet.

Blackout cake unusually has cake crumbs on the outside as decoration, but I only spread them on top rather than all over the cake (as I didn’t have loads of cake offcuts to use) and I think it looked great. 

This is best eaten straight from the fridge and left to let the flavours/textures develop. 

Brookyln Blackout Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
547 calories
80 g
63 g
25 g
10 g
11 g
188 g
171 g
50 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
188g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 547
Calories from Fat 222
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g
39%
Saturated Fat 11g
55%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 63mg
21%
Sodium 171mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 80g
27%
Dietary Fiber 7g
26%
Sugars 50g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
18%
Iron
18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the cake
  1. 140g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  2. 100ml vegetable oil
  3. 140g buttermilk
  4. 100ml coffee, made with 1 tsp espresso powder
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. , at room temperature
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 250g light muscovado sugar
  9. 250g plain flour
  10. 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  11. 2 tsp baking powder
  12. 50g cocoa powder
For the custard filling and covering
  1. 250g golden caster sugar
  2. 500ml full-fat milk
  3. 140g chocolate, 85% cocoa solids, broken into cubes
  4. 50g cornflour
  5. 2 tsp espresso powder
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Make the custard first as it needs to chill. Put all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a large pan and bring gently to the boil, whisking all the time, until the chocolate has melted and you have a silky, thick custard. It will take 5-7 mins from cold. Stir in the vanilla and a generous pinch of salt, then scrape the custard into a wide, shallow bowl. Cover the surface with cling film, cool, then chill for at least 3 hrs or until cold and set.
  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease then line the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Melt the butter in a pan, then remove from the heat and beat in the oil, buttermilk, coffee and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients togetherplus 1/4 tsp salt (saves sifting) and squish any resistant lumps of sugar with your fingers. Tip in the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins, then transfer to a rack to cool completely, parchment-side down.
  4. Remove the parchment linings from the cakes. If the cakes are domed, trim them flat. Now cut each cake across the middle using a large serrated knife. Put your least successful layer and any trimmings into a processor and pulse it to crumbs. Tip into a large bowl.
  5. Sit one layer on a cake plate and spread it with a quarter of the custard. Sandwich the next layer on top, add another quarter of the custard, then top with the final layer of cake. Spoon the remaining custard on top of the cake, then spread it around the top and down the sides until smooth. Chill for 15 mins to firm up the custard again.
  6. Hold the cake over the bowl containing the crumbs, then sprinkle and gently press a layer of crumbs all over the cake. Brush any excess from the plate. You’ll have some crumbs left. Chill for 2 hrs, or longer, before serving, and eat it cold. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. The cake gets fudgier and more enticing the longer you leave it.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
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calories
547
fat
25g
protein
10g
carbs
80g
more
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Full As An Egg http://fullasanegg.org/
Coffee Chocolate Pot

Vietnamese chocolate and coffee pots

As a type 1 diabetic, I’m always on the lookout for low carb desserts that don’t contain a load of chemical sweeteners. So this recipe is like the holy grail. At 6g of carb per portion (and 55cals for those who care), it means that I don’t even need to take an insulin shot for it and it contains my favourite ingredient: chocolate. 

In fact, it’s so low carb that I can even double up the portion size and eat it without guilt (which is what I have done in these pictures!). 

I’m happy to report that it is also delicious and something that I make very often when I have a sweet craving.  They are also quick and easy to whip up so are great for serving to guests as they can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until ready. 


