cake · festive treats · pudding · recipes

Lemon and Almond Meringue Roulade

Serves 10 to 12

Meringue:

6 medium egg whites

8 tbsp Splenda

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp ground arrowroot powder

50g ground almonds

Filling:

2 tbsp splenda plus extra for dusting

500ml double cream

25g flaked almonds

Lemon curd:

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon plus the juice

2 tbsp Splenda

3/4 tsp ground arrowroot powder

25g butter, chopped

1 medium egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to gas 5/190c/375f

First make the lemon curd.

With a hand whisk, beat together the zest, juice, splenda and arrowroot powder in a medium size saucepan over a gentle heat.

Then add the beaten egg and the chopped butter. Keep whisking until it thickens, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Next make the Meringue.

Line a 28 x 38cm baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl using an electric hand whisk. Keep going until they form stiff peaks.

Add the splenda, almond extract and arrowroot powder and continue to beat until it is well combined.

Gently fold in the ground almonds, take care not to knock air out of the egg whites.

With care, spread the meringue mix evenly over the baking tray. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 13 minutes, until it is nice and golden.

Place a second sheet of greaseproof paper over the top of the meringue and carefully turn it upside down onto a cooling rack and then remove the baking tray.

Leave to cool completely.

The filling.

Using an electric hand whisk, beat together the splenda and double cream until it forms soft peaks.

Carefully peel the greaseproof paper off the meringue, then gently spread the lemon curd with a palette knife and then the cream over it, leaving a gap along the edge of both short sides and along one of the long sides.

Sprinkle over the flaked almonds, but keep some of the almonds for the top of the roulade.

Have to hand a plate large enough to fit the roulade on and then begin rolling it up.

Start with the long side with the gap at the edge, closest too you. Finish by rolling it onto the plate.

Sprinkle the remaining almonds onto the top and dust with splenda.

Cut into slices to serve.

Store in a airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

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cake · easter · festive treats · pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

Spiced Buns

Makes 8

150g ground almonds

5 tbsp psyllium husk

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 tsp mixed spice

3 tbsp Splenda

60g dried barberries

2 tsp cider vinegar

225ml boiling water

3 egg whites

Preheat the oven to gas 4 /350f/ 175c

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork.

Bring the water to the boil and add it, along with the cider vinegar and egg whites to the dry ingredients whilst beating with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds.

Don’t overmix the dough.

Grease your hands with a little butter and divide the dough into 8 evenly sized, rounded pieces and place on the baking tray.

Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 50 minutes, the buns are cooked when they sound hollow when the bottoms are tapped.

Serve toasted with lashings of butter.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Can also be frozen.

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Bits and Bobs · breakfast · dinner · festive treats · pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

New Year’s Eve

I’m keeping it simple today, dinner will be a pan-fried sirloin steak with bearnaise sauce and turnip wedges cooked in the oven, 30 minutes on gas 6 / 200c.

Minimal cooking and minimal washing up!

Pudding will be a slice of Chocolate and Almond Danish Pastry

I made these yesterday and I will put the recipe in my next post, stay tuned!

You will need the Fathead dough ingredients (click on the menu button above for the recipe), along with marscapone cheese, ground almonds, splenda, an egg, butter, almond extract and some dark chocolate chips or a bar of chocolate to chop up (70 / 85%).

It’s a very quick and easy recipe and is perfect at breakfast time if you’d prefer.

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Christmas · festive treats · pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks · sweets

Rum Truffles

150g dark chocolate (I used Dr Oetker 72% but Green and Blacks 85% would also be lovely).

3 tbsp double cream

30g melted butter

1 tsp arrowroot powder

200g ground almonds

5 tbsp splenda

50ml dark rum

Cocoa powder and splenda to decorate

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of water just off the boil.

Melt the butter gently in the microwave and mix the arrowroot powder in well so that it is dissolved.

When the chocolate is melted remove from the heat, stand the hot bowl on a teatowel to prevent it slipping around. Mix in all the remaining ingredients with a spoon until they are well combined.

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper to put the truffles on.

Roll the mixture into balls with your hands, it will make around 20 truffles, but it depends on what size you want them. Place them in the fridge to set. After an hour the truffles will be firm enough to decorate. Put a half and half mix of cocoa powder and splenda in a dish, stir together and then roll the truffles in it until they are fully coated.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

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Christmas · festive treats · pudding · quick and easy · recipes · snacks · sweets

White Chocolate Bars

140g cocoa butter

300ml extra thick cream

4 1/2 tbsp Splenda

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tsp arrowroot powder

pinch of sea salt

dark cocoa powder to decorate

Melt the cocoa butter and half of the butter in a dish over a pan of water just off the boil.

Melt the remaininng butter gently in the microwave and mix the arrowroot in well so that it is completly dissolved.

Once the chocolate is melted remove from the heat (use a teatowel underneath it to stop the hot bowl from slipping around), and add the remaining ingredients. Beat together well using an electric hand whisk.

Line a baking tray or dish with greaseproof paper, the thicker you want your chocolate bars to be, the smaller the dish.

