Just before my January healthy eating resolve dissolved, I was sent some sachets of Truvia to use. The sachets come in 1/3 of a teaspoon and are really designed for use in cups of tea or coffee. One sachet is equivalent to a teaspoon of sugar. There has been a re-emergence of interest in stevia recently which is the main constituent of Truvia. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a plant which tastes incredibly sweet, but has zero calories, making it quite tempting as a sugar substitute. It does have a bit of an acquired taste, but in all its years of use, no negative effects have yet been proven. You can find more about Truvia here.
Anyway, I don’t like sweet drinks so had no interest in using it in my cup of tea. Instead I had some left over bread I thought would lend itself very nicely to a bread and butter pudding. It’s been years since I made this very British pudding – I have no idea why I’ve waited this long because it’s a really good one. I also had some lovely fairtrade chocolate to finish off, so I included that along with the bread.
Sugar Free Bread and Butter Chocolate Pudding Recipe (almost!)
This is what I did to feed 4:
- Buttered a small Pyrex casserole dish.
- Cut 14 slices of a large white baguette – about 1 cm thick.
- Spread each slice with butter.
- Laid 7 slices at the bottom of the dish.
- Chopped 60g of dark chocolate (TraidCraft 72%) and scattered half over the bread slices.
- Layered the remaining bread over the top and scattered on the remaining chocolate.
- Whisked 2 eggs well with 200ml milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 3 level teaspoons of Truvia.
- Poured this over the bread and left to soak for 15 minutes.
- Baked in the middle of the oven at 180C for 25 minutes.
This turned out even better than I was hoping; I had been concerned that the chocolate on the top would burn, but no, it melted beautifully. The top was crisp and buttery and the bottom was smooth and custardy. The chocolate gave it an added richness that turned it from an everyday pudding (as if I made puddings every day) into a special event. We ate it warm whilst the chocolate was still melted and it felt truly decadent, but really wasn’t. The Truvia gave just the right level of sweetness, but had an aftertaste which is not unpleasant, but takes some getting used to if you are unfamiliar with it. Greedy souls that we are, CT and I consumed the whole thing in one sitting. It was soooo worth it. At least we knew the sugar count was low!
I am submitting this to Calendar cakes, a monthly blogging event hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes. The theme this month is for a healthy New Year, New You so I hope this virtually sugar free pudding fits the bill.
As I was using up left over bread and chocolate (not sure that one counts really, as I never find it difficult to use chocolate) I’m entering this into Credit Crunch Munch which you can find out about with hosts Fab Food for All and Fuss Free Flavours.
As soon as I heard that Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen had picked cherries as the special ingredient for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I had clafoutis in mind. For Christmas I received a beautiful red clafoutis dish from my mother and although much admired, I hadn’t actually used it yet. This was the spur I needed.
Well how exciting. For the very first time, Dom is allowing us to have a choice for this month’s Random Recipes – a limited choice perhaps, but nevertheless a choice. It’s a chance for those sadly neglected first and last recipes in a book to have their day and hopefully shine. So I collected all of my chocolate books together (and they are slowly growing) and asked CT to do his usual and select a random number between 1 and 10. Dah dah – for the second time For Chocolate Lovers by our local celebrity chefs the Tanner Brothers took centre stage. The first recipe in the book was for banana and chocolate souffle pancakes, the last for white chocolate sauce. Oh a difficult choice here, which to go for? Actually, it wasn’t in the least bit difficult because neither CT nor myself are particularly fond of bananas. White chocolate sauce it was then.
This hardly rates as a recipe at all. A simple process of melting chocolate with milk and stirring. I used a slightly less fussy method to the one in the book to reduce on washing up, but didn’t do anything fancy. I used Green&Blacks white chocolate because it is particularly vanillary. It would be fun to experiment with other flavours though – chilli, citrus zest, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper to name but a few.
This is how I did it:
- Broke up 100g bar of white chocolate (G&B) into a pan.
- Added 125ml milk.
- Placed on a low heat and left until the chocolate had melted.
- Stirred until smooth.
- Poured into a jug.
This was very sweet but quite tasty and was especially good over unsweetened strawberries. I also tried it over the chocolate ice-cream which will be featuring in my next post. As it’s such a quick and easy sauce to make and works well either hot or cold, it would be good served hot to spruce up anything that would normally be served with custard or cold as a substitute for cream.
It’s Dom’s second anniversary at Belleau Kitchen this month and to help him celebrate he asked us all to randomly select a recipe from one of our baking books. Hooray. This narrowed things down and made the task somewhat easier as I didn’t have to search through every bookshelf and stack in the house. Including my chocolate books, this gave me twenty in total. I asked CT to choose a number and as it was Friday the 13th at the time, 13 was the number he chose. Luckily 13 was my lovely grandmother’s lucky number, so I don’t feel in the least bit filled with gloom by this particular integer. And I was right not to be gloom filled as the book turned out to be Green & Black’s Ultimate. Flicking through the pages with my eyes closed I landed on a recipe for pudding – Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake to be precise. Given that there is often a piece of cake lying around the house to be had, I rarely make puddings, but a friend coming over for supper a couple of night’s ago provided the perfect opportunity.
This very friend had persuaded me just a few days before to buy these cheery little ramekin dishes when we were out and about. So rather than make one large cakey pudding as suggested, it seemed more apt to make individual ones and use these colourful ramekins. As we still had quite a bit of cake left over from my first Clandestine Cake Club event, I only made half of the amount specified in the book.
