With the Great British Bake Off in full swing, amateur bakers like myself are taking to their mixing bowls armed with spatulas and measuring spoons in a bid to create a show-stopper bake capable of reducing family and friends to tears. Last weeks bread affair left me hankering for the perfect baguette and I’ve anticipated that this week’s dessert theme will have no less of an affect on me.
I am, however, also training to run my first ever half marathon, which is less than five weeks away and I currently feel somewhat dubious about crossing that finish line in any respectable state. And we all know that desserts and Lycra are not training ideal partners.
So here I am stuck in the predicament of trying to eat super healthily to aid my strict(ish) new fitness regime but each Wednesday evening developing an insatiable hunger for sponge, macroons, pies and buns. This means that where possible I’m desperately seeking the healthier option as more often than not, simply abstaining just isn't an option.
Then Anna Jones came into my life in the form of a clean and tidy new cookbook. Isn't it nice when then they're all new and don't have any splatters of soup, chocolate smudge marks or stuck together pages.
I was recently bought Anna’s first book – ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ as a gift from my boyfriend due to my constant banging on about perhaps becoming a vegetarian - which I'm still undecided on. It’s a lovely book. Full of easy vegetarian recipes that aim to fully satisfy while helping you feel amazing through a well balanced diet.
I’ve made a few things from it in the last week and they’ve all been spot on, but these little beauties have got to be my favourite so far. The recipe is dairy free and gluten free as well as super quick and easy. It also calls for maple syrup as it’s sweetness which although still contains two-thirds sucrose, is full of antioxidants as well as some vitamins and minerals, especially the darker, pure syrups. So I’d say that gives this recipe a pretty good case of being a healthier alternative for those that really struggle to go without a bit of sweet.
Melting Chocolate Maple Puddings -from Anna Jones’ book ‘A Modern Way to Eat’
75g of coconut oil
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder – the darker the better in my opinion
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
seeds from one vanilla bean
a pinch of sea salt
3 eggs at room temperature, separated
Pre-heat the over 200º (180º fan) and grease four little ramekins like these hand-painted spot ones.
Heat the coconut oil until it has just melted then mix in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, salt and vanilla and leave to cool.
Separate the yolks into a good size mixing bowl (the Katie Alice batter jug is perfect for this) and tip in the cooled chocolate mixture and mix well.
In another bowl mix the egg whites into stiff white peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
Divide between the ramekins, pop on a tray and put in the oven for 12 minutes exactly so they are still a little runny in the middle.
Take them out and serve warm with some fresh berries and if your not avoiding dairy then a little dollop of cream, yoghurt or crème fraiche makes a welcome companion!
So if you’ve just watched the latest GBBO and are desperate to get behind the mixer and start churning desserts out the kitchen at an unsafe frequency – try these little guys. Although not entirely guilt free – they’re a pretty good start.
All of the Katie Alice products featured in this post can be found on the new Online Shop. You can also follow my Great British Bake Off pinterest board for more baking inspiration.