Chocolate Tofu Pudding

I’ve been developing a bit of a dessert habit of late, oh who am I kidding I’ve been developing it most of my life. A liking of the sweet stuff, sadly, does no good so I’ve been looking at ways of getting my fix without the heavy laden of calories. This was a pudding I was keen to try out. Tofu is full of good stuff – bloody amazing huh?! Anyways recipe time, you can have this little wonder pus whipped up and ready to serve in minutes or leave it in the fridge to set further ready for your guests oh yeah think of this as upmarket vegan angel delight.

Ingredients:

300g pack of silken and firm tofu
1 dessert spoonful of agave syrup
50g dark chocolate (vegan chocolate if needed)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method:

Drain the tofu and whizz in a blender. Melt the chocolate, then combine with liquid tofu, syrup and vanilla extract and whiz some more. Serve in little dishes with a bit of grated chocolate on top or spooned from the blender into your gob. Delish.

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Chocamole

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I know, I know everyone has done a chocamole, but I was intrigued, surely a green fruit mixed with cocoa could not make a thick, creamy and satisfying pudding. It does though. I made a quick portion tonight using this recipe herewith the maple syrup substituted with agave. I’ve been eating it whilst reading the health benefits of avocados, I know, multi tasking pudding eating with web reading, that’s just how I roll.

If this post looks a bit funny it’s because it’s my first complete upload from the app on my phone, fingers crossed it works though.

Marks and Spencer’s Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

Marks and Spencer’s Gluten Free Chocolate Muffin

Marks and Sparks are doing pretty well at this whole gluten-free lark, I happened to be in need of a little respite in the Croydon branch today so decided to have a little nosey at what one might purchase for elevenses in their Cafe Revive and what did I find? Choice, that’s what.  There were not only these pretty damn delicious and intensely chocolatey muffins, there were fruit cakes, sandwiches and the offer of a wrapped gluten-free roll with their soups.  Yes that’s right, you are not hallucinating, as well as the usual standby of jacket potatoes there was quite a selection of both sweet and savoury offerings for us gluten sensitive coeliacs.  So I salute you M&S, well done, and I think I shall be returning around lunch time next week for a taste of one of the more substantial savoury offerings.

I’ll keep you posted dear readers but in the mean time, what about you?  Found any more new and exciting gluten-free morsels on the high street?  Let me know!

Cranberry, Chocolate and Clementine Fairy Cakes (Gluten Free)

I’ve basically nabbed the core recipe for fairy cakes from the side of the Dove’s Self Raising Flour pack here but I’ve added a bit of a twist by adding an ace little favour combination which was inspired by the dregs of my kitchen cupboard and fruit bowl.  I wasn’t sure this was going to work but it makes a pretty damn tasty batch of  moist, clementine scented cakes filled with morsels of dark chocolate and cranberry pieces.  These disappeared pretty sharpish in my office and will definitely be making a come back for any impromptu cake deserving sessions in the future, any old excuse will do.

Makes about 20 in bog standard fairy cake cases.

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 150g gluten free self raising flour (I used Dove’s)
  • 1 small packet of dried cranberries
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • Juice and zest of 2 clementines

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.

 Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, add the orange juice and zest, then the cranberries, chocolate and flour.  Spoon into cases, about half full.  Bake for about 15 min or until lightly golden and cooked through.

Once cooked leave to cool, then eat, share and stand back and be proud – Well that would be the safest advice but actually what you want to do is try one of these little bad boys warm from the oven when the chocolate is still all melty and delicious and tell yourself you deserve it and really you are just checking the quality right? Yeah? You know what I’m talking about.

Iced Banana Espresso Pick Me Up

Hello there, I’ve been a bit slack lately haven’t I? It was my last week at work last week before the summer holidays (yay!) and, typically, I suddenly realised as it kicked in on Monday that I had shed loads still to do so I ws busy getting stuff together and packing for my 3rd office move in 2 1/2 years(!). At the weekend I attended a very interesting conference come residential training course and have since been pottering about and trying to entertain my 3 year old daughter. We went to Brighton yesterday, I really love it there and they have the best play area by the beach so the little lady was more than entertained with that, the beach and running down the promenade at top speed. Here a few pictures of the day:

Priya and Megan throwing stones into the sea

The old pier

Forget Zumba try walking up and down these for an hour, thighs of steel I tell you!

