1. Corey’s Guilt-free Chocolate Cake
Just as you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, you can’t make a chocolate cake without a few calories. With weight loss in mind, Corey’s Guilt-free Chocolate cake is almost diet-friendly.
250ml all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
125g cocoa powder
450g brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
250ml skim milk
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of chopped nuts (your choice)
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Lightly grease and line a baking pan
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and put to one side.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil and skimmed milk and then stir in the vanilla extract.
Into this mixture, alternatively fold in the flour mixture and egg whites a little at a time to form a smooth batter.
Add the nuts if you wish
Pour the mixture into the pan and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes
Allow it to cool in the pan for five minutes and then tip out onto a wire rack.
Serve with mixed berries and crème fraiche
2. Cherry Ripe Slice
1 packet Marie biscuits, crushed
125g melted butter
3 Cherry Ripe bars, chopped
200g tin condensed milk
250g chocolate, melted
Mix all ingredients together except chocolate.
Press into a slice tin and chill.
Pour melted chocolate over the slice evenly and allow to set.
3. Honey Chicken
800g chicken breast (cut into 2.5cm chunks)
Oil (for deep frying)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 & 1/2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth.
Cover and allow the batter to sit for at least 30 minutes.
Add the chicken to the batter tossing to coat.
In a wok, heat the oil.
Fry chicken bits in batches until batter becomes firm.
Drain on paper towels.
In a separate wok or saucepan, heat 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of oil.
Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix well.
Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
Add to the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
Brush/pour sauce over chicken and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with white rice.
4. Orange Cake
If you’re caught unawares by friends coming to visit Oscar’s Orange Cake couldn’t be simpler or quicker. Simply blend the ingredients, bake and enjoy with a cup of tea.
1 whole orange
180g melted butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 & 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
Orange zest to decorate
Preheat oven to 180’C
Grease and bottom-line a loaf tin, 12cm x 22cm. Cut the orange into large chunks, leaving the skin on. Place in a large food processor and blend until well pureed. Add the remaining ingredients and process until well missed. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out of tin and cool on a wire rack.
To make the icing
Sift the icing sugar and mix with melted butter and enough orange juice for a spreadable consistency. Ice the cooled cake and decorate with orange zest.
5. Tomato Soup
Kaye and her daughters enjoy nothing more than sitting down to this tasty tomato soup which doesn’t take long to make at all.
1 tin tomato soup
1 cup chicken stock
1 handful chopped, fresh basil
3 tablespoons sour cream
Warm through tomato soup and chicken stock and combine. Stir in basil and serve in bowls, swirl with sour cream.
When served with buttered toast or toasted cheese, this makes a great meal to have on your lap while chatting with family.
6. Vanilla Slice
While sitting back and enjoying your favourite book, why not delight in the gooey naughtiness of Val’s Vanilla Slice?
2 sheets puff pastry
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup custard powder
1 & 1/2 cups cream
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Place puff pastry on a lined oven tray. Prick with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes at 220’c
Put sugar, custard powder and cream into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it starts to thicken.
Add half a cup of milk at a time and whisk until the custard is thick.
Place the icing sugar, butter and vanilla essence in a bowl and add enough hot water to make a medium textured icing
Let everything cool slightly and then place into a 22cm square tin the pastry, custard, pastry then icing.
Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
7. Bread and Butter Pudding
Those in the YOURLifeChoices office are big fans of traditional pudding and we think that Bill’s Bread and Butter Pudding is one of the best we’ve tried.
6 slices of bread (remove crusts and leave bread to stand uncovered for hour)
butter (enough to butter bread slices)
1 litre milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/3 cup sultanas
Preheat conventional oven to 160 degrees
Lightly grease baking dish
Cut slices of bread into triangles and into dish
Beat 5 eggs in mixing bowl, adding milk gradually. Add vanilla essence and sugar and beat for a further 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly mixed.
Dispense mixture over the dish of bread, and then sprinkle nutmeg for taste.
Cook for 60-90 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so.
Stand for 10 minutes.
Serve with ice cream.
8. Chicken and Bacon Meatballs
Meatballs served with pasta are the ultimate comfort food. Carol’s Chicken and Bacon Meatballs are a twist on the classic Italian dish.
1/2 kg chicken mince
1/4 kg diced bacon
2 minced garlic cloves
1 & 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Pasta and sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 x 800g can Italian diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
400g dried penne pasta
Combine chicken, bacon, garlic, parsley, Parmesan and roll into bite sized balls.
Roll balls in egg and breadcrumbs.
Gently fry in oil until golden brown and place to one side and keep warm
Cook pasta as per packet directions.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, uncovered, stirring often until it softens slightly. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until aromatic.
Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for 6-7 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly.
Stir in the parsley and sugar. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Combine the pasta, sauce and meatballs and serve immediately.
9. Moroccan Beef Stew
Warm yourself up from the inside with a delicious and hearty spicy stew.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
400g beefsteaks cut into small cubes
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
70g chopped dried apricots
750ml salt-reduced chicken stock
400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Heat a large saucepan on high heat. Add oil and cook beef in small batches browning the meat on all sides for around 3-4 minutes per batch and transferring to a plate when cooked. Now add the onion to the saucepan and cook for about five minutes.
Now add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, cinnamon, garlic and ginger to the saucepan with a teaspoon of water to prevent sticking. Cook for one minute then add the apricots, beef, sweet potato and stock. Cover and simmer for about one and a half hours. Finally add in the chickpeas and heat through.
Serve with a side of cous cous.
10. Apple Pie
When it comes to pleasing all ages, there’s nothing like an apple pie. This family favourite recipe has put a smile on the faces of many generations.
One and a half cups plain flour
100 grams butter
Approximately 1/2 cup cold water
Pinch of salt
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Milk or egg
7 or 8 fresh Granny Smith apples
Knob of butter
Ground nutmeg and cinnamon to taste
Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Lightly mix in cold water (and/or a little lemon juice) a little at a time to form mixture into a firm dough. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Peel and slice seven or eight medium-sized apples. Pre-cook apples with a spoonful or two of water in a covered pan. Add a knob of butter and spices. After five minutes give the pan a shake so that the apples don’t stick. As soon as the slices have softened, drain the fruit, put aside to cool and also put aside any juices.
Let pastry soften at room temperature a bit before rolling out dough into a circle a little larger than pie dish. Fit the dough into the pie dish and cut off excess dough on sides (use for decoration of pie if you want to). Prick the bottom.
Add cold fruit, sweetened to taste, to the pie dish and drape over a top crust, sealing the edges well.
Brush the top crust with milk, or a lightly beaten egg, and bake in a hot oven, 200°C, for the first 15 minutes, then lower to 180°C. At this point, you could brush the reserved apple juices over the top crust and add a sprinkle of sugar.
Continue baking for about another 20 minutes, until pastry is cooked through. Don’t worry about the apples, they can cope with quite long cooking and the flavour improves.
Serve with double thickened cream (who cares about the waistline?), a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and an Australian Sauterre.