A big part of being healthy is realising that denying yourself good food is stupid and that any person in reasonable health can survive a little ‘poison’ without ill effects. Here are some go-to recipes for desserts and baking.
(Obviously healthy food is delicious too, but you get the point…)
Combine the 500g white flour, 25g yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil with 350ml of warm water. Mix into a dough and turn onto a floured surface. Kneed LOTS until it is smooth and elastic. (Basically the more kneading the better it tastes, usually 15 minutes suffices.) Put kneaded mixture in a bowl and allow to rise until it doubles in volume. Kneed for another 5 minutes and let rise again.
Put on a floured tray and push into shape. Cover in salt, rosemary and olives. Cook at 220C for about 15 minutes. You will know when it is done because the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.
Finely chop 250g soft dates. Mix 100g almond flour, 100g small walnut pieces and 1 tablespoon cocoa in a large bowl. Stir in the dates, adding aguave (maple) syrup to help moisten the mixture. It’s quite hard to stir, so I suggest using your hands.
Press into a tray and refrigerate.
Hot Cross Buns (Sans Cross)
Combine 14g dry yeast with 1/4 cup of caster sugar and 1 1/2 cups warm milk in a bowl. Allow it to stand until the mixture is frothy.
In a second bowl, sift 600g plain flour, 1 teaspoon of mixed spice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Rub in 60 grams of butter until the mixture is consistent.
Once the yeast is frothy, mix 1 egg, 1 cup of sultanas and the yeast mixture into the flour. Kneed the dough on a floured board until it is silky. Allow the dough to rise under a tea towel for 45 minutes.
Butter a baking tray and divide the mixture into small buns, placing them on the tray. Allow it to sit for a further 10 minutes to rise.
Bake in a 220C oven for 20 minutes or until brown.
(The cross is tasteless and pointless, but if you insist, just mix some flour and water into a paste then shape the cross.)
Chocolate Peanut Biscuits
Cream 125g butter with 125g sugar. Add 1 egg and beat well. Sift 1 1/2 cups plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 heaped desert spoons cocoa together. Add 1/2 tsp salt if desired. Mix the dry and wet ingredients then stir in 1 cup raw shelled peanuts.
Roll into balls and press onto a greased tray. Bake for 20 minutes at 180C.
Separate the whites of 5 eggs into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Yes, the material is important! Using an electric hand beater, whip the egg whites on slowest speed until bubbles appear then beat of the fastest speed. When the eggs are stiff gradually add 1 1/4 cups of caster sugar, a quarter of a cup at a time. Continue beating until the mixture is very stiff. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and continue beating.
Place the mixture onto a piece of baking paper on a flat tray and shape into a low cylinder. Cook in a 140C oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until it is stiff to the touch and slightly brown.
Remove from the oven and flip onto a plate to cool. When cool, top with whipped cream (cream and 1 teaspoon icing sugar), fruit and chocolate.
First seperate the yolks from 5 eggs. Heat 2 cups milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence in a medium sized saucepan until just below boiling. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks with 1 dessert spoon cornflour and 1 heaped dessert spoon sugar. Once the milk is warm, gradually pour it into the egg mixture while continuously whisking. Return the custard to the saucepan and cook on a low heat. Stir the mixture constantly so that it doesn’t burn. After a while it will thicken noticeably.
(This is a great way to use all the egg yolks left over after making a pavlova!)
(Feel free to substitute apples for any other fruit.)
To make the topping mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup plain flour and 1 cup dessicated coconut. Add 200g melted butter and stir thoroughly.
Put 2 cans of tinned apples in a baking dish and cover with the topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Cook at 180C for 30 to 45 minutes.
Sift together 1 1/4 cups plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of salt, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa. Mix 1/2 cup milk and 90g melted butter then stir together with the dry ingredients.
Place in a baking dish/tray or divide the mixture into (four) individual coffee mugs.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup coconut and 1 desert spoon cocoa then sprinkle over the top of the wet mixture. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the mixture then bake in an over at 180C for 45 minutes.
Combine 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup flour and 1 cup brown sugar. Heat 2 tbsp golden syryp, 125g butter and 2 tbsp water until the butter has melted. Add 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda to the warm ingredients and allow to froth. Mix the warm ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.
Press golf ball sized biscuits onto a baking tray and cook at 160C for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the tray so that they harder properly.
Cream 200g butter with 1 cup sugar then mix in 1 cup golden syrup. Sift together 3 cups flour, 1 heaped tablespoon ginger and 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized biscuits and place on a baking paper covered tray. Leave plenty of room for them to grow. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes.
Combine 1 cup self-raising flour (or 1 cup flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder) with 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir in 1 cup milk and 1 egg. Beat well until the mixture is smooth. Cook in a pan with butter.
Cream 125g butter with 90g caster sugar. Beat in 1 egg. Mix in 200g self raising flour. You might need to add some more to get a good consistency. Roll the dough into balls (or short ‘fingers’) and roll in sugar. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes.