Archive for the 'Desserts and Cakes' Category

05 2nd, 2011

This is another Weight Watchers recipe and I have to say these biscotti are delicious and taste very authentic – the original recipe uses pistachios but I prefer to use almonds as that is what was in the biscotti that we bought when we were in Tuscany last year. If you follow the recipe it will make 48 biscotti and each one is 72 cals – however I find these a bit small, and prefer to divide the dough into 2 rather than 4 – see what works for you!

200g caster sugar
100g whole almonds roughly chopped
100g dried apricots roughly chopped
zest of 1 orange, juice of 1/2 orange
1 tsp baking powder
250g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp milk

You will need 2 large greased baking trays.

Preheat the oven to 170 (fan), 190 or gas mark 5.
Reserve 2 tsp caster sugar and put the rest in a bowl with the almonds, apricots, zest, baking powder and all but 2 tbsp of the flour and mix.
Add the egg and juice and mix into a soft dough.
Sprinkle the reserved flour onto a work surface and divide the dough into 4 (or 2 for large biscotti).
Roll a quarter (or half) the dough in the flour and shape into a sausage about 24 cm long. Repeat to make 4 (or 2) in total.
Place 2 sausages (or 1) on each baking tray.
Brush all over with milk and sprinkle with the reserved sugar.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and reduce the temp to 130 (fan), 150 or gas mark 2.
When the biscotti is cool enough to handle (about 5 mins), cut each one with a serrated knife into 12 slices about 1cm thick.
Return to the trays (clean and re-grease if necessary) and bake for a further 15 mins or until lightly golden.
Remove from the tray once cooled and enjoy with a proper Italian coffee!

Berry Terrine

Author: Sue
09 5th, 2010

This recipe is from Weight Watchers and is really great – it feels like a real treat but is only 104 cals per serving! Great for entertaining too as you can make it the day before and keep it in the freezer (and it also looks stunning on the plate).

Serves 8

25g white chocolate
175g frozen mixed berries, defrosted (I had blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants)
4 trifle sponges, sliced in half lengthways
1 500ml container of low fat vanilla ice cream (I used Carte D’Or light)

To serve:
Ready made raspberry coulis
100g berries as above, defrosted

Spray a 2lb loaf tin with oil and then line with cling film.
Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the melted chocolate in a zigzag pattern over the base of the tin. Place in the freezer for 10 mins to set.
Blend 100g of the berries, and then drizzle this in a zigzag pattern in the opposite direction over the white chocolate – then place in the freezer for 15 mins to set.
Working quickly, spread one third of the ice cream into the tin, then drizzle with half of the remaining blended fruit and top with half of the trifle sponges.
Mix a third of the ice cream with the remaining 75g of berries and crush them slightly, then spread this into the tin. Drizzle with the remaining blended fruit and top with the trifle sponges.
Top with the remaining ice cream and smooth over.
Cover the top with cling film and then place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
When ready to serve, take the terrine out the freezer and leave for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto a flat board and carefully cut into slices.
Drizzle your plates (large ones look good) with the coulis in a zigzag pattern and then place a slice of the terrine in the middle and place assortment of berries around the terrine. Delicious!

08 25th, 2010

These are delicious and very quick to make – I made them tonight and had to get them on the blog asap! Just 121 cals per flapjack – they are from the Weightwatchers magazine and each one provides 2 points (if you’re into that sort of thing).

Makes 16

75g low fat spread (38% fat – I used ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter light’)
50g light muscavado sugar
2 tbsp runny honey
250g oats
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
pinch of salt
1 large ripe banana
2 tsp vanilla extract/essence

Preheat oven to 160 degrees fan forced.
Grease and line the base of a 22in square baking tin.
Melt the spread, sugar and honey in a pan, stirring well.
Stir in the oats, baking powder and seeds along with a pinch of salt.
In a bowl, mash the banana with the vanilla extract, then stir into the oat mix.
Spoon into the prepared tin and press down firmly.
Bake for 25-30 mins until golden and firm to the touch. Cut into 16 square whilst still warm and then allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container. YUM!

Yummy cereal bars

Author: Sue
07 12th, 2010

This is a recipe adapted from ‘Nigella Express’ and v easy to make and very moreish. I’ve made them a little more healthy by using 97% fat free condensed milk.

Makes at least 16 – you choose how big you want them!

1 x 397g can 97% fat free condensed milk
250g rolled oats (not instant)
75g shredded or dessicated coconut
100g dried cranberries or any dried berries of your choice (or a mixture)
150g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame)

Preheat oven to 130 degrees/gas mark 1/2 and line a 23x33x4cm baking tin with baking parchment or paper.
Warm the condensed milk in a large pan.
Mix together all the other ingredients and then add the warmed condensed milk.
Spread the mixture into the tin and press down with a spatula or use your hands.
Bake for 1 hour and let it cool for 15 mins.
Slice into chunks.
Apparently they store well too (I wouldn’t know as they disappear very quickly!)

Low Fat Tiramisu

Author: Sue
07 12th, 2010

This is adapted from a Rosemary Conley recipe and it’s really really good! 76 kcal and 2.7g fat per serve. Best made the day before but not essential (don’t sprinkle chocolate powder on top until ready to serve).

