These are all tried-and-tested recipes, adapted from a wide variety of sources. I really hope you enjoy them and find them useful.

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Healthier" Cakes

OK so cake isn't exactly high up on the nutrition stats, but I am someone who likes treats! And I thought I'd try out some recipes of healthier versions of cake to see if they still taste good...

Beetroot Brownies
I've decided this is the only way I will eat beetroot from now on. Joking! But seriously, I am not a fan of beetroot and I really love this recipe. I've tried it three times now. The first time, I didn't grate the beetroot. That was a mistake! So don't be tempted to skip the grating. It's not a massively healthy recipe (it was originally in Sainsburys magazine), but I replaced the butter with vegetable oil to lower the amount of saturated fat, and the beetroot's got to be one of your 5-a-day right?
150ml vegetable oil
200g dark chocolate
3 eggs
225g dark brown sugar (like molasses style)
2 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
50g self raising flour
100g grated cooked beetroot (from the vacuum packed stuff but not in vinegar)

Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
Break the chocolate into squares and melt it down in the microwave in a large bowl, taking out to stir frequently.
Pour in the oil then add the three eggs and beat together.
Add in the vanilla extract and the sugar. Beat and mix together.
Fold in the flour (I used half self-raising because I found it tended to sink in the middle otherwise).
Stir in the grated beetroot, transfer to a baking tin, and bake for approx 35 minutes. A skewer should come out with moist crumbs on after this time. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin.

Dairy free Chocolate Cake
From the Co-operative Food magazine
It says dairy-free but it does still use eggs!

200g light soft brown sugar
150ml olive oil
3 eggs
50g cocoa powder
200g self-raising flour
100ml unsweetened soya milk, warmed
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Beat the sugar and oil then gradually add the eggs with a little of the cocoa powder.
Fold in the remaining cocoa powder and half of the flour.
Mix the soya milk and bicarb together in a jug, then pour in. Fold in the rest of the flour.
Pour into a round tin and bake for 40-50 mins.

Verdict: It doesn't taste too different from my normal chocolate cake, but I felt it went dry pretty quickly, after just a day. Perhaps would need a chocolate sauce with it. The recipe had a chocolate icing element which I didn't do, for the sake of trying to be a bit healthier, but it does mean you perhaps need a squirt of cream or creme fraiche when serving.

Banana and almond cake
From Sainsburys magazine, with some adaptations
No sugar (except natural sugars) or wheat (though I did use some flour)

75g melted butter (I used soya milk, just because I wanted to use more of the ingredient up as I bought it for the other cake!)
4 mashed up bananas
4 large eggs
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
200g ground almonds (I only had 150g, so I used plain flour to make up the rest)
1 tsp cinammon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
100g soft cheese
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
A dash of lemon juice

So you may well say I've already butchered up this recipe by using soya milk. Well when it comes to the method the magazine said to blend everything in a food processor and I thought 'no way!' So whether this cake actually resembles anything like its original version is up to you to decide!
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix the mashed up bananas with the melted butter / soya milk and the eggs. Add the syrup and the dry ingredients.
Pour into a cake tin -don't use a springform or loose-bottomed one.
Bake for 45-55 mins until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool completely before icing.

Verdict: The cake works, which is perhaps impressive given the lack of ordinary ingredients like flour and sugar and butter (if using soya milk like me!). But it is definitely more on the pudding consistency than cake - a bit moist for me. It tastes good, the banana isn't too strong. Nice subtle flavour.

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