After getting back we were cream crackered, there is something about the sea air and trekking round and up and down the hills and pebbly beaches of Brighton that makes you realise how incredibly unfit you are, my thighs are literally aching today after dragging the push chair through the pebbles and pushing it arduously up the hill back to the station. Anyway we were a bit unlucky with our choices of food and drink that day and towards the end of the afternoon I really fancied a proper milkshake, so we went into what looked like a reputable establishment amongst the Lanes and ordered said milkshake. After reading the claims of ‘mixed with homemade ice cream’ I had somewhat got my hopes up that this would be a thick flavoursome affair but unfortunately I was sadly disappointed by the syrup based, watery, sweet milk drink that arrived. But I was not deterred, I would, by the end of the day, find or make my ultimate milk pick me up and that I did! I became a little obsessed last summer with those frozen mocha coffee drinks all the big chains do but after realising they were practically the sum total of my expected calorie intake of a day and then getting that post caffeine sugar slump I decided it was best I cut back on these icy delights. So to compensate and as a little treat (this can be naughty) I concocted my own rather healthier and far, far tastier iced coffee drink. If you’ve been with me for a while you will have read one of my first very simple recipes for an ice cream like banana milkshake (the secret – frozen banana) so this is an extension of that technique with or without the optional (perhaps depending on the time of day you wish to drink this) slosh of Kahlua.

mmmm...

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas (this is a great way to use up bananas that are starting to brown, chop them up into chunky slices, bag and chuck in the freezer then next time you fancy a rather virtuous treat, you have the main ingredient to hand and no waste!)

Half a pint of milk (you choose your fat level, skimmed works and is healthy but if you fancy a more full on creamy sensation then whack up the fat content and go full fat)

2 espressos, I use Percol, it’s instant but very good

A squirt, or maybe 2 of agave syrup, failing that golden, honey or sugar – I like the idea that I’m being semi healthy with the agave (plus this is the stuff they make tequila from!)

A capful of vanilla extract

A couple of measures of Kahlua (optional)

Method:

Whizz all the ingredients in a blender. Serve in glasses of your choice or a mug like I used this afternoon in my non alcoholic version ( no ones looking you know). Grate some chocolate on top if you are feeling fancy and drink or spoon down your throat whilst smugly thinking how fantastically good this is for you. This drink not only gives you one of your five a day, it gives you a good caffeine kick, has calcium in it, the banana adds fibre and prevents that post caffeine slump AND if you use agave its sugar free. What more could you want? Make one NOW!!!

p.s. if you want to halve the recipe and make enough for one, go on you’re worth it, then it might be advisable to let the espresso cool for while so that it doesn’t melt your drink too much, I found with 2 bananas it is fine but with one you can end up losing the ice cream finish so just wait a little while yeah?

Pear, Chocolate and Almond Cake

I have two inspirations for this post, 1.  Lynn at http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/about/recipes-2/spicy-pear-cake/, I was tweeting the other night and got distracted by this delicious spiced pear cake and also 2. a memory of a summer holiday in France as a child eating Crepes Poire Belle Helene, a heady mix of pancake, pear, vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate sauce, heaven!

This recipe uses the same frangipane base as my apple and almond cake posted last week.

Anyway I set to work the other day and this was the result:

Ingredients:

3 ripe pears

3 eggs

150g ground almonds

150g sugar

150g butter

2 dessert spoons of amaretto

About 60g of dark chocolate, chopped into shards

Method:

Set the oven to 180 degrees (fan). Grease a spring form round cake tin. In fact line the tin, PLEASE, I didn’t and as delicious as this cake was it would not come out of the tin whole so I have had to prise individual slices out or (and this is what has happened mostly) I have dug out spoonfuls every time I felt peckish!

Cream the butter and sugar. Whisk the eggs then beat into the creamed butter mix.  Stir in the almonds and then fold in the chopped chocolate.  Pour the batter into the tin and shake it out so it fills the sides. 

Then peel and core 3 ripe pears. I used a potato peeler and then a teaspoon to core them.  Half the pears and sit on top of the cake mix, in the end I could only squeeze in 5 halves so we guzzled down the remaining pear just to check it’s suitability.

Put cake into the oven for about 45 min.  It’s done when lightly golden and a knife comes out clean.

Chocolate and Cardamon Custard Pots

This is a combination I spotted in my new purchase the ‘Flavour Thesaurus’ by Niki Segnit, my current bedtime read, I hope to blog more about it soon.  I had once tried some delicious cardamon milk chocolate and wanted to make something custard based as a dessert so I had a go at experimenting and out came this.  The result adds a gently fragranced characteristic to a smooth chocolate custard which forms a very pleasant end to a meal. 

This makes about 2 and half little ramekins worth so double the quantities if you need more.

Ingredients:

1/2 Pint of whole milk

4 cardamon pods

50g of dark chocolate

2 dessert spoons of sugar

a teaspoon of cornflour

2 egg yolks

Method:

Mix the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a bowl.  Heat the milk with the crushed (or split) cardamon pods gently until hot, you don’t want it to boil.  Add the hot milk to the egg yolk mix and whisk together then return to the pan and heat very gently stirring continually.  Keep going, be very gentle with the heat as you don’t want scrambled eggs, then take off the heat once thickened.  Add broken up chocolate and stir.  Pour into little bowls or ramekins and then chill thoroughly in the fridge.  Clearly any wastage is up to you to dispose of as you will, but lets just say there is plenty of opportunity for licking the spoon and scraping the pot!