Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Healthy chocolate Brownies!

Are you enjoying the Great British Bake off? I have to say I admire all the contestants for entering. Baking is one of those pleasurable activities that feeds the soul as well as body, (my body maybe is being fed a little too much! ) I need a calm kitchen, preferably with a radio 4 comedy playing in the background - while I measure and mix to my heart's content - a long way from the pressures of the bake off tent!  

Unfortunately, I don't have my children at home to eat the result of this soulful activity, so I do turn up to friends houses with my apologetic offerings, (there is usually something that has happened so that the item in question is less than perfect). However, most of the time I just eat it myself... and it must be very fond of me because I believe my cooking has stayed with me - on my hips and waist to be precise! 

The hunt was on, for a way to satisfy my appetite for all things sweet and tasty, without the calories, and I came across this wonderful recipe for low fat chocolate brownies. Most of the fat is substituted by fruit puree, it makes a delicious, rich brownie that is good for you too! Just remember that they do have a little fat and a lot of sugar... or you can simply forget that altogether! 

Healthy Chocolate Brownies

3 oz coca powder
4 oz whole meal flour
4 oz dark brown soft sugar
2 table spoons of melted butter
2 eggs 
2 oz of fruit puree (prune or apricot baby food works or see tip below) 
5 oz dark chocolate roughly chopped
Walnuts or macadamia nuts optional 
Salt to taste 

1 - Pre heat your oven GM 7, 350F or 150 C 
2 -Line a rectangular baking tin (8x6) with baking parchment 
3 - Whisk butter, eggs and prune puree together
4 - In another bowl combine the cocoa powder, wholemeal flour, sugar and dark chocolate until they are well blended. 
5 - Add the butter/egg/prune mix to the dry ingredients but do not over mix
6 - pour into the baking tin and bake for around 35 minutes 
7 - remove from tin using the baking parchment to lift the cake out and allow to cool. 

To make your own fruit puree: soak prunes or apricots overnight in a bowl of water. Then blitz them in a food processor until they are smooth.  

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Chilli Fiesta - West Dean College

I did not know what to expect from the Chilli Fiesta, but it surpassed my expectations, not only were there many stalls selling a variety of sauces and marinades, but also a fun fair, live music, Salsa dancing and the Jive Aces! 

You will know I am a great fan of Rosemary Moon, she is a stalwart of West Dean College, running a variety of cookery courses, but I was delighted to discover that she had an assistant in the form of Wayne Sleep! 

They were a great duo, he told us all about his time on Celebrity Master Chef while Rosemary 
cooked some lovely chillies, a curry and chilli Strawberries. It was great entertainment, I can't wait to see Rosemary again at our Felpham Belles group next month. 

The chilli Fiesta is held every year, including camping areas and live bands it is quite an event! 
 More information about West Dean can be found here

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