This is how I did it:
- Chopped 75g dried dates and placed in a medium sized saucepan.
- Poured on 150ml boiling water and simmered for a few minutes with the lid on. Turned the heat off and left to soak whilst I found and greased my ramekin dishes.
- Added 50g unsalted butter, 75g light Muscovado sugar and 75g dark chocolate (85%) and left those to melt.
- Sifted 120g wholemeal spelt into a mixing bowl with 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda. Made a well in the centre.
- Stirred the chocolate mixture until all incorporated then poured into the flour and mixed.
- Broke in 2 smallish duck eggs (probably medium hens eggs) and beat well with my wooden spoon.
- Spooned into the ramekin dishes filling them to just over 3/4 – I also had enough to nearly fill to mini loaf moulds.
- Baked for 20 minutes at 180C.
- Melted 50g unsalted butter in a pan with 2 large tbsp golden syrup.
- Stirred in 100g light Muscovado sugar.
- Poured in 100ml double cream and stirred.
- Bought to a simmer and let it bubble for a few minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Poured some toffee sauce over each of the puddings as soon as they were out of the oven.
- Spent an inordinate amount of time trying to take a photograph in the gloom without a flash until everyone was well and truly fed up with me.
A layer of sweet apples, optional pieces of chocolate topped off by a layer of crisp spicy sugary breadcrumbs. This apple brown betty is home cooked comfort food at its best. It makes for an easy and delicious autumnal pudding.
Call them molten lava puds, chocolate fondants or bitter chocolate puddings as I have here, they’re one of the best chocolate puddings ever. They’re really easy to make too. Can be prepared in advance which makes them perfect dinner party fare.
A simple but classic British fruit sponge dessert that’s most often made with apples. Once baked, you end up with three layers, the fruit itself, a gooey sponge and a crisp yet light top. This version of Eve’s pudding includes ground cherries as well as apples.
I’m rubbish at pastry and don’t enjoy making it much, so I rarely make pies and tarts even though I love eating them. But when I saw this post at 5am Foodie, I immediately wanted to make apple pie and thought I’d better do it quick before I chickened out. There is something so nostalgic but also comforting about apple pie, it takes me straight back to my mother’s cooking of yesteryear. I was going to make a straight forward shortcrust pastry, but when it came to it I couldn’t resist making a chocolate version. So here is how I did it:
- Rubbed 180g unsalted butter into 260g flour (160g white, 100g wholemeal), 20g cocoa, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tbsp caster sugar until mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
- Added 3 tbsp water and bought mixture together forming it into a ball.
- Placed this in the fridge and left for a few hours until I was ready to assemble the pie (as I understand it, resting pastry in the fridge before using helps to stop the pastry shrink when cooking).
- Cut of just over 1/2 and rolled out to line a 9″ (23cm) pie dish
- Baked this blind at 180C for 10 mins. It shrank – hey ho, the best laid plans!
- Peeled, cored and sliced 6 medium sized windfall apples and put them in a bowl.
- Mixed in a tbsp lemon juice, 100g demerara sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon then left to go slightly syrupy.
- When pie base had cooled, piled in the apples.
- Rolled out remaining pastry until large enough to cover the top.
- Pressed the sides down to meet the pastry base.
- Cut shapes from remaining pastry and placed on top. This is where I went slightly wrong, I blithely decided to ignore Michele’s instructions to cut slits in the top to allow the steam to escape!
- Baked for 30 mins at 180C
I had a few windfalls that were in need of eating quickly and with the weather being rather autumnal, a crumble seemed like a jolly good idea. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a crumble using chocolate for some time, but really wasn’t sure about the concept. However, I thought I’d give it a try this time – so I did.
- Using my hands, rubbed 6oz wholemeal spelt with 2oz butter until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
- Stirred in 3oz demerara sugar, 1 heaped tsp cinnamon, 2oz chopped walnuts and 50g chopped 70% dark chocolate.
- Peeled, cored and sliced 5 medium sized apples and put these into a greased ovenproof dish along with a tbsp of demerara sugar and a small glass of water.
- Covered with the crumble topping and baked for 30 mins at 180C.
I blame Chele at the Chocolate Teapot for this one. I don’t think I would have thought of doing this in a million years – pineapple rings with cherries in the middle were the stuff of nightmares for me when I was a child. Well, I may be exaggerating a tad here, but pineapple upside down cake was not my favourite. However when I saw this, made with fresh pineapple, it got me interested. Then, whilst out shopping, I saw a half price pineapple which was just about perfectly ripe. What option did I have?
- Dissolved 200g demerara sugar in a pan with 1/2 cup water and boiled for a few minutes until syrupy and golden.
- Took off the heat and stirred in 75g unsalted butter.
- Poured caramel into a 23cm cake thingie.
- Faffed around with a pineapple trying to skin and chop it into small segments – which I eventually achieved.
- Placed segments on top of the caramel.
- Melted 100g 85% cocoa with 125g unsalted butter.
- Beat 4 duck eggs with 225g vanilla sugar (you could use 1 tsp vanilla extract instead) for ages until really pale and thick.
- Poured in chocolate mixture and stirred to combine.
- Sieved in 170g flour (150g wholemeal spelt and 20g coconut flour) and 2 tsp baking powder then folded into mixture until just combined.
- Spooned mixture over the pineapple and baked at 160C for 50 mins.