Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Choc Chip Cookies from Lorraine Pascale’s A Lighter Way to Bake – Giveaway #39

Biscuits, Book Reviews, Giveaway | 2nd November 2013 | By

As the title suggests, Lorraine Pascale’s latest baking book, A Lighter Way to Bake,  is all about baking in a healthier way. It is not about cutting out the treats, but reducing the amount of fat, sugar and refined flour in the sort of bakes we are familiar with. As regular readers will know, I have been using wholemeal flour all my life, so I was particularly pleased to see a TV chef catching up with the idea. Although I have a sweet tooth, I bake at the lower end of the sugar scale. When it comes to fat, I am of the Weston A Price persuasion and don’t actually believe that good quality butter and eggs, where the livestock has free ranged on grass, is bad for you, quite the contrary – see my post on ingredients are the key. Eating too much of it, of course, may well be a problem.

This is one very dense book. Although it is more or less the same size as Lorraine’s Baking Made Easy and is also published by Harper Collins, it seems to weigh a lot more. It does have 286 pages, which is about fifty more than her previous title, but I don’t think that accounts for it all. I like this feeling of weightiness and solidity in a cookbook, it gives me a sense of security. It is packed full of recipes and pictures. There are a hundred recipes covering breakfast & brunch, bread, savoury bakes, puddings & desserts, cakes, cookies & traybakes, teatime treats, special occasions and pastry. Unusually, there is a picture for every bake covered, although not always on the same page. They all look very enticing and don’t have any of the annoying fading out shots, where you can only see part of the picture clearly. There is a particularly intriguing picture of a raspberry, vanilla & white chocolate cake with almond flowers that I am now keen to attempt. There are also a couple of superflous pictures of the author, which always seems a bit odd in a cookbook. It’s good to have one good picture for interest, but I don’t really see the point of any extras. It does appear to be a modern trend though and I suppose there aren’t that many of them.

Lorraine Pascale Giveaway

Rather strangely, the paper is very shiny, which can make it reflective when the lights are on and thus a bit difficult to read. The choice of print is also a bit odd, or rather the choice of colour. The print size isn’t that big and both the introduction to the recipe and ingredients are printed in a pale red colour: I found myself squinting on more than one occasion. Thankfully, the instructions are all in black. Red is a key theme that runs throughout the book and this colour is used on some pages and for most of the utensils.

The recipes all look good and I’d be happy to make or eat most of them. There are a few meat and fish recipes included, which I skipped over fairly fast, but the savoury section had an equal number of vegetarian recipes in it, eight of each, which I found very pleasing. I bookmarked the butternut squash naked bean burger with apple and mango chilli salsa as soon as I saw it. Being a bit of a squash fiend, I’m also rather keen to try the sweet potato, squash, apple and sage muffins from the breakfast section. Having watched all the breadstick action recently on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off, the oregano & thyme grissini caught my eye in the bread chapter and I’m looking forward to trying them out next time I have friends around for a meal.

Lorraine has gone for healthy, but has made an effort that this should not be at the expense of taste. Butter has not been cut out entirely, but is often substituted in total or in part by oil or yogurt. Ground almonds and wholemeal flour feature quite strongly and there is more emphasis on fresh fruit rather than dried. Many of the recipes use only egg white or have a ratio of more egg white to yolk to omit some calories; what, I wonder, do you then do with all the egg yolks? I can’t bear waste, but it rather defeats the object of not eating them in the first place if you then make a massive amount of curd or custard. Each recipe has a nutritional breakdown at the bottom of the page and gives a comparison to a more conventional recipe, although I have no idea which recipes those are. One of the almond blackberry and peach friands, for example, are 179 calories compared to 270, with 9.8g less fat, 5.5g less saturated fat, 4.4g less sugar, 0.1g more protein and 1g less salt.

There were plenty of chocolate recipes to choose from, which is most definitely a good sign. The chocolate Guinness and blackcurrant cake is a must as is the chocolate, chocolate torte. But first, I decided to try out the soft choc, choc chip cookies. The only change I made to these was to use rapeseed oil rather than olive oil and a slightly higher quantity of wholemeal flour as my duck eggs were quite large.

