SWEET TEETH – A week without a piece of cake, a day without a square of chocolate feels bleak indeed. And yet, like many, I want to be healthy and slim.
Here are some suggestions for sweet treats for sweet teeth that are relatively healthy (dark chocolate is not so bad for you), low in sugar, high in protein and healthy fats and mostly low in carbs.
A square or two of dark chocolate a day is quite good for you but I find it a little dry and bitter, particularly round 85% cocoa solids. This is a way of livening it up and adding extra nutrients.
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a barely simmering saucepan of water. Once it’s melted, pour into a greaseproof paper lined baking tray. Sprinkle healthy stuff over it: I used bashed up banana chips, pistachio nuts and slivers of dried apricot. Other combinations would work too – hazelnut chunks and coconut shavings, for instance. Put it in the freezer. Once it’s set, break into pieces and keep in the fridge.
Perfect with a cup of black coffee to kick start the day.
This is a recipe from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow, although I’ve altered it slightly. The brownies are delicious and fudgey, but if they’re not sweet enough, you could use the batter to make a cake or buns and coat with frosting: a cream cheese one would increase the protein. Gwyneth also suggests bumping up the protein by adding ground flaxseeds and protein powder.
1 cup cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup agave or Sweet Freedom or honey
1/2 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup soya milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (I used one that’s 2-3 inches deep).
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl. Add the salt and gum and stir.
In another bowl whisk the oil, syrups, coffee, milk and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones but don’t overbeat. Pour the batter into a prepared baking dish and cook for between 25-35 minutes depending on how deep the mixture is (until a toothpick comes out with just a bit of chocolate on it). Leave it to cool in the tin before cutting into squares.
Perfect with a cup of Earl Grey; sublime warm with the chocolate ice cream below.
This is the ultimate decadent dessert, which can also be turned into ice cream. I’d suggest holding back on the rum or coffee if you’re sharing it with little children.
250ml soya milk
150ml soya yoghurt
5tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey, Sweet Freedom, agave nectar)
50ml strong black coffee or dark rum
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Stir in the soya milk. Take off the heat and add the yoghurt, oil and sweetener. Use a handheld blender to mix. Stir in the coffee or rum and pour into shot glasses. Chill in the fridge. If there are any leftovers, or you’re so inclined, pour the rest into a container and freeze. I found freezing it in individual frost-proof glasses worked best as an elegant way of serving it and without too much of a delay as you wait for the ice cream to thaw enough to dig a spoon into it.
Chewy Chocolate Freezer Fudge
This was inspired by a recipe from One Lucky Duck, a vegan restaurant in New York.
200g almond butter (or any other sort of nut butter as long as it’s free of added sugar, palm oil and hydrogenated fat)
1 dsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey, agave or Sweet Freedom)
a pinch of sea salt
Melt the chocolate and nut butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into a silicon ice cube tray or into a cake tin lined with greaseproof paper (I used the brownie tin and the mixture filled half of it). Freeze. Cut into squares and store in the freezer as this will melt at room temperature. Or be consumed in two minutes.
A delicious pick-me-up in when it seems like an eternity until dinner.