Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sugar Free Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

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I can’t tell you how excited I am to be blogging about this cake! I’ve been fiddling about and am so happy with the flavour of this chocolate cake made on stevia instead of sugar. The cake that results is moist and chocolatey but isn’t at all rich. The whipped cream tops it off nicely, and although it looks dry when it comes out of the oven, it’s really not at all on the inside (the second picture shows it’s moist loveliness best). When covered in cream, this phenomenon isn’t noticed at all. This cake costs less than $5 to make and can be topped with berries of your choice for an even fancier (mostly) sugar free dessert (obviously berries have some sugar, but not much).

  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 100grams stevia (Natvia is my preferred brand for taste)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  •  ¼ teaspoon bicarb soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200grams butter, cut into cubes and softened
  • 50grams cocoa (Woollies homebrand has improved LOTS and is now quite useable)
  • 200ml or ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 120ml or 1/2 cup milk
  • 300ml cream, whipped

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (170 degrees fan forced). Grease and line your choice of 25cm springform tin, 25cm square tin or 25cm ring tin.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, stevia, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Then, using the electric mixer on a low setting, add the cubed, softened butter. This will produce a rough crumb-like consistency.

4. In a wide-mouthed measuring cup, whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs and vanilla, then slowly add this cocoa mixture to the ingredients in the bowl, beating until thoroughly combined. With motor running slowly, add milk which will make the batter take on a dropping consistency.

5. Pour the batter into tin and bake for 40 minutes. The cake will have risen and cracked a little on top. Don’t stress about this – although it looks dry, it’s actually quite moist on the inside. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes on a cooling rack, then turn out to cool.

6. When cake has cooled completely, top with whipped cream and store in the fridge.

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Blueberry Muffins 2 Ways

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Above: Original Blueberry Muffins

Below: Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

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I have been using this Blueberry Muffin recipe by Nigella Lawson for years as my basic muffin recipe, morphing the flavours to suit what is desired – raspberry and white chocolate, chocolate chip and berry flavoured. Recently I’ve needed to modify it to be made on Stevia rather than sugar and it still works quite well. Below you’ll find the original recipe and the version of it I use when making them sugar free. Please don’t go to the shop to buy buttermilk, I’ve only ever used the yoghurt and milk replacement and it work fine. These are fast to make and will cost you no more than $3-4 depending on your choice of filling.

  • 75g unsalted butter,
  • 200g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 75g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200ml buttermilk (or 100g yoghurt and 100ml milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 200g blueberries (I often use less to reduce cost)
  • 12 hole muffin tray lined with 12 paper cases
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool a little.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and in a measuring jug beat together the buttermilk (or yoghurt and milk), egg and melted butter.
  4. Using a wooden spoon and a light hand, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently to combine. Don’t worry about lumps, the important thing is the mixture isn’t over-worked.
  5. Fold in the blueberries, again keeping mixing to a minimum.
  6. Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes, by which time the muffins should be risen, golden and firm on top.

For sugar free blueberry muffins: increase flour to 300g and replace sugar for 40g granulated Stevia.

Banana Bread (with no added sugar)

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Having had some requests for some sugar free recipes, I thought I’d share this one. I make this modified banana bread (originally another Nigella recipe) in muffin sizes for my kids lunches all the time and the best part is I know that the only sugar in it comes from the bananas themselves. This recipe calls for stevia instead of sugar and you can buy it in a variety of granulated brands in the sugar aisle next to the artificial sweeteners. The exciting thing about stevia is that it’s totally natural so there’s no bad after taste and it’s also much sweeter than sugar so you really only need 1/4 of the amount you might normally use when baking with sugar.
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 50-75g stevia (add enough to suit your desire for ‘sweetness’)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small, very ripe bananas (about 300g weighed without skin), mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin, buttered and floured or with a paper insert
  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3 and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and stevia and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-11/4 hours. When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.

