Category Archives: Brownies/Bars

{Round-up} Aspiring Bakers #22: Lightened Up Cakes (August 2012)

Yup! Its September already! Thank you to all the Aspiring Bakers who participated in the August theme and I hope that you have grasped a couple of healthier tips to make your cakes for the health of you and your families. 😀 I received a total of 24 entries. Hope you enjoy them and use them as references to create healthier bakes! 😀

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Soy Milk Muffins by Sharon of Sweet Surrender

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Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake by Jess of Bakericious

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Healthilicious Pumpkin Cake by Cecilia Koh of BeautyMe Loves Recipes 

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Sugar-Reduced Berries Yogurt Cupcake by Hankerie

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Wholemeal Cake by Ann of Anncoo Journal

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Banana Greek Yogurt Cake by Wendyinkk of Table for 2….. or More

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Mini lime marmalade chiffon cake by Cheah of No-Frills Recipes

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Apple Cranberry Olive Oil Cake by Jess of Bakericious

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Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake by Kimmy of Cooking Pleasure

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Banana Bread/Cake by Sassezz of Sassezz’s Kitchen

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Orange Swiss Roll by Hankerie

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Coffee Soufflé Cake by Kimmy of Cooking Pleasure

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Fruit and Nut loaf by Baking Tray

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Lower-calorie Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Green Tea Cream by Mich of Piece of Cake

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Banana Cake by Man of Sappy Tea Flour

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Vegemite Fruity Macarons by Hankerie

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Orange Muffin without Butter by Ann of Anncoo Journal

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Gluten-free banana cake by Annadina of Homemade Heartmade

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Vanilla Swiss Roll with Vanilla Crème Mousseline by Vivian Pang of Vivian Pang Kitchen

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Steam chocolate moist cake by Abbymonster

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Gluten-free Blueberries & White Chocolate Muffins by Hankerie

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Guilt Free Decadent Marbled Banana Bread by Qi Ting of A Dessert Diet

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Pandan Soufflé Cake by Kimmy of Cooking Pleasure

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Almost Fat Free Fudge Brownies by Vivian Pang of Vivian Pang Kitchen

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Gluten Free Apple Cornmeal Upside Down Cake by Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake

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Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes by Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake

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Low Fat Banana Loaf with Berries by Sammie of Sweet Samsations

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For the next Aspiring Bakers event, check this Aspiring Bakers #23: Desserts on a plate (September 2012)

Inside Out Blondie Tart Cake for 2 (Vegan and Whole Wheat)

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Qiting asks herself some questions about shopping for clothes and related boring accessories to fill up the gap between the top of the page and the recipe

Interviewer: Is shopping for clothes considered a hobby?

QT: More like torture.

So I assume you won’t join your friend(s) when they/she want(s) you to accompany them in said activity?

Not unless I really really really really really like them enough to know I won’t hate them after they mentally torture me with the sight of a room filled with, gasp, only clothes!

Do you go shopping with your mom?

Sure, I wait outside the shop while she enters.

You’re a lousy daughter.

I’m sure you don’t mean that.

I do.

Well, I don’t care what you think. Its a free country!

Not exactly, Singapore has tons of rules and stuff.

Weren’t you asking me about my lack of interest in clothes-shopping? When did we decide to switch the subject to the allowance of free speech in this tiny island which is not exactly the food paradise people speak of because its a lie ’cause Taiwan has food a million times better? You! You inattentive, over-inquisitive, unprofessional weirdo who’s supposed to be interviewing me!

Whatever. So, clothes! Do you only hate shopping for them or do you simply hate them?

Are you unobservant or simply ignorant?

You’ve insulted me enough. I can’t handle this anymore.

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Interview ends after the two rip off each other’s hair… you know I’m talking about the ones on the head don’t you?

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I remade a blondie.

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Now it has an Oreo tart crust stuffed in it.

Because the blondie ate oreos HA! 

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The recipe for blondies is adapted from The Allergic Kid.

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Click here for larger version.

For vegan version, use Tofutti Cream Cheese and prepared vegan pudding (like this one: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/vanillapudding.htm)

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Since its for 2, you can share it or you can just have it all yourself. 

