Eating meals without the addition of processed oils has been a revelation for us & we have found it really easy to do, but making yummy desserts has been more of a challenge.
I was always baking a batch of cookies or making cakes before we stopped using oil, but I really wanted to get away from sugary snacks. They were not doing me any favours - to my health or my weight. So as we are having a lot of interest in our B&B, particularly from vegans, who are all wanting desserts - I'm now experimenting with apple sauce as a replacement for oil or margarine...
Sime's doesn't cope very well with caffeine & loves carob, so I've adapted a chocolate cake recipe, added a couple of extra ingredients & it was good!
9oz wholewheat self-raising flour
4oz carob flour
2 tsps baking powder
6oz dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or bourbon
4oz apple sauce
10 fl oz milk (soya, oat or nut)
4 1/2oz frozen raspberries
You will need to preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 & line an 8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.
1) Grill the hazelnuts for about 5 minutes, until they taste good & finely chop them.
2) Sift flour, carob & baking powder into a bowl. Mix in the sugar, then add the vanilla extract, apple sauce & milk.
3) Beat the mixture with a whisk or hand blender, until it is like a thick batter.
4) Stir in the raspberries & hazelnuts.
5) Pour into the cake tin & bake for around 40 minutes until the outside is cooked, but the centre is squidgy.
You can also use icing sugar to dust the top of the cake.
I'm going to try making the cake with dates instead of sugar, as really it shouldn't be necessary to have it in with the carob, though I have reduced it from 9 to 6oz.
I think it may also be nice with crystallised ginger & walnuts, instead of the raspberries & hazelnuts.
If you have never tried carob, we would highly recommend it.
It is low in calories & high in fibre & protein, it contains vitamins A, B2, B3 & B6, as well as copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium & zinc.
It is naturally sweet, so needs far less sweetener in a recipe. We started out using it as an alternative to hot chocolate over 20 years ago - 2 tsps carob to 1 cup of hot soya milk. There's no caffeine, so no kick to it, but it has a comforting malty taste & we love it!
I'm also going to be making a sweet potato & pecan tart & a raspberry & tofu cheesecake this week, so will let you know how they come out...