Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Low Fat Vanilla Pannacotta with Plum Compote

It seems as if Summer has left us. The weather has cooled and the leaves on the fruit trees in our yard are starting to change colour already.
One of my favorite desserts is definitely a soft silky pannacotta and I had a yearning for something sweet today.

Part of my life is avoiding Diabetes - my family is rife with both Type 1 those who are Insulin dependant and Type 2 the one they call diet controllable. I have to tell you that controlling your diet is hard. Most people already know that. For me an endless craving for carbohydrates has always been part of my life. Luckily I have a good Doctor who doesn't throw me out the door after 15 minutes. I am now on an anti-diabetes medication and that has done wonders for me. No more constant headache, no more carb cravings and ceaseless hunger and I've lost a little bit of weight already and it's only been a week.
I unexpectedly worked late last night and didn't have any of the wonder medication with me so I missed a dose. I really believed it wouldn't make much difference but this morning I got up with a slight headache and a near desperate craving for a slice of toast. I have no willpower and had the toast.
I've been craving something sweet all day and decided to have dessert tonight. So after a light meal of Hot Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Cambembert Frittata (recipe to follow later in the week)we had Low Fat Vanilla Pannacotta with Plum Compote.

This is a really quick recipe. It takes a few minutes to make and a couple of hours to set. I didn't add any sugar but you can add 1 tablespoon of icing sugar if you have a sweet tooth. 

Low Fat Vanilla Pannacotta with Plum Compote

4 serves

1 sachet of gelatine powder
60 mls cold water270 ml can of lite coconut cream
250 ml fat free plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

12 fresh plums
60 mls water or port
3cms of cinnamon stick, 1 piece of star anise and 2 cloves

Pour the gelatine onto the 60 mls of water in a microwaveable bowl and stir until it is not lumpy.
Mix the  coconut cream, yogurt and the vanilla in a jug (now is the time to add 1 tablespoon of icing sugar if you want to), mix well.
When the gelatine has softened microwave for 15 seconds. Take it out of the microwave and stir it. Return the gelatine and water to the microwave for another 15 seconds. Take care to ensure that the gelatine and water does not boil. If it does the gelatine will not set and you need to start again.
Stir the dissolved gelatine water mixture into the yogurt/coconut cream/vanilla mixture. Stir until it is smooth and then pour into 4 glasses.
Cover with glad wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set.

For the compote
Cut the plums in half and remove the stones.
Place in a small saucepan with the spices and water or port and simmer over a low heat until just soft.
Turn off the heat and leave to sit with the lid on until cooled to room temperature.
Remove the spices.

Serve the pannacotta in the glasses with the plums.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tropical Mango and Passionfruit Steamed Puddings Inspired by Jamie Oliver

Its time for another Sweet Adventure - Nic from Dining with a Stud is hosting the

When I think tropical I immeadiately think Passionfruit, mango and vanilla. Who wouldn't? I've been road testing dishes for this challenge since it was announced and in the end I wondered what would Jamie Oliver do. Cause I do love Jamie. In his 15 minute cook book he makes coconut steamed buns.
They are easy and quick. 1 part coconut cream and 2 parts self raising flour. Jamie served them with a chicken dish but I thought to myself 'how healthy are these'. The light coconut flavour negates the need for sugar and although there is around 28 grams of fat in 1/3 cup of full fat of coconut cream you could use the light version. This recipe makes 2 large desserts and let's face it sometimes that's just what you need. Even though it is a big dessert it is still quite light and really refreshing so dig in Adventurers.

Tropical Mango and Passionfruit steamed puddings for 2

1 mango
2 passionfruit
1/3 cup coconut cream
2/3 cup self raising flour

To serve
1/4 cup fat free natural yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 passionfruit


Set up your steamer and bring the water to the boil.
Divide the pulp from 2 passionfruit between 2 greased 200 ml ramekins.
Peel the mango and cut the flesh from the seed and place on top of the passionfruit, then eat what's left on the skin and seed.
Mix the coconut cream and flour until smooth, spoon on top of the fruit and place uncovered in the steamer.

Steam on high steam for 12 - 15 minutes.
Remove from the steamer when a skewer inserted in the pudding comes out clean.

Run a knife around the puddings and tip them out onto a plate.
Mix the yogurt, vanilla and the pulp from the passionfruit and drizzle over the top.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Banana and Raspberry Ring Cake.

I'm practicing for the Sweet Adventures January Blog Hop - Tropical Paradise.
I'd like to make something new and amazing and still work on my recipe development.
This is my new Banana and Raspberry Ring Cake.
It would be prettied up with some lemon icing if I was taking it out of the house but it's just for us so the cake is naked.
I tried to turn out the cake to early and it split in the middle. Tastewise it is great but not too pretty.

I'll develop something else for Tropical Paradise perhaps inspired by my favorite cocktail Planters Punch, until then here is my own Banana and Raspberry Ring Cake.

Banana and Raspberry Ring Cake.


11" ring or bundt tin (or a 8" springform round tin)
Food processor
Measuring cup for liquid
Measuring cups and spoons for dry ingredients.
Rubber scraper
Small pot
Pastry brush
Measuring scales
Cake tester or skewer


240 mls/1 cup milk
5 grams/1 teaspoon Bi Carb or baking SODA
150grams/1 cup plain flour
125/1/2 cup grams butter
150 grams/3/4 cup caster sugar
5 grams/1 teaspoon cinnamon
10 grams/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 ripe banana
1 egg
1 punnet fresh raspberries or 1 cup frozen

Preheat the oven to 175° Celsius.
Stir the Bi Carb(Baking) soda into the milk and set it aside.
Cut about 25 grams of butter off the 125 grams and melt in a small saucepan. Brush the ring tin generously with the butter.
Place the flour, sugar, the butter (including any left over melted butter), cinnamon, baking powder and vanilla paste into your food processor and blitz it up until it is in fine crumbs.
Add the banana, egg and the milk/soda mixture. Blitz again until it is smooth.
Pour a thin layer into the bottom of the greased tin. Scatter over 1/3 of the raspberries.
Cover the berries with about ½ of the remaining cake batter and scatter over the remaining raspberries.
Cover with the rest of the batter and smooth the top.

Bake in the 175° oven for 35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack or plate. You may need to loosen the edges with a knife to get it out.

If you use the 8" springform tin the cake will need about 45 minutes cooking.

If you are egg free you can leave it out and the cake still works - just add another tablespoon of butter or oil.