Please excuse my tragic inability to correct these annoyingly saturated photographs the horror of a camera once again rewarded my hard work with. No ‘P.S.’ because it is telling.

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Please tell me that at least one person out there shares my detest for clothes-shopping…

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Guest Post: Counterfeit Chocolate Cake Balls (Vegan)

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I really get you.

I know your heart.

I read your mind.

I recognise your innermost desires. 

Alright, I lied. I’m no mind reader but I guess that you’re probably sick of my ridiculous sarcasm, limited vocabulary and dry sense of humour. And I apologise, alright? 

I’m sorry. 

So I got someone more interesting than I am to write today’s post. 

Like me, Madison creates healthier versions of classic desserts. And she’s darn good. I mean, who can give you a recipe for healthy Mexican wedding cookies??? You can find it here. Thank her later. Or now. 

Please welcome her! 

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Hi everyone! My name is Madison and I write about my healthy baking adventures over at a little blog called Peanut Butter Lover. First I want to start off by thanking Qi Ting for allowing me to write a guest post in her lovely world of desserts! All of her recipes are so tasty and more than once have been the inspiration behind some of my experiments in the kitchen.

 

This is Madison!


In the past, I have struggled with my eating like many other fellow health food bloggers. Then one day I realized that I can still bake and eat healthy at the same time. Actually, it’s better that way! You see, instead of relying on packages to tell me what is in the food I eat, I get to decide what goes into my body.

There have been many ups and downs with my eating since then. Days of binging, days of restriction, but along the way I have come to find that nobody is perfect. While my body is made up in an exact science, it doesn’t take a scientist to fuel it properly. As long as I attempt to choose whole foods to fuel me and as long as I make good choices most of the time, I’m good.

However, since I do try to restrict myself from eating “bad” foods, I sometimes crave those old processed snacks that I’ve done away with. This is also where baking comes into play. My goal in the kitchen is to make healthy recipes that sustain my cravings. In no way do all of my recipes taste “exactly” like their unhealthy counterparts, but for the most part they do a pretty dang good job.

My inspiration in the kitchen comes from all places under the sun: cooking shows, my grandmas who love to bake, cookbooks, old family recipes, and of course- food blogs.

The recipe I am going to share with you today was actually created over a year ago after I stumbled across an online recipe for chocolate black bean brownies.

 

Christmas break had just begun and my mom, being a middle school teacher, had brought home sweet treats from her students. A dessert-lover’s heaven.

Among the boxes of confections were chocolate chip cookies, chocolate turtles and … chocolate cake balls.

This was my first experience with cake balls and it was love at first “bite.” If you don’t know what cake balls are, let me give you the 411- These decadent balls are made by mixing crumbled cake pieces with frosting and forming them into balls. Then the balls are coated with a layer of chocolate and frozen to perfection.

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My mom was trying to make them last though, so I decided to make my own to keep all for myself. They turned out great, but after indulging in one too many; I realized that cake balls were definitely not part of a healthy diet.

And that’s when I remembered that black bean brownie recipe. You could say that a lightning bolt had struck my brain at this point, and in a flash of inspiration I set to work in my kitchen to make a tasty, but healthy “cake ball.”

What I came up with is not overly sweet, but rich, moist and a chocolate lover’s dream. Oh, and did I mention that it contains no added sugar whatsoever? Well then, by all means, here’s the recipe that will knock your socks off:

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Counterfeit Chocolate Cake Balls 


No. of servings: Makes 16 to 20

Calories: About 55 calories each (With 18 cake balls)

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Ingredients

1 small, ripe banana, mashed (approximately )

½ cup dates

¼ cup egg beaters

1 can black beans, drained (or about 1 ½ cups)

8 Tbsp cocoa powder

Splash vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

*Additional ingredients needed in step 8 of the directions

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Directions

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees/180C.

2.      Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with mashed banana. Microwave for 2 minutes on medium. (This replicates soaking dates which takes several hours!)

3.      Place the soaked dates, banana and egg beaters in a food processor and blend until smooth.

4.      Then add the beans by a ½ cup, processing as you go along until completely combined.

5.      Add remaining ingredients and combine.

6.      Spray an 8×8 glass pan with nonstick cooking spray and spread the brownie batter evenly into the pan.

7.      Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

8.      When the brownies are baking, make the Banana Chocolate “Frosting.” To make the “frosting,” combine two large bananas (about ) with of cocoa powder in a food processor until smooth.