Vietnamese chocolate and coffee pots
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1tbsp condensed milk
  • 2.5 tablespoons strong hot espresso
  • 1.5 egg white
  • 0.5tsp lemon juice
Method
  1. Put the chocolate, cocoa powder and condensed milk into a medium heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water
  2. Remove from the heat (it will be quite thick at this stage) and while hot, pour in the coffee.
  3. Set aside to cool for 15 mins.
  4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl with the lemon juice until they form stiff peaks.
  5. Stir 1 large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold the remaining whites in.
  6. Divide between 4 espresso cups (or 2 wine glasses if doubling up) and chill until ready to serve. Grate some dark chocolate over the top before serving.
Notes
If you don't want to open a can of condensed milk just for this recipe, don't worry. I have made this without the condensed milk and it was still lovely.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 55 Fat: 2.5 Saturated fat: 1.5 Carbohydrates: 6 Sugar: 6 Sodium: 0.1

 

 

 

 

Baked vanilla cheesecake with berries

Vanilla and Berry Cheesecake Slice

Cheesecake is actually a pretty good dessert option if you’re trying to eat lower carb – because as long as your cheese mixture is not too sweet, the bulk of the carbs are in the base. I made this one just after I became a type 1 diabetic, and it was quite successful!

The original recipe called for 175g  sugar in the cheese mix and jam for the topping, which I cut down on and removed respectively. The sweetness from the digestives and berries was enough to carry the cheesecake and I found this balanced really well. 

 

Vanilla Berry Cheesecake Slice
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
456 calories
27 g
145 g
36 g
9 g
19 g
187 g
395 g
15 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
187g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456
Calories from Fat 314
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 36g
55%
Saturated Fat 19g
96%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 145mg
48%
Sodium 395mg
16%
Total Carbohydrates 27g
9%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 15g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
25%
Vitamin C
37%
Calcium
17%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 150g digestive biscuits
  2. 50g butter, melted
  3. 600g cream cheese
  4. 200g crème fraîche
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 75g golden caster sugar
  7. 2 tbsp plain flour
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 300g mixed summer berries
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Tip the biscuits into a food processor and blitz into crumbs, or place in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter and mix well. Press the mix into the base of the tin.
  2. Beat the cheese, crème fraîche, vanilla and sugar until smooth, then mix in the flour and eggs until smooth again – you can do this by hand or in a food processor. Pour the mix into the tin and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the oven for 10 mins, then turn to 120C/100C fan/gas ½ and cook for 1 hr 20 mins or until set with a slight wobble in the centre. Turn off the heat and leave to cool in the oven. Once cool, refrigerate until chilled.
  3. Top with the berries and serve
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calories
456
fat
36g
protein
9g
carbs
27g
more
Full As An Egg http://fullasanegg.org/
Easter Brownies (1)

Easter Chocolate Brownie Cake

I don’t ever really need a reason to make chocolate brownies, but when I saw this Easter themed recipe, I knew this was the perfect excuse to make them this weekend. 

If you’ve bought bag loads of easter chocolate over the past few weeks and now need to get rid of it, this recipe is perfect for that. The original recipe actually called for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, but on the basis that since they changed the recipe they now taste like american chocolate with a pure sugar filling (bleurgh), I used a mix of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs and Kinder Choco Bon Eggs (which have a hazelnut filling – delicious!). You could also cut large easter eggs into chunks and mix those through the batter. 

This was a simple recipe to make as it is all done in one pan, so you could make it with children, as long as you were comfortable with melting the butter and sugar over heat with them. 

 

Original Recipe from Olive Magazine, but has been adapted. 

Easter Chocolate Brownie Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
371 calories
44 g
93 g
21 g
5 g
13 g
85 g
30 g
29 g
1 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
85g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371
Calories from Fat 184
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
32%
Saturated Fat 13g
64%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 93mg
31%
Sodium 30mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 44g
15%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 29g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
4%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. butter 250g
  2. golden caster sugar 200g
  3. light muscovado sugar 100g
  4. self-raising flour 200g
  5. cocoa 5 tbs
  6. baking powder a pinch
  7. eggs 3
  8. filled small chocolate eggs 3 x 89g bags
  9. milk chocolate 50g
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 180C/ fan160C/gas 4. Put the butter and sugars in a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Takeoff the heat and stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and the eggs to make a smooth batter.
  2. Pour the batter into a lined 20x20cm cake tin (leave some paper overhanging to help you lift it out) and push 2/3 of the chocolate eggs into the batter at intervals so they are dispersed evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and then lift out and cool completely.
  3. Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle it back and forth across the cake, then decorate the top with the remaining eggs.
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calories
371
fat
21g
protein
5g
carbs
44g
more
Full As An Egg http://fullasanegg.org/
Strawberry Cream Cake

Polka Dot Strawberry Cake

The sun is out! Hard to believe that 9 days ago it was snowing in Manchester and today the sun was shining and people were sat in albeit chilly beer gardens. To celebrate the first signs of spring, I’m posting this very sunny strawberry polka dot cake. 

