Wednesday, 25 January 2006

SHF 15: Squidgy Chocolate Cakes with Prunes

Squidgy Chocolate Cakes with Prunes
What a great idea to have a 'Sugar Low Friday' for the 15th edition of SHF. This time it's hosted by that lovely food blogger Sam in SFO whom I met a few months ago. As she said, after all the excesses most of us had during the Christmas holidays it's about time to balance off some of these rich food with something low in fat, low in sugar.

Actually my first attempt in this genre was with some cinnamon apple sauce mixed with yoghurt and whipped egg whites. It was really very low fat with no sugar and so healthy but ... bleccchh! It was so sour and had that strong taste of the egg whites that I didn't bother to let my other family members taste it. Down it went to the rubbish bin.

As the deadline came looming, I turned to my trusty Delia Smith cookbook (How To Cook Book 3) to give me one dessert that I know will surely work. For me, she is that reliable ... and she sure was! A bonus in this recipe is that it doesn't have any flour, perfect for people with wheat allergies. I used Fruisana in place of the 'granulated sweetener'. It's actualy fructose which is an all-natural fruit sugar extracted sweetener that's at least 30% sweeter than ordinary sugar. So it doesn't have that unpleasant aftertaste like that in artificial sweeteners.

The cakes itself don't taste much really 'coz there's not much sugar in it. But combined with the creaminess of the creme fraiche filling and the natural sweetness of the rum-soaked prunes, it was gorgeous. Very very nice indeed! Definite thumbs up for this one. :)

Squidgy Chocolate Cakes with Prunes

Squidgy Chocolate Cakes with Prunes

10 g  [2 Tbsp + 1 tsp] cocoa powder
3 large eggs - separated
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sweetener
oil for greasing

*For the filling:
12 ready-to-eat prunes
3 Tbsp marsala or rum or brandy
3 Tbsp low fat fromage frais or creme fraiche
2 tsp granulated sweetener (or to taste)
1 tsp chocolate or vanilla extract
  1. Put the marsala and prunes in a small saucepan. Heat the sauce pan and bring it up just to simmering point. Remove from heat and leave to cool. You may put this in a covered glass or plastic container and leave to soak for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease 4 ramekins - about 1.5 inches deep with a base of 3 inches.
  3. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the sweetener for about 1 minute.
  4. Sift the cocoa on the egg yolk mixture and mix well to blend.
  5. Beat the egg whites in another bowl until soft peak stage.
  6. Using a metal spoon, mix in about 1 Tbsp of the beaten egg whites to the cocoa batter to lighten it. Then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  7. Pour and divide into the 4 ramekins.
  8. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the top is crusty but still wobbly.
  9. Remove from oven and leave to cool. As soon as it's cool enough to handle, turn out from the ramekins by running a knife along the edges then prying it loose. Leave it to further cool on a wire rack.
  10. While the cake is cooling, mix the creme fraiche, sweetener, chocolate extract, and about 1-2 tsp of the rum marinade of the prunes (careful not to add too much or it will become runny).
  11. Reserve 4 of the prunes, chop the rest of it, then mix these to the creme fraiche mixture.
  12. Split the 4 cakes horizontally like a bun. Divide the creme fraiche filling among the lower half of the 4 cakes. Cover with the top half and then top with the reserved a prune in each.

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