Friday, 11 May 2018

Date Crunch

Baking and healthy eating are not words that are normally associated with each other. It is possible to enjoy delicious baked sweet treats with some clever twists and baking methods. My latest cookery book purchase, Weight Watchers Seriously Satisfying has two chapters dedicated to sweet treats. I made the chocolate flapjacks a few weeks ago, but my new favourite is the date crunch. The crunch reminds me of a shortbread and the gooeyness from the dates reminds me of the cornflake tart I baked a few weeks prior.

Low fat cooking spray
150g pitted dates
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
125 g self raising flour
125g semolina or cornmeal
75g low fat spread
75g light brown sugar
3 teaspoon of strawberry jam (optional).

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/Fan Oven 170C. Spray the baking tin with the cooking spray. Place the dates in a small pan with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until soft and mushy. Beat or mash to a smooth paste and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the semolina. Place the low fat spread and sugar in a small pan over a low heat and gently, then stir in the lemon zest. Pour over a low heat and melt gently, then stir in the lemon zest. Pour over the flour and mix to a stiff dough. Press half of the dough into the tin. If using the strawberry jam, spread this over the dough mixture. Spread the date mixture over the dough, then top with the remaining dough, passing down gently. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.
Remove from the oven.  Cut into squares. Leave to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Healthy maple syrup pancakes with warmed pineapple.

I presume this recipe is healthy as it's from a Weight Watchers joiners booklet. I have not rejoined the King of diet groups, but as I managed to lose 2.5 stone last year and keep it off, I'm always on the look out for low fat but tasty recipe. These pancakes with the maple syrup and pineapple remind me of my oaty pancakes with blueberry jam as they were low fat and tasty but with more a summery twist. Perfect for this cold and snowy weather we are experiencing. The pancakes are quick to make, even quicker to cook and taste delicious, the perfect weekend breakfast.
Here is how my maple syrup pancakes with warmed pineapple turned out:
Pancakes with pineapple

Ingredients - serves 4, 7 pro points per serving
125g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs beaten
175ml skimmed milk
6tbsp maple syrup
low fat cooking spray
400g tin ringed pineapples

Firstly, place the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, milk, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Whisk together until completely smooth.
Pancake mixture
Pancake mixture
Warm a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot add the spread and leave to melt. Add the batter in large spoonfuls to make little pancakes 8cm across. Cook for about 1 minute until bubbles start bursting on the surface, then flip over and cook for a further 30 seconds until both sides are golden. Continue with the remaining mixture until all 12 pancakes are cooked. Set aside in a warm place.
Pancakes cooking
Cooked pancakes
Increase the heat and warm the empty pan. Add the pineapple and remaining maple syrup and cook for 2-3 minutes until hot through and start to caramelise a little.
Pineapples cooking

Serve a stack of 3 pancakes with the syrupy pineapples on the side.



Saturday, 22 September 2012

Weight watchers chocolate cake

I love chocolate cake. I also really love low fat chocolate cake and am always scouring for low fat recipes: I may as well try to limit the calories. I discovered this chocolate cake recipe from the Weight Watchers website and I was intrigued how a two layered chocolate cake could only have 330 calories per slice. Of course, there was differences in the ingredients in a low calorie chocolate cake primarily the use of more liquids such as milk or water to "bulk out" the cake. But, in order to shave of the calories I am more than happy to add liquids, whisk egg whites separately if I can recreate a low fat cake. The chocolate cake in question only took 30 minutes to bake which I think is quick for a low calorie cake as I have made cakes from Harry Eastwood's "Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache" which has taken an hour.
Anyway, here is how my chocolate cake turned out:
Low fat chocolate cake.
I decorated with strawberries, honey comb pieces and chocolate drops, all were random ingredients that were available from my store cupboard/fridge. However, I would never decorate a cake again with strawberries as the strawberries turned out to be sour, so perhaps blueberries next time.

I started making the cake by adding all the dried ingredients into a bowl.

I then added the liquid ingredients into a free standing mixer to combine, and then added the dried ingredients.

Egg and milk mixture

Liquid mixture
Once all the ingredients were thoroughly combined I poured into two sandwich tins and once cooked for thirty minutes, left to cool.

The recipe for the cake can be found here:

Overall, this is a lovely alternative to the calorific cakes we love so much. If you have overindulged recently but still want to eat cake, this is the perfect sweet treat.


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