Pour in the chocolate and let it settle for a moment. Use a tea strainer as a mini-sieve and dust with dark cocoa powder.

Leave overnight in the fridge to set and then cut into your desired pieces using a large knife, heat the blade a little, carefully, on the stove so that it cuts easily through the chocolate.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

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Christmas · dinner · festive treats · lunch · quick and easy · recipes · sauces and dressings

Cranberry Sauce

200g (approximately), cranberries, fresh or frozen
5 tbsp (approximately),Splenda

Optional:

1 tsp ground ginger

Finely grated orange peel to taste

Place the cranberries in a small saucepan over a medium heat and simmer until soft and bursting. Stir in splenda, ginger and orange peel.

Store in a airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or can be frozen.

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Bits and Bobs · Christmas · festive treats

Christmas Dinner

So, the shopping is complete. By pure fluke I got nearly all my present shopping done in November, very out of character, the decorations are up and this morning I have done the Christmas food shop.

I have never felt so smug!

But pride comes before a fall so I’m bound to have forgotton something!

But, for the time being it is all under control. I’m going to have roast chicken with mashed swede, cauliflower cheese, roasted turnips, roasted celariac, sugar free cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets and chicken gravy.

Pudding will probably be a mince pie with cream, if I’ve any room left! That is one of the most noticable things I have found with eating low-carb, the actual volume of food I need has reduced massively. I tend to eat one main meal at lunchtime, a mid-morning snack and a snack or small meal in the evening.

This is why I try and ensure as much of the food I make as possible can be frozen, I’d never get through it otherwise.

I still enjoy sweet tastes with Splenda, but the sugar cravings I had in the past are long gone. I enjoy and appreciate my food so much more. It is now what it should have always been, nourishment, not a ‘treat’ or ‘reward’ or something that inspires guilt. We very often get more negative emotions tangled up with our eating habits instead of pleasant ones, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The Headspace app has courses designed to help with your relationship with food focusing on mindful eating and coping with cravings.

But getting back to Christmas Dinner, I know for a lot of people my lunch will be missing out on several traditions, no turkey, no goose, and worst of all, no sprouts! but I will be honouring my Mum’s tradition of roasting a ham with cloves and a little honey.

So, I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas with lots of good company and good food for you to enjoy.

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Christmas · drinks · festive treats · quick and easy · recipes

Hot Chocolate

‘Bulletproof’ Hot Chocolate

3 squares of 85% chocolate OR unsweetened cocoa powder too taste (Dr Oetker fine dark cocoa powder is very good).
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
100ml double cream
Hot water just off the boil

Optional;
For extra sweetness and a stronger coconut flavour:
Splenda and a drop of Foodie Flavours coconut flavoring
OR
Pink Sun liquid stevia with coconut

Powdered collagen (this gives a lovely extra creamy texture and is reputed to be good for hair, skin, joints and digestion. From my own use, I recommend it).

Break the chocolate into a 250ml mug/cup and cover with hot water, stir till melted then add the coconut oil and double cream. Top with more hot water and sweeten to taste with splenda.
For an extra creamy hot chocolate add a scoop of collagen powder.

For a Christmas Hot Chocolate, leave out the coconut oil and add extra cream, a dash of whisky and some coffee.

For White Hot Chocolate, use cocoa butter instead of the dark chocolate and quarter or half a teaspoon of vanilla extract according to taste, leave out the coconut oil as the cocoa butter is a fat and add double cream and splenda to taste.

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Christmas · dinner · festive treats · lunch · quick and easy · recipes · snacks

Brie and Cranberry Tart

For this tart you will need to first make a batch of Fathead Dough, click on the menu link above for the recipe.

100g Cranberries, fresh or frozen. If you use frozen defrost them first.
200g Brie

Line a 8 inch by 5 inch deep-sided baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Preheat the oven to gas 3/ 325f/ 170c.
Spread the Fathead Dough evenly over the base of the baking tray.
Slice the brie and layer over the dough, then sprinkle the cranberries evenly over them.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, so that the brie is melted and the cranberries bursting.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

You can also make individual mini tarts by using a 12 hole tart tin, perfect for parties along with sausage rolls. For the pastry and sausage roll recipes click on the menu button above.

Store in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Can also be frozen

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Christmas · festive treats · pudding · quick and easy · recipes

Chocolate Fluff

200g marscapone
100g full fat cream cheese
2 large eggs
4 tbsp splenda
75g dark chocolate 85%
1 tbsp coco powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp double cream

Oven gas 2/150c/300f
Ovenproof dish 6 inch x 2 inch

Using a large bowl, melt the chocolate, around 1 minute in the microwave should be enough and then place all the ingredients in with it and mix together thoroughly with an electric hand mixer.
Pour into the ovenproof dish and cook for around 40 minutes.
The pudding should have risen and be slightly firm on the outside and fluffy and slightly runny on the inside. Serve alone or with raspberries and a little double cream.
If you can resist eating it all in one go, store covered in the fridge for up to three days.

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