As you’ll be able to see from the pictures on the original recipe at BBC Good Food, my polka dots are somewhat bigger and messier than intended, but I was still happy with this. I’ve embraced the fact that presentation is never going to be the best, so this is actually quite good for me. 

I reduced the amount of carbs in this by omitting the sugar from the filling entirely. With the sugar in the sponge and the natural sweetness of the strawberries, it just doesn’t need it. 

Polka Dot Strawberry Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
25 min
493 calories
46 g
225 g
30 g
10 g
17 g
261 g
199 g
27 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
261g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 493
Calories from Fat 268
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g
47%
Saturated Fat 17g
84%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 225mg
75%
Sodium 199mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 46g
15%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 27g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
23%
Vitamin C
90%
Calcium
14%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1kg strawberry, hulled, except for 8 berries
  2. 1 tbsp icing sugar
  3. juice ½ lemon
  4. butter, for greasing
  5. For the polka dots;
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 25g golden caster sugar
  8. 25g plain flour
  9. few drops pink food colouring
  10. few drops red food colouring
  11. For the cakes;
  12. 8 large egg
  13. 200g golden caster sugar
  14. 200g plain flour
  15. 2 tsp baking powder
  16. 50g butter, melted
  17. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  18. For the filling;
  19. 500g mascarpone
  20. 300ml double cream
Instructions
  1. Slice 300g of the strawberries. Put in a pan with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Gently heat until the juices start to run, then cook, uncovered, for 2 mins. Tip into a food processor or mini blender and whizz to a purée, then press through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  2. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin. Grease and line the base of a deep 20-21cm round cake tin. (You will also need a deep 23cm round cake tin for later.) To make the polka dots, whisk the egg and sugar using a hand-held electric whisk until thick, pale and the mixture leaves a trail when the whisk blade is lifted. Sift in the flour and fold in using a spatula until well mixed, then fold in 1 tbsp of the strawberry purée and a few drops each of the pink and red food colouring.
  3. Spoon small dots of the mixture randomly over the base of the Swiss roll tin, leaving a little space between each dot. Place in the freezer for 20 mins until the pink dots are firm to the touch.
  4. To make the cakes, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. If you have a tabletop mixer, you can make the whole quantity in 1 batch. If using a handheld electric whisk, it will be easier to make the cakes in 2 batches of 4 eggs each. Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light and pale, and the whisk blades leave a trail when they are lifted – this will take 5-8 mins. Sift in the flour and baking powder, drizzle in the butter and vanilla, and fold everything together using a spatula until all the flour is incorporated.
  5. Pour half the mixture into the prepared cake tin and the other half over the Swiss roll tin, spreading it out evenly. Bake the rectangular cake for 15 mins and the round cake for 25 mins. Turn out each cake onto a tea towel, then remove the paper and invert onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. To make the filling, beat together the mascarpone and remaining strawberry purée. Chop 200g of the remaining strawberries into small pieces. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the mascarpone with the chopped strawberries.
  7. Line the base and sides of the 23cm round cake tin with cling film. Trim the edges of the rectangular cake, then cut into 2 x 9cm-wide strips lengthwise. Fit around the sides of the tin, trimming to fit if necessary. The cake should butt together fairly tightly.
  8. Cut the round cake into 3 layers (you could cut it into 2 layers if you find it easier, and divide the following filling accordingly). Place the bottom layer in the base of the cling film-lined tin. Reserve 3 rounded tbsp of the filling in a small bowl, then spoon half the remainder over the cake, smoothing it flat. Place a second cake layer on top and add the remaining filling, smoothing it flat. Top with the last cake layer. Cover the cake with cling film and chill for 24-48 hrs, along with the small bowl of reserved filling.
  9. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and peel off the cling film. Slide the cake onto a serving plate. Slice the remaining hulled strawberries. Spread the reserved filling over the top of the cake and fill with sliced berries, adding in the 8 whole ones.
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calories
493
fat
30g
protein
10g
carbs
46g
more
Full As An Egg http://fullasanegg.org/

