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Vaguely healthy sticky choc-toffee puddings

January 19, 2013

Narnia is outside our door. Yesterday I made a leftover-turkey-and-squash-chili-bake-with-cheesy-cous-cous-crust. It wasn’t pretty but it definitely hit the spot.

These puddings fulfill that same corner of the culinary world.  I was going to say that they are an ugly duckling pudding, but drawing that comparison would involve eating the duckling…with pancakes? I digress. I’m sure you could make these look much more presentable if you made absolutely sure they were fully cooked before turning them out, but I wasn’t patient enough for that. Also, make sure you leave enough room under the foil for the puddings  to rise without sticking to it. Schoolboy error.

Ugly duckling sticky choc-toffee pudding.

If I weren’t avoiding any sugary additions (partly to be good and partly to fit the We Should Cocoa challenge), I’d put chocolate chips in this…or maybe fudge chunks…hmmm. I wonder if it would benefit from some maltiness too. There’s plenty to play with. I really liked using the Highbanks Orchard Syrup in place of some of the maple syrup, as it made the puddings more fruity and less sweet but maple syrup would send it in an equally lovely and more smokey direction.

If you want to make these without the chocolate, just use all self raising flour (instead of the mixture of flour and cocoa) and omit the baking powder.

Vaguely healthy sticky choc-toffee puddings
Adapted from BBC Good Food 

Makes 2 (and a bit for testing!)

88g pitted dates
88ml water
75g mixture of maple syrup, Highbank’s orchard syrup and golden syrup [officially it should be all maple syrup]
1/2tsp Nielsen Massey vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, separated
35g self raising flour
10g cocoa powder
1/4tsp baking powder
2 or 3 200ml pudding moulds, depending on how generous you are being.

Preheat the oven to 180c
Put the dates in a microwave-proof measuring jug, pour the water on and microwave for about 1 1/2mins or until it is bubbling up. If you don’t have a microwave, simmer the dates for 5 mins.
Using a stick blender or other suitabele kitchen implement, whizz up the water and dates into a thick paste.
Add the vanilla bean paste, most of the syrup (reserving a spoonful for the bottom of each pudding mould)
If the jug is big enough mix in the egg yolk, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder – otherwise transfer to a bowl and do it there. I’m all for saving on washing up. Make sure everything is combined.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg white until stiff and then fold in the date mixture.
Grease the pudding mould and put a spoonful of syrup in the base of each. Spoon the mixture on top and cover tightly with foil.
Put the puddings in an oven-proof dish and fill with hot water until half way up the side of the pudding moulds.
Bake for 1 hour (or maybe a little more) or until a skewer comes out clean.
Run a knife around the edge and turn upside down.

Serve with fat free yoghurt, creme fraiche, or if it’s Mr B – chocolate icecream.

No refined sugar involved but still a pudding to warm your boots

I am entering this into January’s We Should Cocoa which is “sugar free” (in the sense of regular cane / beet sugar)

run by Chocolate Teapot and Chocolate Log Blog.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2013 10:25 am

    If something tastes as delicious as this sounds, pretty doesn’t bother me at all. Anyway, they look very appealing with that lovely moist sponge sitting in a pool of sauce – yum. Thanks for entering them into We Should Cocoa.

    Orchard Syrup sounds interesting, although is it any different to concentrated apple juice I’m wondering? I used to buy that years ago when I was on one of my health kicks.

    • January 19, 2013 10:57 am

      They guard the recipe closely, so I’m not certain. It’s much more like golden syrup in consistency. It does have a flavour of apples though.

  2. January 19, 2013 10:54 am

    *giggles* ok gill…very very vaguely healthy!!! looks yummy though…

    • January 19, 2013 10:57 am

      Hey! Good Food say it’s healthy so who am I to argue! Besides…no butter and no “proper” sugar and lots of fibre…that counts…right?!!

  3. January 21, 2013 11:31 am

    These sound lovely! And I like that they are ‘vaguely healthy too :)

  4. January 22, 2013 10:54 pm

    Healthy? I like the way you think. They do look delicious!

  5. January 23, 2013 9:06 pm

    Delicious! And perfect for this wintery weather. They are very similar to some I did ages ago which had parsnip in – remarkably sweet and non parsnip like once baked!

    I do like STP – and the addition of chocolate makes it even better.

  6. January 24, 2013 10:22 am

    That looks WAAAY too lush and sticky to be healthy even in a vague way! It looks amazing Gill and just the sort of pudding I LOVE! Karen

  7. February 1, 2013 7:49 pm

    Love the fact that the recipe makes enough for 2 plus testing! Possibly the best serving size description ever. These look really delicious too – yum!

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