9.      When brownies are done, let cool.

10.  How to assemble the cake balls: Crumble half of the black bean brownies into a bowl. In the same bowl place 1/3 of the “frosting” and mix together. Then, form 16 to 20 balls out of the mixture and place on a sprayed lid/cookie sheet. Freeze for an hour. Remove when frozen and coat with remaining “frosting.” Freeze until solid. Thaw for a few minutes and enjoy!

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Thanks again to Qi Ting for letting me do this guest post on her blog. It was a little late in coming, but I enjoyed writing this so much!

Please come visit my blog, check out my recent posts and my About Me page. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and I love meeting fellow foodies!

 

Madison @ Peanut Butter Lover

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Thank YOU, Madison!! Remember to hop over to Madison’s. Right now. 😀

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Insanely Cookied Tart for the ‘Cookie-holic’ (Vegan and Much Healthier)

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I’m so excited to share with you this new creation! 

Its awesome. 

Its majestic.

It looks unhealthy.

But its whole wheat, has oats, is low fat, uses no white sugar and is so easy.

A biscuit-y pastry crust.

A cookie cake layer.

Frosted with raw (eggless) cookie dough.

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Choice of sweetener: Brown sugar!

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The Oat Flour I used.

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Insanely Cookied Tart

No. of servings: 4

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Notes: Use a cake pan. I used a 6 inch/15 cm diameter non-stick cake pan. If your pan is not non-stick, coat with non-stick spray or fat. You can use a bigger cake pan. Tart will be shorter and baking time must be reduced accordingly. Prepare the cookie layer before the biscuit pastry crust because the cookie dough balls need time to chill.

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Ingredients

Biscuit Pastry Crust (bottom)
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat margarine
  • 40g whole wheat flour
  • 40g oat flour (or more ww flour)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup/honey
  • 1/4 tsp butter essence
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
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Cookie Layer (Adapted from ‘Buns in my Oven‘)
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat margarine, cut into small cubes
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp egg, cold (vegan: use egg replacer)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp oat flour/ quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 × 50g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks (vegan: non-dairy chocolate) Note: chunks can be big! The tart will be more gooey!
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Raw Cookie Dough Ball ‘ frosting’
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat spread
  • 2 tbsp oat flour
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp condensed milk/ soy creamer
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp butter-vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • some soy milk

Regular: 1 tbsp chocolate chips

Chocolate: 1 tbsp cocoa powder

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Directions

Biscuit Pastry Crust (bottom)

  1. In a bowl mix reduced fat margarine and brown sugar till combined.
  2. Add butter essence, vanilla extract and maple syrup/honey.
  3. Mix till smooth.
  4. Add all dry ingredients and mix to form a dough.
  5. If the dough is too sticky, add a teaspoon of flour at a time.
  6. Press into cake mold and bake for 15-20 minutes at 390°F/200°C.

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The uncooked crust looks like this:

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Cookie Layer (Adapted from ‘Buns in my Oven‘):

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the cold margarine and sugar until barely combined, about 1 minute on lowest speed. Do not beat until creamed or fluffy! Add the egg, maple syrup and vanilla and continue to beat until combined.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients and add them to the margarine and sugar mixture. You should have a very stiff, lightly sticky dough. If needed, add another tablespoon of flour. Add 1 portion of chocolate chunks and mix until combined.
  3. Measure out the dough in equal portions depending on the size you want them. (I used 25g pieces rolled into balls.)
  4. Place on a sheet or in a container, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.  This will help prevent the cookies from spreading.
  5. By this time, the biscuit pastry crust will have finished baking.
  6. Spread remaining portion of chocolate chunks onto the biscuit pastry crust.
  7. Arrange cookie dough balls onto the crust and return to oven to bake.
  8. Bake at 350°F/180°C for 15-20 minutes if you use 25g balls. If using smaller balls, bake for 11-13 minutes.

