Healthy Gluten & Dairy Free Pecan Brownies
Who doesn’t love to eat sweets without feeling guilty? Well, I love to when I don’t have to think about calories so I often look for healthy recipes and of course, it has to taste delicious! Seeing my passion for cooking, my husband has started gifting me cook books and I absolutely love these gifts. One of the first books he gifted me was Rachel Allen’s “Cake” and it has everything you would ever need to make and bake stuff. I must have made dozens of desserts from that book and one of the favorites amongst friends & family are “Pecan Brownies”. This is one of the most delicious brownies and the best part is, that it is super healthy! I have tried it with walnuts as well, so you can try adding any nuts to add crunch to the brownies 🙂
- Dark Chocolate – 125 grams
- Soft Dark Brown Sugar – 225 grams
- Sunflower Oil – 125 ml (plus extra for greasing)
- Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
- Eggs – 2, at room temperature
- Ground Almonds – 75 grams
- Rice Flour – 25 grams
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Baking Powder or gluten-free baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Pecans (or walnuts or any other nuts) – 75 grams chopped plus 12 whole (shelled) pecans to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease a cake tin with sunflower oil and line it with a baking paper and keep aside.
- To melt the chocolate you can EITHER use the double boiler approach where you place chocolate drops or broken chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Leave just until melted, stirring occasionally. OR you can also use a microwave-safe bowl on medium power setting, heat the chocolate in shorter intervals and stir between each bout of heat.
- Add sugar, sunflower oil, vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time into the cooled melted chocolate. Whisk together well.
- Gently fold in the ground almonds, rice flour, salt, baking powder and chopped pecans.
- Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife or a skewer inserted through the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before cutting it.
Enjoy these brownies without feeling guilty 😉
Chocolate & Vanilla Marble Loaf
Love at first sight! This happened with me when I first saw photos of Marble Cake while browsing online. Until then I had not tasted this cake. I loved how beautiful the cake looked, especially the swirls, so I decided that I had to give it an attempt. I can’t say that my attempt was entirely successful as far as the swirls are concerned but did it taste good! I will definitely try my hand at this cake again until I get the swirls I desire 😀 I will update this post with the photos of perfect swirls and the technique that I used to achieve them. This recipe is adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe with some minor tweaks in it.
- Self-raising flour – 275 grams
- Golden Caster Sugar – 225 grams
- Unsalted Butter, softened – 225 grams
- Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Large eggs at room temperature – 4
- Milk – 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla Extract – 1/2 teaspoon
- Zest of 1/2 Orange or 1 lemon
- 100% natural cocoa powder – 2 tablespoons
- Hot/boiling water – 2 tablespoons
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Butter and line a 900 grams (2lb) loaf tin. You can use any sort of tin available to you.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Keep it aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Fold in the sifted flour along with the milk. Mix well to ensure that there are no lumps.
- Once the batter has been mixed well, remove about 1/3 of the batter into a separate bowl.
- Now, add orange zest and vanilla extract to the bigger (2/3rd) portion of the batter.
- In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and boiling water together until smooth with no lumps.
- Allow to cool slightly then add to the 1/3 portion of the batter that was separated out earlier. Mix well.
- Spoon the vanilla and chocolate batter randomly into the prepared tin until all of the mixture is used up. Gently level the surface. You can also refer to this link which will help you out in making the swirls 🙂
- Bake it for 50 minutes to an hour, until the cake is well risen and a knife or a skewer inserted through the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before cutting it.
I hope you are happy with the outcome. This is such a beautiful and delicious cake that you can bake it on any special occasion 🙂
Do share your experience 🙂
Orange Chantilly Cream filled Golden Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Sauce
In the almost 3 years that I have lived in the UK, I had never tried Profiteroles until this Christmas when I was on a vacation in Cornwall with my husband and brother. These guys picked up Profiteroles from the local store and oh boy, did I love them! I had not tasted anything quite as delicious and soft in a long, long time. From the moment I tasted them, I knew I had to make them myself. So when I searched for a suitable recipe, I was utterly surprised to know that they were fairly simple to make and tasted absolutely divine.
For the Choux Pastry
- Plain Flour – 115 gms
- Cold Water – 200 ml
- Caster Sugar – 4 teaspoons
- Unsalted Butter – 85gms, plus extra for greasing
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Large Eggs, beaten – 3
For Cream Filling
- Double Cream – 300 ml
- 1 Orange Zest
- Caster Sugar – 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
For Chocolate Sauce
- Good quality Dark Chocolate (preferably with 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces – 100gms
- Water – 80 ml
- Milk – 1/2 to 1 cup
- Caster Sugar – 80gms
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c/400°F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the over to heat.
- For the Choux Pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter is melted.
- Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
- Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency.
- Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet.
- Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger – this helps to make a crisper top.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven. Pour half cup of water in the roasting tin which we have already kept to heat. This helps to create more steam in the oven and make the pastry rise better.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden-brown. If the profiteroles are too pale, they will become soggy when cool.
- Remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Prick the base of each profiteroles with a skewer.
- Place back onto the baking sheet with the hole in the base facing upwards and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes. The warm air from the oven helps to dry out the middle of the profiteroles.
- For filling, lightly whip the cream with the orange zest, sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. When the profiteroles are cold, use a piping bag to pipe the cream into the Profiteroles.
- For Chocolate Sauce, place the water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil to make a syrup.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over the pan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
- Take the pan off the heat, pur the syrup mixture and milk into the chocolate and stir until smooth and well combined. Note: You can keep the sauce refrigerated for later use. Add a little milk and heat the sauce in the microwave for 10 seconds and you are good to go 🙂
- To serve, place cream-filled profiteroles into a large serving dish and pour the chocolate sauce over the arranged profiteroles. You can serve it hot or cold 🙂
I hope you like them the way I did!
Your feedback is always welcome 🙂