Triple Chocolate Almond Brownies

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.

Purposefully made to not be a sweet as traditional brownies whilst retaining all the wonderful flavours you would expect they offer a more intense experience. The chewy middle encapsulated with a crunchy exterior is complimented with the nuts for that pleasing crunch the mouth adores and all backed up with a small tingle from the coffee buzz… could you ask for more.

Ingredients:

  • 150g dark chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 115g butter; cubed
  • 100g almonds; roughly chopped
  • 55g plain flour
  • 50g white chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 30g drinking chocolate
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1tbsp instant coffee
  • 1tbsp filtered hot water
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare an 8-inch square tin by lining it with baking paper, unless you, like me, bake in a silicone tray in which case no lining is necessary.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over a very low heat melt the butter and dark chocolate slowly. Once melted remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir constantly until it is all dissolved.

Put aside the mixture to cool down.

In a small cup mix together the hot water and instant coffee and again set aside to cool; once cold add the vanilla essence.

Beat the eggs with a fork or whisk in a small bowl or cup.

In yet another bowl sift the flour and drinking chocolate together.

Once your dark chocolate has cooled down to around room temperature pour into a mixing bowl and then add the whisked eggs, the coffee and vanilla mixture and stir the mix until combined.

Fold in your flour and drinking chocolate; finally gently fold in the chopped almonds and white chocolate chunks.

Spread the mixture out evenly in your pre-prepared baking tray and bake for 28-30 minutes or until just set in the middle… avoid over baking as over baked brownies will tend to be dry and hard, I like to check on them once my timer hits the 25-minute mark just to keep a close eye on them.

Remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Cut into your desired serving portion size and enjoy!

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookie and a cake.

Sugar Free Blueberry Yogurt Cake

This light and fluffy sugar free blueberry yogurt cake makes for a perfect guilt free treat, at least on a sugar front. The recipe is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients so why not give it a try? You may just be surprised as it tastes delicious!

This light and fluffy sugar free blueberry yogurt cake makes for a perfect guilt free treat, at least on a sugar front. The recipe is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients so why not give it a try? You may just be surprised as it tastes delicious! Ingredients:

  • 180g flour
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 50g + 1tsp Natvia*
  • 100ml natural Greek yogurt
  • 125g blueberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp baking powder

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C if fan assisted otherwise 190C.

Lightly grease one 8” loaf tin.

Sift and mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Add one teaspoon of Natvia into your yogurt and stir until incorporated.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter and 50g of Natvia. Please note that it doesn’t beat in the same way as you would expect when using regular sugar, you will most likely end up having a crumb like texture but don’t worry about it, it will get fixed later on in so far as resembling a traditional cake batter.

Add the eggs, one at the time and continue mixing.

Add half of your flour mixture and mix until combined, then add the remaining flour and the yogurt and mix on a low speed until the mixture has an even texture.

Your batter will be quite thick, it should be like this so again do not worry.

Add the blueberries and using a spatula fold them gently into your batter.

Pour into your earlier prepared loaf tin.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-55min or until golden brown and it passes the dry toothpick test.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for around 10-15 minutes, then remove from baking tin and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make yourself a nice cup of your favourite tea, or coffee if you prefer and then take your cake and cut, serve and enjoy!

This light and fluffy sugar free blueberry yogurt cake makes for a perfect guilt free treat, at least on a sugar front. The recipe is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients so why not give it a try? You may just be surprised as it tastes delicious!

And just in case this is a little too adventurous for you and you are wondering, yes, you can make it full blown standard refined sugar, just replace the Natvia with 150g of caster sugar. You will still have a light and fluffy cake just not as healthy and definitely not as low in calories.

Have you done any sugar free baking lately?

What’s your favourite sugar replacement?

*Natvia is a natural, zero calories sweetener. It only contains erythritol, a substance naturally found in fruit and steviol glycosides from Stevia plants. Natvia doesn’t contain aspartame, saccharin or anything artificial.

The Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake

In celebration of #EvenBetterBaking competition, Dr. Oetker has challenged me to bake my own version of their Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake. They provided me with a baking hamper so I could get to work almost straight away 🙂

The original recipe sounded great and it looked even better but as I am trying to get my eating habits under control I wanted to come up with a more diet friendly version of it…

I decided to replace the rich chocolate cake with a light fat free cocoa based angel cake and the indulgent fudge layer with… well… chocolate-less chocolate cream, which is actually made entirely from superfoods.

I called my creation the Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake.

The Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate CakeIngredients:

For the cake:

For the drizzle:

  • 75ml strong coffee; sweetened

For the cream:

  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 5tbsp natural honey
  • 3tbsp good quality cocoa powder

Method:

Prepare 3 standard sized, round baking tins by greasing the bottom part or lining it with baking paper. Do not the cover sides.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, make sure that all the ingredients are well mixed.

Separate the eggs and put all the whites into large bowl.

Use your mixer and start beating them. You want to achieve stiff whites but be careful not to overbeat them.

Once the whites are starting to form peaks slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time and keep your mixer running.

When all the sugar is incorporated you should have super stiff glossy whites, just as you would if preparing for meringues; now turn your mixer down a notch and add the yolks; one by one but still mixing.

Add the vanilla essence, mix for five seconds and then stop the mixer.

Now comes the hard part – gently fold your dry ingredients being flour, baking powder and cocoa into your mixture. Be very careful not to over mix it; fold it gently and try not to mess around with it for too long.

Split the mixture between the three baking trays and pop in to the oven for around 20 – 25 minutes.

Once you can smell your cake all over the house it most likely means that it is ready. Check with a toothpick and if it comes out clean and dry then it is definitely done, turn your oven off and remove the cakes.

Now, something you might not expect… take each tin and drop it on the floor (you need a hard solid floor not the lino or carpet) from a 30-40cm height. Don’t be scared nothing bad will happen.

Put the cakes aside and allow them to cool.

Prepare your drizzle – 75ml strong coffee and some sugar, sweetener, honey… whatever you fancy using to make it sweet – I used 1tsp of Stevia based sweetener. Put it aside and let it cool.

Time to make the magic chocolate-less chocolate cream: in a food processor place the avocados (with no stone and skin… just to be sure), cocoa powder and honey; then mix until you have totally smooth paste. Do not add water or any other liquids – use the pulse option and the ingredients will combine eventually.

Check on your cakes; once they have cooled down it is time to get building…

Remove each cake from the tin and trim theirs top if needed. I needed to trim two – the bottom and middle layers in order to achieve an even level cake and left the top one as it come from the oven.

Once the cakes are trimmed, use your drizzle mixture and drizzle it all over your cakes – remember to turn the top layer of the cake the other way over and drizzle it from the bottom.

Place the bottom cake on a cake stand and spread half of your chocolate-less cream on top of it; repeat with the middle layer; then cover with the top one and sprinkle with a little bit of icing sugar just to finish the look.

Well, that’s all! We are done.

My Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake #EvenBetterBakingThe Ultimate Chocolateless Chocolate Cake #EvenbetterbakingThe Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake #EvenbetterbakingThis is my bake for #EvenBetterBaking competition – I’ve turned a luxurious chocolate oozing cake into its healthy alternative. My cake contains no fat (well if we don’t count what’s in the avocados but those are the good fats), it is fairly low in sugar (depending on what sweetener you chose for the drizzle) and it looks just as good as a proper chocolate cake and tastes just as awesome!

Bake with Dr. Oetker to win!

Send your bakes that you have made using Dr. Oetker products and tell them what inspired you to make it with #Evenbetterbaking.

Each week Dr. Oetker will pick a Star Baker who will win a goodie bag, and entry into their prize draw to win an Ultimate Baking Hamper worth £500.

To keep up to date with all the latest Even Better Baking news, follow Dr. Oetker on Twitter @DrOetkerBakes, on YouTube DrOetkerBaking or like them on Facebook.

So, what do you think?

Do you like my creation?

Will you be entering #EvenBetterBaking competition in hope of becoming a Star Baker?

Sugar Free Rhubarb & Apple Pie

Sugar Free Rhubarb & Apple PieLately I’ve been obsessed with sugar. I check the ingredients list on all my products like a mad man… well mad woman actually… only to find sugar is in almost everything.

As we like baking I’ve decided to try to do some sugar free baking by replacing sugar with Natvia.

Natvia is a zero calories, 100% natural sugar replacement. It has low G.I and it is suitable for cooking and baking. Natvia contains no aspartame, no saccharin and no artificial ingredients; it is made from all-natural stevia and erythritol and it acts just like sugar does in the oven… well at least this is what I read, so I wanted to test this theory…

The information is right. You can bake with it and it works just as well as ordinary sugar… or should I say better as it is zero calories 🙂

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 200g flour
  • 200g unsalted butter; cubed
  • 5tbsp Natvia sweetener
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 3 drops of vanilla essence

For the filling:

  • 350g rhubarb
  • 350g apples
  • 1tbsp Natvia sweetener
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • A few handfuls of desiccated coconut

Method:

Sift the flour Into a large mixing bowl add the Natvia sweetener and combine, add the baking powder and vanilla essence and finally add the cubed butter. Bring all the ingredients together and add the egg yolk. Once you have a smooth and even pastry for our base split it into two halves and place in the fridge to settle.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Wash and peel the rhubarb and apples, then trim the rhubarb and core/deseed the apples. Once cleaned up then chop them all up into small cubes.

