Sweet recipes

Prune brownies

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These are my favourite brownies. I love the combination of chocolate and prune – it gives them richness and makes them very moist. It is one of those flavour combos that you don’t think will work, and then you try it and it is so good!

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
  • 1 cup pitted prunes (roughly chopped)
  • ½ cup water
  • 150 g butter (melted) or 150 ml macadamia oil
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (60 g) dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 free range eggs (lightly beaten)
Put the prunes and water in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Gently simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the prunes have absorbed most of the water and are soft.
While the prunes are simmering melt the butter over a low heat until liquid.

In a bowl sift flour, cocoa and baking powder.
Then add the sugar.

Once butter has melted, add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted in.

Add the prune mixture and vanilla extract to the chocolate and mix until combined.

Add in the flour mixture and beaten eggs, and mix until just combined.

Pour into a 20 cm by 20 cm baking tray lined with baking paper and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

 


Gingerbread cookies

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There is something so yummy about the spiciness of gingerbread cookies that makes them so moreish.
I think I end up eating more than my son!

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
  • 160 g butter (melted)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (I use dark muscovado sugar or coconut sugar)
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves

 

Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan.

Mix flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl.
Stir in the butter to make stiff dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface with a piece of baking paper between dough and rolling pin.

(It is quite a crumbly mixture so it may take a few rolls to get it flat and smooth).

Use cookie cutter of choice and stamp out shapes.
Use a soft thin spatula to lift onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden.
Leave to cool on the tray on a cooling rack.


Muesli bars

These are so versatile – as long as you have the liquid ingredients you can use whatever dried fruit, nuts or seeds you have in the pantry with great success.
They are very chewy, so make sure there are no wiggly teeth when eating them! They are quite high in protein due to the chia seeds and peanut butter, so cut them smaller as they are very moreish!
Another bonus to these is that you don’t have to bake them, just boil up the liquid part.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • 100 g butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup puffed rice
  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • ½ cup chopped apricots
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Heat butter, sugar, honey and peanut butter until sugar dissolves.

Boil gently for 10 to 12 minutes or until a few drops of mix form quite a firm ball when dropped into a dish of water (like fudge does).

Mix together with other ingredients in a big bowl until everything is coated with the sticky liquid.

Press into a greased 20 by 30 cm slice tin.

Cut into squares while hot but break up when cold.


Plum and almond cake

This is one of my favourite cakes, it is so buttery and light but filling at the same time. With the 3 eggs and cup of almond meal it is high in protein too.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
  • 150 g butter (softened)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder
  • 6 to 8 red fleshed plums cut in half and de-pipped (can be fresh or tinned)

 

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add vanilla extract and eggs one at a time and mix well.

Fold in almonds, flour and baking powder.

Pour into a 20 cm round cake tin lined with baking paper.

Place the cut plums in a circle on the outside edge of cake tin.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until skewer inserted into middle comes out clean.

To make this cake pink, add 4 to 5 of the plums into the mix and combine until mixture is a lovely pink colour.


Chocolate chip tahini cookies

These are so good!!!
Tahini is ground-up sesame seeds which are very high in calcium, and added with the oats and almond meal it is also high protein which keeps little tummies full for longer.
To make this dairy free replace the butter with macadamia oil.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
  • 60 g butter (melted) or 60 ml coconut oil
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup almond meal (you could use pecan or Brazil nut meal)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 free range egg (lightly beaten)
  • ½ cup (60 g) good quality dark chocolate (chopped into chunks)

 

Melt the butter over a low heat. Remove and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Put the oats, flour, almond meal, baking soda and sugar in a bowl and stir until combined.Lightly mix together the slightly cooled butter, tahini and egg.

Add these to the dry ingredients with the chocolate chunks and mix well to combine.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Spoon out a tablespoon of the mixture at a time and place on the tray.
The mixture spreads out when baking so don’t put them too close together.
(It makes about 20 so you will need two trays).

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are golden and bounce back when pressed in the middle.

Remove and cool on a wire rack before serving.

A variation of this is to use 2 tablespoons of cocoa instead of the chocolate.


Coconut raspberry loaf


I love this recipe, it is lovely and dense and the combination of raspberries and coconut is divine. (This is also dairy free).

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)1 ¾ cups desiccated coconut
    1 ½ cups coconut milk
    ½ cup sugar
    1 free range egg (lightly beaten)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1½ cups flour
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 cup frozen raspberries

Combine desiccated coconut and coconut milk in a large bowl. Cover and stand for 30 minutes.

Mix sugar, egg and vanilla extract into coconut mixture.

Sift flour and baking powder over coconut mixture. Gently stir until combined.

Fold in raspberries. (The consistency will be very thick).

Line base and sides of a 7cm-deep, 10.5cm x 20.5cm (base) loaf tin and pour mixture into it.

Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

If making muffins pour mixture into muffin cases ¾ full and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool loaf in a pan for 10 minutes. Lift  onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Favourite cookies

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These are so delicious that every time I take them somewhere someone wants the recipe. The best thing about them is that they are very healthy too! They are dairy, egg and sugar free.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup macadamia or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sugar free raspberry jam to put in the centre of cookies (I use St Dalflour)

 

In a bowl place flour, oats and almond meal together.

In another bowl whisk oil, maple and vanilla extract until thick (it takes about 30 seconds).

Add the two bowls together and mix until combined.

Grab a small handful of mixture, and roll into a ball.

On a baking tray with grease proof paper pat the ball out into a circle.

In the centre of the mixture use the back of a spoon or your fingers to indent the middle.

With a teaspoon put a small dollop of raspberry jam into the centre.

This mixture makes about 12 good sized cookies.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cookies go a golden brown colour.

If you want them to look fancy, or it’s for someone special, turn the indent in the middle into a heart by pushing the mixture out with your index fingers to form the top of the heart and fill in the gaps with the jam – easy and very effective!


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