Nigella’s no fuss fruit tart

I’m a huge Nigella Lawson fan and especially like her book ‘Kitchen’. It’s full of easy but tasty recipes that have become staples, such as Slut’s Spaghetti, Toad in the Hole and Turkey Meatballs. The book also contains some great sweet recipes, including this one for an easy fruit tart.

As it’s made with a biscuit base rather than with sponge, it’s very easy to put together but still looks nice and pretty – even if, like me, your presentation skills aren’t up to much.

I made this to eat after a roast dinner, as honestly , making a roast dinner is enough effort without having to worry about making a complicated dessert! I’ve adapted the recipe slightly as Nigella suggests using redcurrants and strawberries in addition to raspberries, blueberries and blackberries but I didn’t have them.

Fruit tart with biscuit base
Nigella’s no fuss fruit tart

The recipe is also rather helpfully online. 

Serves 8-10

  • 375 grams crumbled digestive biscuits
  • 75 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 400 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 240 grams lemon curd (at room temperature) (I used reduced sugar lemon curd)
  • 725 grams mixed berries
  1. Process the biscuits and the butter to a sandy rubble and press into the sides and bottom of a deep-sided fluted tart tin approx. 25cm diameter x 4–5cm deep / 10inch diameter x 2 inches deep with a loose base. Place in the freezer (or fridge if that is not possible) for about 10–15 minutes.
  2. In a clean processor bowl, process the cream cheese and lemon curd (or just mix by hand) and spread into the bottom of the chilled tart tin, covering the base evenly.
  3. Arrange the fruit gently (so it doesn’t sink in too much) on top of the lemony cream cheese in a decorative manner, leaving some of the strawberries unhulled, with their picturesque stalks attached.
  4. Place the tart in the fridge, preferably overnight, though for at least 4 hours. It does need to get properly cold in order to set enough for the tart to be unsprung and sliced easily.
Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ultimate sticky toffee pudding

If you have any leftover dates from Christmas, then you really should make this sticky toffee pudding. It describes itself as the ‘ultimate’ in sticky toffee goodness and I wouldn’t disagree. The cake is dense and sticky and the toffee sauce is smooth and sweet.

This is basically all the things that I shouldn’t be eating – the carb count on this comes in at a whopping 78.7g per portion. I’ve tried a few ‘low sugar’ recipes and they never taste like the real thing, so instead of having a full portion of something chock full of chemical sweetener flavour, I’d rather have a smaller portion of the real thing. So in this case, I had a third of a portion, which was 26.2g of carbs. Much better for a diabetic!

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Serves 8

  • Cals per portion: 705
  • Carbs per portion: 78.7g
  • 160g whole dates, stoned and roughly chopped
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 90g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100ml whole milk (preferably jersey or gold top)

For the toffee sauce7

  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • Good slug brandy or rum
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 275ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  1. Put the dates in a mixing bowl with the water. Leave for 30 minutes until cool, then mash with a fork to a rough pulp. Stir through the vanilla and set aside. Butter a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish and set aside. Heat the oven to 170°C/fan150°C/gas 3.
  2. While the dates are soaking, use an electric mixer or wooden spoon to beat the 90g butter and 150g sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well before adding the next. Beat in the black treacle, then mix the flour with the bicarb and gently fold in one third using a metal spoon or balloon whisk. Fold in a third of the milk, then repeat until all the flour and milk are used up. Stir the soaked dates, with their liquid, into the batter – it may curdle, but don’t worry. Spoon into the prepared dish.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes or until the pudding is risen and firm, and a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean (cover with foil after 40 minutes if the edges are browning too much). If the skewer comes out with what looks like uncooked mixture on it, it might be a piece of date. Taste it – if you can taste uncooked flour it will need longer.
  4. Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce. Put the 225g sugar, brandy, 100g butter and half the cream in a large, heavy-based pan and heat gently. When the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat, stir in the treacle and bubble, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the mix is a rich toffee colour. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the rest of the cream. Keep warm.
  5. Leave the pudding to cool for 20 minutes, then skewer it all over and pour over half the sauce. Leave for another 15 minutes, then serve drizzled with the rest of the sauce.

 

IMG_4712

Chocolate and pear torte

I heartily approve of the combination of chocolate and pear. I usually make a chocolate pear self saucing pudding in winter, which is delicious. I thought I’d try this recipe, by Great British Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley, as it used the same combination, but in the form of a torte.

It is super moist and I really love the caramelised effect you get on the pears from baking them. It’s like a super charged chocolate brownie.

As it doesn’t contain flour, it’s great to make for any gluten free friends and reduces the amount of carbs per portion, for those of us who care about such things (though to be fair, it’s not exactly a low carb recipe)!

IMG_4712.JPG
Pear and chocolate torte

Serves 8

For the pears

  • 60g caster sugar
  • peel of half an orange
  • 3 small dessert pears, peeled, cored and quartered

For the torte

  • 300g good quality dark chocolate
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Lightly grease a 25cm springform cake tin. Put 250ml water and orange peel and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the pears, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 5-10 mins. Remove with a slotted spoom and leave to cool.
  3. Continue to cook the poaching liquid until it’s reduced by half, thick and syrupy. Set aside and leave to cool. Heat oven to 170c/150cfan/gas 3.
  4. Melt the chocolate and the butter in bowl over boiling water or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl to stiff peaks.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  6. Using a metal spoon, fold the ground almonds, salt and vanilla into the yolks.
  7. Add a spoonful of whites to loosen the mixture then fold in the chocolate mixture and the rest of the egg whites carefully.
  8. Spoon into the tin and then push the pears into the top, rounded up into a circular shape.
  9. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-35 mins or until the cake begins to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
  10. Run a palette knife around the side of the tin and remove the ring of the tin, but not the base. Place on a cooling rack, then when cold, chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 733
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 56 g 87 %
Total Carbohydrate 44 g

 

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Coffee panna cotta

This dessert is usually made with a bucket load of cream and a spade full of sugar, so when I saw this recipe with less fat and sugar I thought I’d give it a try.

A good panna cotta should have plenty of wobbly movement, but retain its structural integrity. No one wants a collapsed blob on a plate. I was surprised at how good this recipe is; and how creamy it tastes considering there is less cream than usual.

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Coffee panna cotta

Recipe from BBC Good Food magazine.

Serves 4

  • Cals per portion:270
  • Carbs per portion: 18g

Ingredients

  • 125ml whipping cream
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, slit lengthways
  • 2 small gelatine leaves (12x6cm)
  • 2tsp instant coffee granules
  • 250g full fat greek yoghurt
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • sifted cocoa powder (for dusting)
  1. Put the cream and sugar into a small saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod and drop the pod into the pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring the mix to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, lay the gelatine leaves in a shallow dish and cover with cold water. Soak for 4-5 mins.
  4. Remove the gelatine from the water, squeeze out any water and stir into the cream mixture until dissolved. Stir in the coffee granules.
  5. Leave the mixture to cool , stirring occasionally. Make sure that it does not begin to set. You need it to still be runny.
  6. Discard the vanilla pod. Beat the yoghurt and buttermilk together in a bowl and gradually pour in the coffee mixture, beating with each addition.
  7. Transfer to a jug, then pour into 4 small 150ml dariole moulds. Chill for 4-5 hours or overnight.
  8. When ready to serve dip each mould for a few seconds to just below the rim in hot water. Then turn out onto a plate. Serve with a light dusting of cocoa.