Place them in a saucepan, add Natvia sweetener and cinnamon and gently cook until the fruit becomes soft, stir gently as you don’t want to turn the fruit into a mush.

Remove from the heat and put aside.

Prepare a small cake frame (around 12” X 12”) by lining with baking paper. Retrieve one half of your pastry from the fridge. Fill the bottom of your baking trey with a thin layer of the pastry either by rolling it out (if you are adept with a rolling pin) or just by patching piece by piece with your fingers (if you are not) – your pastry should be very easy to work with so this isn’t difficult.

Next cover your pastry with a thin layer of desiccated coconut then on top of your coconut layer spoon some of the stewed fruit filling; then again cover with a thin layer of desiccated coconut.

Take the second half of your pastry from the fridge so it is as chilled as it can be and using the “big eyes” on your grater grate all over the top.

Pop it into the oven and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes or until a nice golden colour.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Sprinkle with Natvia sweetener to give it a nice dusted finishing look.

Enjoy!

Sugar Free Rhubarb and Apple PieSugar Free Rhubarb & Apple Pie.My Sugar Free Rhubarb & Apple PieHave you ever tried Natvia before?

Have you ever attempted a sugar free bake, if so how did it go?

Yum

Do healthy sweets and treats actually exist?

We all know that eating too much sugar is bad for us… It has been shown that it is actually far worse than fat on our bodies. When you look around at products in your supermarket you will often see lots of fat free or reduced fat products but what about that sugar? A lot of companies are changing recipes and ingredients to reduce sugar in their products but is it enough?

Children aged 4 to 8 who average 1,600 calories per day should limit added sugar to about 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. This is such a small amount of sugar! You can find it in just one serving of breakfast cereals 🙁 And when you start looking at the ingredients list of product, sugar is almost everywhere even in your salted crisps or ketchup… we eat sugars in foods we wouldn’t normally expect it to be, for example it was in a salad bowl I bought for lunch one day, why? And then comes pudding time and time for a treat…

So my question is: Do healthy sweet treats actually exist?

Do healthy sweets and treats actually existWell, seek and you will find!

Have you ever heard about Marlenka Honey Cakes?

Marlenka is a delicious all natural honey and nut cake made according to an old Armenian family recipe. A secret family procedure is used to make the milk and honey cream mixture that holds the layers of cake together. The top of the cake is drizzled with chocolate icing. Thanks to its unique taste and attributes it has quickly become a favourite delicacy in many European countries and now it is present in the United Kingdom as well.

Marlenka cakes are 100% natural – no preservatives, synthetic colouring or thickeners.

Yes, they are sweet and yes, they contain sugar which is found in the honey but these are natural ingredients not processed, and natural products are much more healthy and beneficial for us, especially kids.

The Love Marlenka online shop offers a lovely selection of sweet treats suitable for any occasion. There are:

  • Snack Bars in classic honey, cocoa honey and lemon honey flavour. These are perfect one person snacks and have an RRP of just £0.99
  • Mini Cakes which come in original honey and cocoa honey flavour. These make a perfect treat for sharing or just for satisfying bigger individual sweet cravings and have an RRP of £1.99
  • Honey Cakes which come in original honey and cocoa honey flavour and are idea for a family celebration or just an after dinner treat. They retail at £11.99
  • Honey Nuggets, which yet again comes in a choice of three flavours just like the snack bars: classic honey, cocoa honey and lemon honey. Each box retails at £5.99 and contains 10 honey nuggets so a lot of small treats to go around.

I find that Marlenka products do not taste like anything else you can buy from the shops. They taste home baked and give me this warm fuzzy comfort feeling.

I love honey and I love cakes (which you most likely know judging by the amount of bakes on my blog) so a honey cake is simply the perfect combination for me; add to this that it’s all natural ingredients and you have the perfect sweet treat, which not only taste delicious but is good for you too.

Have you ever tried any Marlenka products?

What is your choice for a healthy sweet treat?

Are you concerned by the amount of sugar in our diet these days?