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After this step (before frosting), you’ll get something like this:

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Removed from mold…

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Raw Cookie Dough Ball ‘ frosting’:

  1. Mix all ingredients together except the chocolate chips and cocoa powder. Add enough soy milk to form a thick batter with consistency of butter cream.
  2. Divide batter into 2 portions.
  3. To 1 portion, mix in chocolate chips.
  4. To the other, mix in cocoa powder.
  5. Use frosting to frost the cake using a piping bag (or not).

Serve warm with ice cream or cold whipped cream.

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Till next time! D

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PS: I’m looking for Guest Bloggers! You can write on any topic related to health-and-wellness or anything about food or recipes of course! No other limitations. Contact me at qiting93@hotmail.com please! 😀 😀
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Low Fat Two-Tone Cheese Tart (w vegan option)

If only Santa were real (little kids who happen to chance upon this post, sorry for breaking your innocent little hearts). But there still is God. I think He already knows what we want and tries to give us some of our wishes too. Still, my mum always reminds me that we still have to tell Him too because it makes a difference. I’m not sure why though. 

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This Christmas, I wish

  1. For real friends, who I don’t feel awkward and fake talking to
  2. For my dad to get a better job (that he also likes)
  3. For my mum to be happy with hers and get along with her colleagues
  4. that I’ll be on my way to making my dreams come true
  5. For good friends, for real friends, for friends I’m comfortable with, I can’t say this enough
  6. to eat what I want whenever I want and not gain weight (or better still be able to lose weight haha– learnt this from 黄鸿升)
  7. my whole family to be healthy and happy
  8. be happy, be happy, be happy
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I just made my first successful tart, and I want to share it with all of you!
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Two Tone Cheese Tart

No. of servings: 5

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Ingredients

For Wholegrain Shortbread Crust
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light margarine/butter
  • 1 tsp low fat cream cheese (vegan: tofutti)
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For Cappuccino Cream Cheese filling
  • 8 tbsp/ 4 oz low fat cream cheese (vegan: tofutti)
  • 1 tsp nonfat yogurt (or more cream cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 egg (vegan: 1/4 cup pureed silken tofu)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
For Chocolate PB Cream Cheese filling
  • 8 tbsp/ 4 oz low fat cream cheese (vegan: tofutti)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan: vegan choco chips)
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
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Directions

For Wholegrain Crust
1. Blend ingredients in a blender/food processor till a dough forms.
2. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
3. Roll out into a 0.5 cm layer.
4. Press into pie mould and bake at 350°F/180°C for 10 minutes.


Cappuccino Cream Cheese filling:

5. Whip cream cheese with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
6. Add sugar and continue mixing.
7. Add remaining ingredients and mix till well blended.
8. Pour over baked shortbread crust and bake at 350°F/180°C for another 10 minutes.
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Chocolate PB Cream Cheese filling:
Note: takes longer time if using broiler.

9. Melt chocolate chips using broiler or in a microwave for 60 seconds. 
10. Add PB and mix till smooth. Return to broiler or in microwave for 30 seconds.
11. Add in remaining ingredients.
12. Return to broiler or in microwave for 30 seconds and mix till smooth.
13. Pour mixture over baked tart with the first layer.
14. Freeze for 2 hours before serving.

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A pictorial view of the layers
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Enjoy your Christmas treat!
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I am submitting my post to Aspiring Bakers #14: Creative Christmas Bakes (December 2011) hosted by Hankerie!

Many thanks to Han Ker for hosting!! 😀

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Also submitted to Very Good Recipes’ White Christmas Recipe Challenge!

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Raw High Protein Healthier Almost-Snickers (Vegan & Gluten Free)

I know its ugly. But trust me. It tastes good. Kind of like Snickers actually, but without the chocolate covering.

I ran out of chocolate. Still wondering how that happened. Ugghh.

I’m going to give you the recipe anyway.

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Note: Please do not (or I hope you have not anyway) be shocked by the non-Snickers-resembling pictures that follow and have appeared. I do assure you that taste-wise, you won’t be disappointed!