This is how I made:

Lorraine Pascale’s Choc Chip Cookies

  • Creamed 75g unsalted butter with 100g light muscovado sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Added 25g of extra virgin rapeseed oil and beat some more.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs, one by one.
  • Sifted in 110g wholemeal flour, 100g white flour, a tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 25g cocoa powder.
  • Added 25g rolled oats and stirred until all incorporated.
  • Stirred in 50g milk chocolate chips.
  • Ran some cold water over my hands and rolled ping pong sized pieces into balls. The recipe said to divide into 12, but I made 16 large biscuits.
  • Placed on a lined baking sheet and pressed down to about 1 cm in depth.
  • Baked on the top shelf at 180Ā°C for about 10 minutes.
  • Transferred to a wire rack and left to cool – apart from one which I just had to try!

The biscuits turned out beautifully and were quite large. They didn’t spread too much, but rose up quite considerably. Warm from the oven, they were crisp on the outside and soft and slightly chewy on the inside. When they cooled down, they were soft on the outside too. Lorraine describes them as half way between a biscuit and a cake and I think she has that spot on – a whoopie pie by any other name. They were just the right side of sweetness, not overly sugared allowing for the chocolate to shine resulting in a really flavoursome biscuit.

I was sent a copy of A Lighter Way to Bake to bake from with no requirement to write a favourable review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Giveaway

The publishers, HarperCollins, are offering two Chocolate Log Blog readers a copy of Lorraine Pascale’s a Lighter Way to Bake.
To be in with a chance of winning one of these books, please fill in the Rafflecopter app below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received. Please give me some way of identifying you in the comment section as I will be verifying the validity of entries and will always check back to the comments to ensure that part has been done. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. You need to be 18 or over to enter. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
Prizes are offered and provided by HarperCollins and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.
Closing date is Saturday 30 November 2013
Do take a look at my giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Tracey Peach
    2nd November 2013

    Biscuits because I often snack on them in between meals. Would like to find something with less calories

  2. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Wyatt
    2nd November 2013

    Salt – since I have started feeding my baby solids I’ve been amazed how much salt there is in the foods we eat!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Alison Barker
    2nd November 2013

    Nothing , I eat everything in moderation.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Joan
    2nd November 2013

    I’d like to cut back more on sodium without loosing flavor

  5. Leave a Reply

    michelle
    2nd November 2013

    any processed foods … but some are nice

  6. Leave a Reply

    vohnmcg.com
    2nd November 2013

    I have a fairly good balanced diet but because I love to bake, there are a few too many sweet treats – this book would be ideal to keep having them without piling on the pounds!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Kate@whatkatebaked
    2nd November 2013

    This book had caugh my eye in the bookshop the other day- really in depth, extensive review, thank you Choclette! How are you getting on with the savoury recipes you bookmarked?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      2nd November 2013

      Hi Kate – haven’t managed to make any of them yet. Trouble is, my bookmarked recipes could take up several volumes all by themselves. What did you think when you saw it?

  8. Leave a Reply

    Caroline
    2nd November 2013

    I have a generally healthy diet but it wouldn’t do me any harm to refuse that last glass of wine at the weekend!

  9. Leave a Reply

    Laura W
    2nd November 2013

    Carbohydrates. I eat far too many carbs and end up bloated and uncomfortable. I just love ’em so much…

  10. Leave a Reply

    Jean
    3rd November 2013

    Thanks for a great review.
    I have looked at this book on the shelves many times and thought I just don’t need another baking book. Now I’m not so sure !!
    I absolutely agree about the gratuitous celebrity photos of the chefs in cook books these days, but I’m pleased to hear that all the recipes have photos, which is often a great help, especially in baking.

    The thing I would most like to be able to give up is cake.
    But it just isn’t going to happen !!

