Category Archives: Desserts

Festive Frugal Fudge

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There is absolutely nothing festive about this fudge. You can make it in any season you like, but that doesn’t matter, I like alliteration and thus this is called festive fudge.

I hope all your Christmases were lovely and full of great things. I myself had probably one of the best Christmases on record. It marked a positive contrast from last year’s bleak period of injury and exams. This Christmas I still have backpain but I have no exams. YAY.

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The weather was GRIM on Christmas day, but as long as it didn’t snow I was very happy. It was very Londonny and grey, which is what I like. Got a bit sopping wet on my run but it was invigorating. Our Christmas meal was of course a traditional one with all the trimmings. Us vegetarians had nutroast, which was so filling and I just got really full and felt like a pregnant lady. It unfortunately meant that I couldn’t have the fudge as a post post post post post meal treat. (I ate a lot).

Anyway, I have never made fudge  before. I thought it was very beyond me. I thought ‘it’s a SWEET, don’t you  need thermometers for that sort of craziness?’ No. It turns out. This salted caramel fudge was pretty darn simple. ENJOY.

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Ingredients

-400g caster sugar

-125 g butter

-1x 397g can condensed milk

-100ml milk

-2 tbsp of golden syrup

-Salt crystals

Method

-Prepare a small baking tin with greaseproof paper.

-Melt all the ingredients in a pan on a low heat, stirring constantly.

-Bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to stir. It should start boiling ferociously, and which point you should be prepared to…you know, just be prepared.

-Take off the heat completely at this point. YOU KNOW ITS READY WHEN YOU DROP A BIT INTO ICE WATER AND IT SOLIDIFIES INTO A BALL OF FUDGE. 

-Once off the heat, beat the mixture with a wooden spoon continuously until it comes away from the side and is very thick. This could take up to 10 minutes.

-Pour the mixture into your baking tray and smooth down. Sprinkle salts crystals on top, and press down with the back of a spoon to push into fudge mixture.

-Place in fridge for up to four hours, when it then should be ready to eat. Store in the fridge.

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How to be Healthy: Cheap Chocolate Butterscotch Scoop

I left Leeds last week. My exams finished, I hung around for a week and did NOTHING, I packed up the crap I’ve collected for two years and then I left at 6.30am. I will be gone for about 15 months, while I spend a year studying in the south of France. It was sad to go, but hey, I’m gonna get SOOOOOO tanned.

This will be me for the next year.

I have been spending the last week not doing much. Sorting out France, trying to flat hunt. I’ve been doing lots of reading and helping my sister edit some filming she’s been doing. Most importantly, I’VE BEEN WORKING OUTTTT. I haven’t said, but I’ve been unable to run for 5 weeks as my back seized up during revision period, which offset the right side of my body, and my right leg was overwhelmingly weak and painful. But I’ve been in the gym, pumping iron, doing lots of pilates and yoga, and I’m on the mend. I did 5k today without any pain (nearly). Hopes are up.

Anyway, here you go.

LOOK! IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE ICE CREAM. BUT IT ISN’T! This right here is made of bananas. And some cocoa powder. And some set honey which gives it that butterscotchy flavour. Yummy. Process it all together and eat straight away or freeze in an airtight container and enjoy whenever.

Ingredients: 

Serves 4 

-4 bananas, frozen

-1 dessert spoon cocoa powder

-1 tbsp set (or runny) honey

Method

-Freeze your bananas at least a day prior, and make sure you peel and chop them before hand otherwise it’s a pain trying to peel a frozen banana.

-In the food processor, process your bananas for about 4-5 minutes. Stopping from time to time to mix the mixture.

-Once it starts to get creamy, add the cocoa powder and the honey and continue to process.

-Put in a container and re-freeze for that more effective ice cream texture, or serve straight away for the more soft serve effect.

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Olive Oil Brownies. Yes.

I didn’t have butter. That was the only reason I used olive oil. I thought…Why wouldn’t it work? It must be on google/foodgawker somewhere!  Yeh, well it was.

I had made brownies for my friend for her birthday the previous week, and so I had left over eggs. I dislike eggs a lot and didn’t want to eat them, so I offered them to my house, but only 1 was eaten. So I was like: FINE I’LL BAKE. It was also a Saturday, and all my friends were going out but I still had exams so I was left relatively at a loose end. So, I thought, it’s either watch the Killing for the next 3 hours or bake.

I baked.

THEN I watched the Killing.