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Raw Healthier Almost-Snickers 

No. of servings: 30 mini Snickers

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

  • Tapioca flour (to prevent sticking)
Layer 1 (most bottom layer)
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates (pre-soaked)
  • 1 cup powdered/chopped/whole raw or roasted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp liquid(or as needed)
  • 1/4 cup unrefined raw sugar
Layer 2 (middle layer)
  • 1/2 cup (vegan) chocolate chips (or any amount you want)— Omit for RAW version in which you mix 9 tbsp cocoa powder+ 3 tbsp nut butter+ 6 tbsp agave/malitol syrup +3 tbsp liquid
Layer 3
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts (roughly chopped)
Layer 4 (top layer)
  • 300g maltose (very important ingredient, do not substitute!!!)
  • 1/2 cup peanut flour

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Directions

  1. Prepare pan first. This step is very important! Line pan with non-stick paper. Sprinkle some tapioca flour onto the paper. Make sure its properly spread so that the bottom layer of the bars do not stick.
  2. Blend ingredients for Layer 1 in a food processor or high-powered blender. (I have neither so I used ‘manpower’ i.e. my ‘hand-power’. I blended my prunes and skim milk in my lousy blender together, then kneaded in the remaining ingredients– with peanut powder as the form of peanuts– myself. Let’s just say… it was a painful and time-consuming and dirty process… just use a food processor if you have one.)
  3. Form into a ball. Coat with tapioca flour and spread onto the pan. Even out the layer using a roller thing (I used a can, you know, recycling?).You will need a lot of tapioca flour in the process.
  4. In a microwave/broiler, melt the chocolate chips for Layer 2(I used a shortcut broiler because I have neither. I boiled some water, poured them into a pot, placed a bowl over the pot without the bowl touching the water in the pot, dumped the  chocolate chips into the bowl and stirred the chips till they melted. DO NOT let a drop of liquid touch the chocolate or it would immediately forma paste/dough) OR use raw version
  5. Pour the melted/raw chocolate over Layer 1 evenly. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mix ingredients for Layer 4 in a big bowl. (Note that maltose is very very sticky. But it has a weakness– water!! Scoop maltose with wet spoon and it won’t stick. Stir then knead to form a dough with the help of lots and lots of tapioca flour.) 
  7. Remove pan from freezer. Sprinkle on peanuts from Layer 3 onto Layer 2 in pan.
  8. Spread dough for Layer 4 onto Layer 3 and roll evenly using the roller thing again with help of tapioca flour.
  9. Using a pizza/tart cutter, cut into slices.

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Honestly, its so rich and even kinda chocolaty so you won’t miss the chocolate covering. On a side note, you can always dip them in chocolate, no prob.

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And there you have it: Raw, all-natural, no oil, no butter, refined-sugar-free, vegan, healthier but equally delicious almost-snickers!

I’m hooked on that peanut-caramel layer– it tastes good on its own! A suggestion: make just the peanut layer and eat it with a spoon…

For more information of what the hell is maltose, click here (yeah its Mr Wikipedia… oh what can we do without you…?)

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Hey, what’s your favourite candy?

Mine’s snickers (quite obviously!) and NOUGAT yummy stuff these are…

An Experiment: Low Fat (Vegan) 3-Layer Cookie Dough Bars

What would Gordon Ramsay say?

My brother loves Gorden Ramsay. He’s cool. Like a chef version of Simon Cowell, but nicer. And really cute sometimes. 🙂

I made these bars today as an experiment to get perfect cookie dough bars. These are not perfect.
I’ll continue experimenting after my exams. I always bake after a series of exams. Remember this? and this?

Here’s a diagnosis.

What went wrong?
1. cookie cake layer is too dense (flour+ leavenershould be added) because I made it gluten free
2. cookie crust layer should be baked before all other layers are added

What I learnt (from other peoples’ experiences):

1. Never use fat-free cream cheese
2. Grease the pan!!!
3. Use real butter


What I want to ask Gordon Ramsay?

1. how do you make sure all layers are cooked when all 3 have different baking times?
2. You’re a chef. But, does that make you a pastry chef too?… Can you make macarons and layer cakes? Update: I checked! Apparently, he can!

Layers: (from top to bottom)

1. cocoa cheesecake

2. cookie cake

3. cookie crust

Monster Version, suggested by my mum, drenched in chocolate syrup from here, and with pink sugar beads leftover from my layer cake.

I have to say though, that while it wasn’t good enough, it was pretty tasty! 😀 😀