  11. Leave a Reply

    vikkilhamer
    3rd November 2013

    biscuits and sweet stuff

  12. Leave a Reply

    Lynn
    3rd November 2013

    sweets, I just love sweets but they are so high in calories and do me no good at all but i love sweets

  13. Leave a Reply

    saurus
    3rd November 2013

    Microwave meals – workoing full time at times I live on them.

  14. Leave a Reply

    GW78
    3rd November 2013

    Well it should be chocolate but it’s so tasty :/

  15. Leave a Reply

    Diane
    3rd November 2013

    processed food, I really want to make more from scratch

  16. Leave a Reply

    Aimee R
    3rd November 2013

    Sugar. I mostly prefer eating savoury anyway but recently I’ve began baking a lot more and eating a lot more sweet things!

  17. Leave a Reply

    Gill Bland
    3rd November 2013

    I eat a lot of sugar, but aI don’t eat enough *good* full fat stuff. I’m afraid I’m a sucker for the marketing

  18. Leave a Reply

    mellysocks
    4th November 2013

    I eat too much of everything but I should definitely cut down on salt as I have high blood pressure.

  19. Leave a Reply

    Starry Eyed
    4th November 2013

    That’s a nasty question. I wouldn’t like to cut back on anything. However, I should cut back on chocolate because I eat far too much lol

  20. Leave a Reply

    Jo Glasspool
    5th November 2013

    Bread, I can’t walk past fresh bread without buying a baguette or crusty baps, x

  21. Leave a Reply

    katherine wilcox
    6th November 2013

    I would like to cut down on sugar and fat

  22. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    7th November 2013

    Chocolate! Amy Ripley

  23. Leave a Reply

    Katherine
    8th November 2013

    I’d love to cut back on refined sugar, at least in my tea, so I can still have it in my cakes šŸ™‚

  24. Leave a Reply

    Julie
    9th November 2013

    definitely biscuits, have to eat the full packet when I start!

  25. Leave a Reply

    Roz
    14th November 2013

    unhealthy sweet stuff I have the worst sweet tooth ever

  26. Leave a Reply

    Solange
    17th November 2013

    Fizzy drinks and crisps

  27. Leave a Reply

    JaynesDen
    18th November 2013

    Processed Food. I want to cook more from scratch in the New Year.

  28. Leave a Reply

    TehArhynn
    21st November 2013

    I would like to cut back on the fats in my diet most. I like to think that overall I’m a fairly healthy eater, and the carbs and sugars that I take in are the right ones, but when I splurge it tends to be in the less than stellar “fats” column.

  29. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    23rd November 2013

    Sugar, managed it in tea but not everything else

  30. Leave a Reply

    Emma Abdulaal
    24th November 2013

    For me it has to be naughty snacks like biscuits and chocolate. Now I’m breastfeeding I seem to eat junk while feeding šŸ™

  31. Leave a Reply

    Fiona Mallard
    25th November 2013

    Crisps, I tend to sit and eat multiple bags if they’re in the house. The only way around it is not to buy any at all.

  32. Leave a Reply

    jodie harvey
    25th November 2013

    id like to cut down on fatty food in general, although i am 37 weeks pregnant and plan to breastfeed so i do need some higher fat food but i dont think im a very healthy eater and would like to be šŸ™‚

  33. Leave a Reply

    Rachael Barratt
    26th November 2013

    Wine definitely!

  34. Leave a Reply

    Carrie
    29th November 2013

    Cheese! Except I don’t want to because it’s so delicious!

  35. Leave a Reply

    Beth Gurney
    29th November 2013

    I need to cut back on salt, sugar, fat.. most things that are bad for you that somehow I eat everyday!

  36. Leave a Reply

    zebedee01
    29th November 2013

    I most NEED to cut back on chocolate, but wouldn’t like to LOL!!!

  37. Leave a Reply

    Amy Beckett
    30th November 2013

    Cake , Biscuits and Chocolates

  38. Leave a Reply

    Lisa Sands
    30th November 2013

    Chinese Takeaway! But it’s so yummy! šŸ™‚ xxx

  39. Leave a Reply

    R
    1st December 2013

    sugar – i cant stop once i start

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