recipes for healthy living

Tag: Desserts

Sticky Date Puddings

OO&L Sticky Date Pudding

I haven’t posted a dessert in a while so I thought it was about time! This is a real autumn dessert, delicious toffee flavour from the sauce which is great even just with ice cream. It is one of my Dad’s favourite desserts and really easy to make.

Makes 6 big puddings (Too big for 1 person, I think though my other half disagrees!)

Oven at 170C
2oz chopped pecans or walnuts
8oz Dates pitted and chopped
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp boiling water
3 1/2 oz butter
7oz gluten free self raising flour (sifted)
5oz coconut palm sugar (or golden caster sugar)
2 eggs

Grease 6 dariole moulds with a little soft butter
Sprinkle the nuts into the top of the moulds.
Combine the dates, vanilla, baking soda and boiling water.
Stir to combine and leave to soften and cool.
Beat the sugar and butter together until soft and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition
Fold in the flour followed by the date mixture
Spoon into the moulds about 2/3s full and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through
Turn out and cool slightly before serving with the sauce below.

For the toffee sauce, combine 3oz coconut palm sugar, 6fl oz cream and 1 1/2 oz butter in a pot.
Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved then simmer for about 10 minutes until it has thickened.
Remove from the heat and pour over the delicious puddings.

OO&L Date and Pecan Puddings

Autumn Tarts – Plum and Pear & Apple Galettes

Autumn is here, all the delicious autumnal fruit is in the shops. Beautiful purple, blue black – any of the dark coloured plums are super-foods because of their high content of antioxidants, the most effective protectors of the heart and conveyors of amazing anticancer chemicals. A great source of Vitamins C A and K, the plums and pears together make a beautiful contrast against the pastry and (optional) vanilla ice-cream. Apples are in abundance too – we managed a crop from our little tree – about the only thing in the garden the snails left alone.

These tarts are a cinch – use puff pastry from a pack (life is too short for any other approach), poach the fruit to soften it if needed. I keep the fruits separate to retain the different colours so that they don’t all bleed into one. I love the jewel colours of the plums and if anyone has been keeping an eye on fashion week then you will know its a big trend for ’13….

Apples Pears and Plums on market stall

Pear and Plum Galette
1 small pack of puff pastry (A 450gr pack will make 1 of each tarts)

6 plums washed and quartered with seed removed
4 pears peeled and cored and quartered
2 tbsp coconut palm or dark browh sugar

Place fruit into separate pots, add 1 tsb of sugar into each pot and barely cover the bottom of the pot with some water in which to poach the fruit to soften.
Poach gently until soft and leave to cool
Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle to cover a standard baking sheet.
With a knife make a border all around the rectangle, about .5″ inch in from the edge, don’t cut right through the pastry
Spread the plums over the pastry followed by the pears
Bake at 180 for about 20 minutes until golden brown, serve warm with your choice of ice cream or cream.

Apple galette
6 apples peeled cored and thinly sliced
2 tbsp coconut palm or dark brown sugar mixed with 1 tsp of mixed spice

Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle to cover a standard baking sheet.
With a knife make a border all around the rectangle, about .5″ inch in, don’t cut right through the pastry.
Spread the apples out across the pastry and sprinkle over the sugar and spice mix
Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown .

Gerard Coleman Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownie BitesThe house is quiet but because my 2 nieces are coming for a sleepover with my daughter, I’m taking the opportunity to get some food prepared while there is a bit of peace. A simple sausage casserole is prepared very quickly which all of us will have and I also have some spicy cauliflower curry over from yesterday so that will do for us grown ups.

Because it is a ‘special casion’ the kids will have ice cream and I have made some brownies to enjoy later.The recipe comes from Gerard Coleman of Artisan du chocolat in London who is an extraordinarily talented chocolate maker. Have a look at his site as there are many other yummy looking recipes. including one for Biscotti I think I will make next. His brownie recipe was given to me on my course in Dublin Cookery School and as I have mentioned this is a fantastic place where I have enjoyed developing my cookery skills and finding new recipes as well as meeting an amazing bunch of people. For brownies or most chocolate cooking I use Callebaut chocolate drops. Just make sure you use good quality chocolate otherwise you are really wasting a great recipe.

For 1/2 kg of brownies to be shared among lots of people….
100g dark chocolate
75g butter at room temperature
55g castor sugar
25g Honey (Optional, I left out today as I had none)
75gr whole eggs (about 2 but 3 if they are small)
75gr of chopped chocolate or chocolate drops
75gr of chopped pecans or nuts of choice- make sure to chop finely so they dont drop to the bottom of the tin… Actually today I used macadamia’s
25g self raising flour, sifted – use gluten free if preferred, you will get a slightly flatter result but lovely still.

Oven 160’C. Cook for about 15-20 mins.

9″ springform pan or equivalent tin lined with parchment paper

Melt the bigger quantity of chocolate gently over pot of hot water. Stir in the butter until the butter melts. Take off the heat.
Beat the eggs and sugar until white and light.
Fold this into the melted chocolate mix. Add the sifted flour and chopped chocolate and nuts.
Pour into baking tin.
Bake for about 20 mins until the middle does not wobble but should still be a little gooey. Loosen around the edge of the tin while still warm and leave to cool before cutting.

PS – Check out the christmas gifts on Gerard’s site…. I like the idea of cocoa rehab… 6 months for me please!…

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