Anneka Manning, founder of Sydney’s BakeClub, shares her delicious ‘better-for-you’ recipes for snacks, desserts and treats the whole family will love. Through both her writing and cooking school, Anneka teaches home cooks to bake in practical and approachable yet inspiring ways that assure success in the kitchen.
Prune and Almond Brownies
Cocoa, prunes, almond meal and buttermilk are all key ingredients in making these brownies moist, fudgy and rich (just the way brownies should be)…without a square of chocolate or a cube of butter in sight. You’ll be amazed how good they taste too. Our guesstimate is that they are low GI too.
- Makes 32
- Preparation time: 15 minutes (+ cooling time)
- Baking time: 25 minutes
200g (7oz) pitted prunes, chopped
1 cup water
75g (2½oz) cocoa powder
¼ cup plain wholemeal spelt flour (see Baker’s Tips)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup almond meal
½ cup LoGiCane sugar (See Baker’s Tips)
2 eggs, at room temperature,
1/3 cup sunflower or light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
¼ cup buttermilk
1 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
1 tsp icing sugar (optional), to dust
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/320°F fan-forced). Lightly brush a 16 x 26cm/7 x11in (base measurement) slice tin with a little oil to grease and then line with a piece of non-stick baking paper.
Combine the prunes and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all the water has evaporated and the mixture is pulpy. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Sift together the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder, returning any husks from the flour to the mixture. Stir in the almond meal and sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine the cooled prune pulp, eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla and use a fork to combine evenly. Add to the dry ingredients and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a skewer inserted into the center. Cool in the tin.
Cut into 32 portions and serve sprinkled with icing sugar, if desired. These brownies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- You can use plain wholemeal flour or buckwheat flour in place of the spelt flour if you wish.
- You can use raw sugar in place of the LoGICane sugar if you wish.
Per serve (one small piece)
350kJ/ 85 calories; 2g protein; 5g fat (includes 0.8g saturated fat; saturated:unsaturated fat ratio 0.2); 8g available carbs (includes 5.5g sugars and 2.2g starch); 1g fibre
Cooking with Supergrains author, Chrissy Freer
Baked Barley Puddings with Port-poached Prunes.
Remember the milk puddings of childhood? This one is for grown-ups. It’s deliciously low GI and you can make it with regular or reduced fat milk and if it’s for the whole family, poach the prunes in water or green tea rather than port. Serves 4.
1 cup cooked pearl barley
1½ cups milk
2 tbs caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground nutmeg, to sprinkle
100g/3½oz pitted prunes, quartered
2 tbs light brown sugar
2 tbs port
Preheat oven to 160C/315F. Lightly grease four 150ml/5fl.oz. ovenproof ramekins and place on a large baking tray.
Divide the barley evenly among the greased ramekins. Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla until well combined and pour evenly over the barley. Sprinkle the top of each pudding with a little nutmeg and bake for 30 minutes or until puffed and just set. The puddings should have a slight wobble in the centre. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile …
Poach the prunes in a medium saucepan with the sugar, port and ¼ cup water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the prunes are syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.
Serve the puddings warm or chilled topped with the poached prunes.
Per pudding (made with reduced fat milk)
1145kJ/ 278 calories; 8.5g protein; 7g fat (includes 3g saturated fat; saturated:unsaturated fat ratio 0.75); 42g available carbs; 4g fibre
Supergrains (Murdoch Books/Random House) is available from good bookshops and online.
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Chrissy Freer’s Mustard and Rosemary Pork with Roast Pears.
4 pears, unpeeled, cored, cut into 3/4in/2cm-thick wedges
2 red onions, cut into thick wedges
Olive oil spray
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs wholegrain mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind/zest
1 tbs olive oil 4 (about 4oz/125g each) pork loin steaks
3½oz/100g baby spinach leaves
Steamed green beans, to serve
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Place the pear and onion wedges on one of the trays. Spray with oil, drizzle with half the vinegar and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pears are golden and tender. Meanwhile …
Combine the mustard, rosemary and lemon rind in a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook the pork for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Remove from heat. Spread one side of each pork steak with mustard mixture. Transfer to the second baking tray and bake in the oven for 6–7 minutes or until cooked through.
Place the pear, onion, spinach and remaining vinegar in a bowl, and toss to combine. Divide pear mixture and pork steaks among serving plates. Serve with beans. (Recipe and photo courtesy www.taste.com.au; Photo credit: Rob Palmer.)
1325kJ/330 calories; 30g protein; 7g fat (includes 1g saturated fat
Johanna’s Italian Kitchen
American dietitian and author of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Johanna Burani, shares her favourite recipes with a low or moderate GI. For more information, check out Johanna’s website. The photographs are by Sergio Burani. His food, travel and wine photography website is photosbysergio.com.
Lemon-laced Roasted Eggplant.
Eggplant (aubergine) tastes great with cooked tomatoes. True. But have you ever eaten plain broiled eggplant with fresh lemon juice sprinkled on top? Dynamite! Simple, quick and delicious. End of story. Servings: 6
2 large eggplants (1¼lbs or 0.6kg each)
3 large cloves of garlic, sliced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs (30ml) fresh lemon juice
5-6 sprigs fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a baking pan with foil or baking paper.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise in half again. Cut each of the 8 resulting strips in half crosswise. Place them in a large bowl with the garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the oregano and then the oil. Mix well.
Place eggplant pieces in the prepared baking pan. Roast eggplant for 25 minutes until soft and browned. Remove eggplant from oven, place in a serving bowl, toss with the lemon juice and parsley. Serve immediately.
560kJ/135 calories; 2g protein; 10g fat (includes 1g saturated fat; saturated:unsaturated fat ratio 0.1); 5g available carbs; 7g fibre