Yeah they were BANG. Soooo good. Olive oil made absolutely no difference. So basically all these years, people have been using butter (in my mum’s case, A WHOLE PACK) to make these brownies, whilst they could be using something that’s a lot healthier.

They were just great.

Ingredients

-1 1/2 cup of brown sugar

-2 eggs

-1/2 cup olive oil (250 ml)

-3/4 cup of cocoa powder

-1 cup of flour

-1 tsp baking powder

-100ml milk

-1 tsp vanilla essence

-3 Maryland cookies (optional) (they were on discount)

Method

-Preheat the oven to 180 c, and line a baking dish with greaseproof paper or tin foil (if using foil, grease first).

-In a food processor or in a mixing bowl, mix/process together the eggs and sugar.

-Once well combined, add the oil and continue combining the mixture.

-Add the remaining ingredients and continue to mix. If it seems very sticky, add some more milk.

-Spread into a baking dish and crumble the cookies on top, if using.

Put in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the brownies feel firm on top but still a tiny bit of softness. Check they’re done by prodding a knife in it, making sure it comes out clean.

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Cooking Up My Bookmarks: Really Good, Really Healthy Brownies

Shockingly good actually, but I didn’t want to make that the title. It seemed a bit presumptuous.

These are part of my ‘Cooking Up My Bookmarks’ mission. It’s going well so far.

These are date brownies. They aren’t called date brownies because eating a lot of them will get you a date (they wont, I’ve tried) , but because they have lots of dates in them. AND WE ALL KNOW, dates really rule when it comes to sweet things #datesquares #stickytoffeepudding.

I love brownies. They have to be really fudgy and sickly. And chocolately. My mum makes amazing brownies, and I always swore that she did. But then my friend made these even more amazing brownies with melted chocolate. They were nice.

They reinstated a love of brownies in me, and so, to make brownies REALLY EXCITING, I wanted to make a healthy recipe for them…party at my house.

How are these made healthy? Well, they don’t have butter, sugar, eggs or flour in them. DAT’S RIGHT. They have pearl barley flour in them, this is made by grinding pearl barley. This did mean that there were bits of pearl barley in the brownies, but they were edible and I’m fine 12 hours later. So hey, it’s okay! By the way, a food processor is necessary.

So what do they actually taste like? OMIGOD, they taste so good. I was so dubious, but these are rich, and gooey and very chocolately. The texture is very dense, and the flavour is nutty and chocolatey, a bit like a Kinder Bueno.

Just taking this opportunity to plug my twitter account again, @jes_sca (or see the side bar).

Ingredients- Cooking THIS but with a lot of variation

-1 cup of dates

-3/4 boiling water

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1/4 cup of pearl barley flour (process barley)

-1/4 mix of hazlenuts and almonds

-1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

-1/2 cup cocoa powder

-1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

-1/4 dessicated coconut (optional)

-1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

-1/4 cup peanut butter

Method

-Preheat oven to gas mark 5/370f/190 c. Grease a rounded cake tin, or a 5″ x 5″ tin, or any sort of tin you have.

-In a bowl, pour the hot water and vanilla essence over the dates and set aside.

-In a food processor, process the pearl barley and nuts for as long as possible. It should be very finely processed,  but there will be some bits of pearl barley that don’t get processed. Seive the mixture into another bowl, you basically want to get rid of all the whole bits of barley, and set aside.

-To this mixture add the cocoa powder, coconut oil, dessicated coconut and baking powder.

-Get your date mixture, and put into the food processor. Process for about 1 minute until the mixture is paste-like .

-Add the cocoa mixture and the peanut butter to the paste-mixture and process until everything is well-combined.

-Pour the batter into cake tin and cook for an 45 mins-hour. They are ready when the top of the brownies is very firm and when you poke a knife through it, it comes out clean.

-Leave to cool before cutting. And eating.

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Filed under Desserts, Healthy Sweets, Vegan, Vegetarian

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

HEY WHO DOESN’T LIKE BISCUITS!?

Yeah so a few weeks ago it was my housemates birthday and we scoured through hundreds of photos of cakes to see which one she would like me to cook. We settled on the most amazing but simplest recipe, this chocolate chip cookie CAKE. It was basically a giant cookie, in the shape and density of a cake. It went down well.

Thus having lots of cookie making ingredients in my house, I thought I’d be generous and make cookies. And I mean, I made a LOT of cookies.  White and double chocolate chip. Tubs and tubs. I’ve frozen them because I can’t bear to see them go off, freezing them makes them last longer apparently.

Anyway, enjoy. Cookies are easy to make and require very few, and easily sourced, ingredients.

Ingredients


-1 1/2 cup of plain flour

-1/2 tsp baking flour

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 cup of soft butter

-1 cup of brown sugar (I used demerara)

-1 egg

-1 tsp vanilla essence

-200g chocolate chips (I used 100g white and 100g milk)

Method

-Pre-heat oven to 180-200c. Line a few baking trays with greaseproof paper, or grease them with butter/oil.

-If you have a food processor, process the butter and sugar until creamy. If using hand, cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon.

-Add the egg and process/mix until the ingredients are well combined.

-Add the remaining ingredients and continue to process/miss until everything looks lovely and sickening.

-Scoop heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking tray and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the cookies are brown and quite soft to touch. Leave to cool and then enjoy!

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Special Sticky Toffee Pudding

These past 3-4 weeks, I have been dying. Literally. Physical and mental turmoil. I have had lots and lots and lots and LOTS of work to do. Important work as well, that actually counts. Oh and right when all this work comes, my computer chooses to die. Therefore everyday I get up and go to the library, stare at books and computers all day. Oh and then my ipod breaks. And then my memory stick. It could be worse because I didn’t loose work, but I definitely almost lost the will.

Then I got a cold/cough. It was not a monstrous one(I didn’t loose my voice, the sign of a bad cold for me), but I never get ill so it really threw me. It made me run down and then it exacerbated my injury. Normally I would be fine with a cold, but remember I was at uni for about 9 hours a day.

However, as my work gets proof read by my mother, my mental state has calmed and I have a bit of a cough now but that’s it. I am currently lying in bed writing this, it feels good.

So here we have a cake that you can eat to make everything better if you have lots of work, or to celebrate having no work. It’s indulgent, and it has DATES in it. WHO KNEW STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING HAD DATES IN IT!?!?! This is my favourite ever dessert. It’s so nice with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy.

Ingredients (adapted from from Nigel Slater and James Martin)

-50-60g butter

-170g brown sugar

-2 eggs

-150g self-raising flour

-1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

-1tsp vanilla essence

-200g  seedless dates

-250ml hot water

-For the toffee sauce, click here (will open in a new window)

Method

-Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200c. Grease ideally a spring-form cake tin, but any baking tray you have to hand will work.

-If using a food processor, process the dates and hot water, until it has a paste-like texture, set aside the mixture for 10 minutes and wash food processor bowl. If using hand, chopped the dates very finely and mix with hot water and set aside for 10 minutes.

-Cream together, by hand or by processor, the butter and sugar. Once that has a creamy texture, add the two eggs, process/mix well until all is combined.

-Then add the flour, bicarb and vanilla and mix again until everything is combined and resembles batter.

-Add the dates  mixture to the batter and process until everything is combined and smooth. The mixture should be a dark coffee colour. Pour into your cake tin and place in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. It is ready when the top is springy and when you put a metal spike or knife in it, it comes out clean.

-*5 minutes before serving, heat up your toffee sauce,  prod lots of holes in the top of the cake and pour about 1/4 of the sauce mixture over the cake so it goes down the holes. And leave for 2-5 minutes.

-Serve with more toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream

Make ahead note:

-This can be done ahead of time. Simply make the cake and sauce separately. 15 minutes for eating cover  cake with foil, and place in oven at 180 c. After 10 minutes, do step *. Reheat sauce in a saucepan and serve along side cake.

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Toffee Sauce for Pancake Day

Hmm.Yes well, sweets are allowed. Especially something like this. If you’re going to eat unhealthily, you should eat this. A little bit of what you fancy does you good. Hot toffee sauce is very good. Good on Sticky Toffee Pudding, Vanilla Ice Cream or….

ON YOUR PANCAKES ON PANCAKE DAY WHICH IS TOMORROW YAYYYYYYYYYYYY.

It’s dangerous how easy it is to make this. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Ingredients (you could probably half this, it makes a lot)

200g butter

-400g  soft dark brown sugar, or just brown sugar but the dark brown sugar is far more smoother

-250 ml Double Cream

-1 tsp vanilla essence (if available)

Method

-Melt the butter in a saucepan.

-Add the sugar, vanilla and cream, stir and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. There you go. You’re welcome.

Note: Store in the fridge, and reheat when eating again. Keep for 2 weeks.

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