Donna Hay’s Pumpkin, Ricotta and Basil Lasagne

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Yesterday I was the grateful recipient of a ‘day off’ by myself. My husband ordered me to ‘go to a cafe and read a book’ which I readily agreed was a wonderful way to use some of the day. Beforehand, I found a copy of Donna Hay’s No Time To Cook, and having used it a number of times, sat down to read it like a novel, page by page. By the end I was inspired by a number of the recipes, especially this one. Normally a yummy vegetarian dish, I knew my husband would prefer it with the addition of mince, and the result was a less stodgy and much healthier lasagne. With 750g of mince added to the passata sauce this dish costs around $16 and around $11 if you keep it vegetarian. Serves 10.
  • 1.2kg ricotta (buy it from the deli, not the fridge section, much cheaper!)
  • 160g grated parmesan
  • 6 tbsp chopped chives (if you have it)
  • 8 tbsp shredded basil (if you have it)
  • 1 rounded tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 4 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano leaves (if you have it)
  • 1.25 litres tomato passata
  • 450g-600g lasagne sheets
  • 1.5kg pumpkin peeled, seeded and sliced thinly (2-3mm)
  • 100g grated mozzarella
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Combine ricotta, half the grated parmesan, chives, basil, lemon rind, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Stir oregano into passata.
  3. Place a layer of lasagne sheets into the base of a greased 20cm x 35cm baking dish (about 7cm deep, 3.5-4 litre capacity). Top with a third of the pumpkin and spoon over a third of the passata mixture. Top with a third of the ricotta mixture and another layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat layers, ending with a layer of lasagne sheets and the remaining ricotta mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 1½ hours.

Jodi’s Mum’s Lemon Tea Cake

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The lemon tree out the side of my house has been bursting with lemons for the last few weeks and I’ve been racking my brain to find ways to use them up. I’m really not the most sentimental of people but I quite like it that the variety of lemon my tree brings forth is a ‘Meyer’ lemon – my maiden name. According to my grandmother, one of our long lost relatives first propagated it and it’s now one of the most readily available varieties. So I was excited when my friend Jodi emailed me her mother’s recipe for Lemon Tea Cake. When I made this ridiculously easy cake, I so enjoyed the neatness of it all – using all the lemon’s rind and juice with no wastage. This cake will set you back no more than 20 minutes and $3. Thanks for sharing, Jodi.

  • 1  1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup extra
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 120g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees (170 fan forced). Grease and line a 20cm round, ring or loaf tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift flour, add sugar and salt. Rub in butter. (This is done easily if you grate butter cold, straight from the fridge.)
  3. Combine beaten eggs and milk and stir into mixture. Fold in lemon rind.
  4. Pour into the tin and bake for about 50mins, but start checking earlier with a skewer.
  5. Mix juice of lemon and 1/4 cup sugar and remove cake from the oven. Immediately spoon lemon juice/sugar mixture over cake and allow to soak into the cake.
  6. Leave in tin to cool. Serve by itself or with cream and ice cream for dessert.

Chocolate Fudge Slice with Caramello Chocolate

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A number of years ago my friend Kara gave me this divine recipe and since then it’s been one of my favourites for when I need to quickly make a morning or afternoon tea or a fast dessert. The consistency of the slice is nice and chewy with the oozing Caramello chocolate randomly permeating the mixture. It’s a fast melt and mix recipe which will take you no more than 10 minutes to mix and pop into the oven. One of the things I love most about this recipe is it’s versatility – my friend Nicole makes it with white chocolate chunks and it’s easy to substitute the Caramello for whatever chocolate you prefer. If you buy your chocolate on special and use home brand condensed milk, this yummy option will cost less than $6 to make. Finally, consider using it as a desert serving up a square for each person with a scoop of ice cream. Serves 24+

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 2 heaped tabs cocoa
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 400g can condensed milk
  • 1 family size block Cadbury Caramello chocolate (replace with whatever you fancy)
  1. Grease and line a rectangular 16x26cm slice tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced 170 deg).
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients (except chocolate), press into slice tin. Break chocolate into individual squares and press them randomly and firmly into the mixture in the tin.
  3. Bake for 20-25 mins, but start checking early. The slice should be rise back after a light touch but still be a little wobbly and soft when it comes out of the oven. It will continue to cook as it cools.