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banana brownie challenge

Whilst browsing the Food Network Canada website, I stumbled upon the Foodtv.ca Cooking Club Challenge: a monthly online challenge to make a specific recipe from one of their shows, with some cookbook prizes for the winners. The challenge for May is Michael Smith’s Banana Brownies, and I just happened to have all the ingredients in my kitchen already, so I thought I’d join in.

The original recipe is somewhat very high in calories and fat, so I made a few modifications:

  • Halved the recipe to make a smaller batch.
  • Substituted semi-sweet chocolate for dark chocolate (from necessity – it was all I had in stock)
  • Reduced the fat by substituting half the butter with the same weight in unsweetened applesauce.
  • Made individual brownies by pouring the batter into a muffin pan – my half-sized batch filled 12 muffin cups (3/4 full) perfectly.
  • Reduced the baking time to 1hr 10 mins to compensate for the smaller cake size.

They turned out very well – not overly sweet or rich, nicely dense, and very tasty. The banana flavour is quite noticeable, although I think that may have been due to my bananas being very ripe! With a bit of whipped cream on the top (which is entirely justified with the lower fat mods and smaller portion size) they make a very nice dessert. Have a virtual taste:

banana chocolate brownies

To enter the Cooking Club Challenge, you just submit a photo and a description of your creation. I submitted mine and now I just have to wait and see…

I really don’t expect to win, but the club is a nice motivator to try out a new recipe every month!

Comments (4)

christmas cookies

I’ve been busy today, baking tray after tray of sugar and spice cookies:

cookies

They were intended as gifts, but bad weather changed our plans, and now we’ll be eating dozens of delicious cookies ourselves! What a hardship šŸ˜‰

Cookie, anyone? Help yourself…

cookies

Happy Christmas to all my readers! I hope your holidays are happy and restful.

Comments

healthy muffins

Mmmm, muffins. What’s not to love about a muffin? Delicious, convenient, and… did I mention delicious?

Of course, a regular muffin usually contains between 10 and 25g of fat, which takes the edge off the pleasure of eating it. Low fat muffin recipes are a lot healthier (e.g. my Quaker Low Fat Banana Muffin Mix contains 1.5g fat per muffin) but tend to be a bit light and unsatisfying, and lack the moist, heavy goodness of a regular muffin.

I have a solution to make a healthy muffin that really does taste good! Mix your low fat muffin ingredients as directed in your recipe or mix packet, then add some magic ingredients (quantities below are for 12 muffins; if you are making a different number, adjust these amounts accordingly):

1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup fruit or chocolate chips (e.g. I like to use raisins or fresh blueberries)

Add these to your mix, then spoon it into your muffin pans and bake as directed. (You may need to add 1-2 mins to the regular cooking time.)

Et voila…

low fat muffins
Mmmmm, fresh banana raisin muffins… Are you hungry yet?

Comments (2)

diet coke cakes

I heard about this idea a while ago – making a low fat cake from a packet of cake mix by replacing the usual added ingredients (water, eggs, oil) withĀ a can of diet carbonated beverage of choice. So tonight I tried it out for myself.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet cake mix (I used Dr. Oetker Added Touch Chocolate Cake Mix)
  • 1 can diet cola (my preference is Diet Pepsi)

That’s it! Mix and bakeĀ for the time and temperatureĀ given on the cake mix packet. I usedĀ halfĀ theĀ packet of cake mix and half a can of Diet Pepsi (so I wouldn’t waste as much if the recipe was a disaster) andĀ it made 9 cupcakes (baked in a muffin panĀ pre-greased with spray oil). I baked them for 20 mins atĀ 350Ā°F (180Ā°C) et voila:

chocolate cake made from packet cake mix and diet cola
Mmm, cake…

I am pleasantly surprised:Ā it looks just like regular cake andĀ the texture is light and moist. The flavour is a little differentĀ from a regular chocolate cake, but it is GOOD. And considering thatĀ the finished cakes have 100 calories each and less than 1g of fat, it’s amazing.

You can use any flavour of cake mix and any flavour of diet soda – I think lemon or golden cake with diet 7-up would work well. And if you iced them they’d be even better.

Verdict: quick, easy, good value, yummy, AND not too sinful!

Comments (22)

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