Serves 8

4 heaped teaspoons coffee granules
4 teaspoons brandy
1/2 pint water
1 packet sponge fingers (approx 12)
1 sachet Bird’s sugar-free dream topping
1/4 pint skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
12oz (350g) low-fat fromage frais
powdered drinking chocolate to decorate

Mix the coffee with the brandy and make up to 1/2 pint (300ml) with water. Pour half into a shallow dish and place 1/ the sponge fingers into liquid and allow it to soak up.
Arrange the fingers into the base of a serving dish to form a layer.
Place the milk in a large bowl and then add the dream topping and follow instructions on packet.
Mix in the fromage frais.
Spoon 1/2 the mixture over the soaked sponge fingers.
Soak the remaining sponge fingers in the leftover brandied coffee and place in the dish.
Top with the remaining fromage frais mix.
Just before serving, sprinkle with the chocolate powder.

Kate’s Apple Cake

Author: Sue
11 10th, 2009

Thanks to my new workmate Kate for this lovely apple cake recipe – delicious and perfect for using up my mum’s cooking apples.

225g or 8oz cooking apples – peeled, cored and chopped
225g or 8oz sultanas
150ml or 1/4 pint milk
175g or 6oz brown sugar
350g or 12oz self raising flour
10ml or 2 teaspoons mixed spice
175g or 6oz butter
1 egg, beaten
25g or 1oz demerara sugar

Preheat oven to 170 fan forced or gas mark 3. Line and grease a 8 inch square or round tin.

Mix the apples, sultanas, milk and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl, then add the beaten egg.

In a large bowl sieve the flour and spice together and then rub in the butter.

Add the fruit mix to the flour mixture and stir well.

Place into the prepared tin and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour 45 mins until risen and golden brown.

Fruity Bread Pudding

Author: Sue
12 24th, 2008

This is a great low fat pudding – really good served with low fat ready-made custard! Just 190 kcals and 0.89g fat.

Serves 4

75g or 3oz mixed dried fruit
150ml or 1/4 pint apple juice
115g or 4oz stale brown or white bread diced
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 large banana, sliced
150ml or 1/4 pint skimmed milk
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 fan forced.

Place the dried fruit into a small pan with the apple juice and bring to the boil.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bread, spice and banana. Spoon the mixture into a shallow 1.2 litre/ 2 pint ovenproof dish and pour over the milk.

Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and bake for 25-30 mins until firm and golden brown. A great winter warmer!

Sticky Date Pudding

Author: Sue
12 23rd, 2008

This pudding is delicious and it is lower in fat and calories than a standard recipe. I’m not going to say that it is 100% angelic – but it is certainly better for you than a full-fat version :0)

Serves 6

1 and 1/4 cups pitted dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 and 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 and 1/2 tablespoons reduced fat spread
2 egg whites – try an egg yolker if you find separating eggs difficult!
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the sauce:
3 teaspoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons reduced fat ricotta cheese

Heat the oven to 170 fan forced and lightly grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper or alternatively use a silicone mould.

Roughly chop the dates and place in a small pan with 3/4 cup of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Then add the bicarbonate of soda.

Place flour, sugar, spread, egg whites and vanilla in a bowl and beat until blended. Add the date mixture and then pour into the cake tin and level the surface.

Bake for 30-40 mins – it is ready when a skewer comes out clean.

To make the sauce, place the sugar, syrup, and reduced fat ricotta into a pan and heat until melted and smooth.

Cut the pudding into 6 portions and serve with the sauce poured over and low fat ice cream if desired (and who wouldn’t?!)

12 23rd, 2008

This is adapted from Nigella Lawson’s ‘Nigella Express’ an absolutely excellent book that positively makes your mouth water as you read!

Makes 12 large cookies

125g or 5oz dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids
150g or 6oz flour
30g or 1oz cocoa
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g or 5oz butter
75g or 3oz light brown sugar
50g or 2oz white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg cold from the fridge
100g chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 160 fan forced and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water.

Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.

Cream the butter and sugars into another bowl and then add the melted chocolate and mix – Nigella uses her food mixer here!

Beat in the vanilla extract and the cold egg, and then add the dried ingredients and chocolate chips.

Place 12 equal sized mounds of cookie dough onto the baking sheets – about 6cm apart. Do no flatten them!

Cook for 18 mins – test with a skewer and it should come out semi-clean not wet – if it does give them a couple more minutes.

Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheets for 4-5 mins and then transfer to a cooling rack. Yum!

12 21st, 2008

Thanks to my mate Sharon for providing the recipe for this sweet treat – delicious, quick and easy!

2 cups rice bubbles

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup sultanas

350g white chocolate, chopped and melted … Sharon recommends Cadbury’s Dream

Line 2 x 12 hole deep mini muffin pans with paper cases.

In a large bowl combine rice bubbles, coconut, apricot and sultanas.

Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and put the bowl over a pan of boiling water to melt the chocolate.

Mix melted chocolate into the dry ingredients and then spoon the mixture into cases and chill for 1-2 hours.

Remove from paper and pop into mouth!