23 May 2013

scones

When I say scones Josh says jam and cream with a cuppa tea. When I think scones I think road trips and day trips; mid afternoon pulling up at a little cafe to have a devonshire tea for a little pick me up. I also imagine a warm country kitchen with sun shining in the window, steam rising from a fresh baked batch of scones, a little girl with sticky jammy fingers and strawberry jam smeared from ear to ear with a cheeky grin and a mouthful of comfort. Scones are a cooking basic which is why I have gone back to them. I blogged devonshire tea in my first month of blogging and a I proud to post again with a revised set of pictures and story reflecting on how far I have come. Mmm warm yourself from the inside out as the weather cools down and there is a bit of bite in the air.


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Scones

Ingredients
4 cups self raising flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
60g butter
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Prepare an oven tray and line with baking paper.
Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl and rub in butter with finger tips. Try and keep your hands cold so that the ingredients stay cool. Alternatively if you have a food processor process butter and flour until butter is well distributed. This makes for a lighter scone.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the milk and water.
Use a knife to "cut" the milk and water through the flour, mixing to a soft sticky dough. This is important as you don't want to over work the dough as this will turn it into rock cakes when finished.
Knead dough on floured surface until smooth, once again being careful not to over work. Press dough to 2cm thickness. Dip 4.5 cm round cutter in flour and cut as many rounds as you can from the piece of dough.
Place scones side by side on the tray. The scones enjoy snuggling up to each other in the oven so make sure they are just touching. Knead scraps of dough together and repeat pressing and cutting of dough until all is on the tray. 
Brush the tops with a little extra milk and bake for 15mins or until scones are just browned.
Best served with jam and cream or butter and golden syrup or my new favourite honey and butter.

19 May 2013

raspberry frozen yogurt

After making Joyful Desserts Coconut Ice Cream it made me excited about home made ice cream. I don't have an ice cream maker so when I found out how easy it was to make ice cream without one I have created a monster. All you have to do is make the ice cream base, pour it into a large shallow container and place in the freezer removing it every 30mins to stir through the frozen edges until it is frozen through. You have no excuse to not try this easy and healthy dessert option.

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Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

560g thick natural yogurt
125g frozen raspberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend well to combine. Pour the contents of the blender into a large shallow baking dish. Place into freezer removing every 30 mins to stir through the frozen edges until the mixture is completely frozen through. Make sure all of the frozen edges are smooshed into a frozen puree each time to ensure to hard ice lumps. Transfer to an air tight plastic container and store in the freezer. This frozen yogurt won't last very long so don't worry about it going off. Feel free to swap the 125g frozen raspberries with any other fruit of your choice.

8 May 2013

chocolate lava cake

After last weeks healthy raw vegan post for some strange reason I was craving a rich, chocolatey, baked saucy pudding. I didn't however want to undo all of my good work from eating healthy by making a large pudding that I of course would eat way to much of and then regret my gluttonous binge. This cake is a single portion dessert. It is by no means "healthy" however with the ingredients of this recipe only resulting in one pudding it takes the guilt out of it as it is perfectly portioned. Mmmhmmm. One suggestion though. Don't make this cake. Do yourself a favour. Once you learn that it only takes 15mins from start to finish to make and bake you will never turn back. It is far to easy to make and if you are anything like me in winter with comfort food you will find yourself sneakily whisking together the ingredients with a slight smirk on your face knowing that you don't have to wait to long to reap the rewards. I did warn you....don't make this cake.



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Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1egg
2 tsp flour
a pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 190c. Generously butter and powder a 1 cup sized ramekin with cocoa powder. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave and stir until smooth. Whisk together the egg and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg before whisking in the flour and salt. Whisk until smooth before adding to ramekin. Bake for approx 10mins or a couple of minutes less if you want a more gooey centre. Turn out onto a plate and I would tell you to serve it with berries or ice cream but it really doesn't need it and it probably wouldn't last that long if you have made this to satisfy an irrational chocolate pudding craving.

1 May 2013

joyful desserts

Over the past 12 to 18 months I have made some major changes to my diet. This is clearly demonstrated by the change in the range of food I have featured on my blog over the past two years. By cutting out processed and fatty foods from my diet I have noticed a huge change to my body. I've found myself with more energy and felt less bloated and weighed down, and managed to drop dress sizes purely from watching what I eat and modifying my portions.
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy an indulgent dessert, cheese and nibbles plate or rich dinner every now and then, however I have noticed weird things happening to my body when I consume sugary foods. I have an instant sugar high that lasts about 10mins followed by a slump that usually makes me dysphasic and ready for a nap.


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joyfuldesserts-emilyjoy photo from AJD Photography - Website - Facebook

So when a new friend of mine told me about Emily and her guilt free desserts I naturally was excited to learn about healthy desserts. Healthy desserts, yeah right how can they taste good? Don't write this delicious food off without trying it! Josh initially turned his nose up to the thought of homemade milks and raw chocolate but after comparing the store bought options with the recipes I learnt at Emily's Joyful desserts cooking class he now much rather prefers the homemade healthy options as opposed to the processed artificial sugars and flavours options. I was even surprised to hear that the desserts that are made purely vegan and raw he found to be sweeter and richer than their sugary counter parts. The secret is, don't tell your partners it's healthy, wait until they are hooked in first!

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What I took from Emily's class is that food is fuel for your body so it is important to fill it with lots of fruit vegetables and other foods that help you get the most out of your day. Emily also pointed out that she doesn't put a "label" on her diet. So many times people have put vegetarian or vegan on their diets and when they splurge on some lean meat or dairy or even a piece of rich chocolate cake or some cheese and crackers they feel guilty which is not healthy at all associating negative with certain foods. The idea is to choose healthy the majority of the time but if you splurge that's okay! With these desserts you feel as if you are splurging but instead you are reaping the rewards of a healthy sweet fix. 

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Here is a closer look at Emily from Joyful Desserts as well as some delightfully tasty photos of recipes I learnt at her cooking class.


Tell me about yourself and Joyful DessertsMy name's Emily, I'm 22 and I love to eat!
Unfortunately, I was eating a highly processed diet up until I was twenty which meant I got sick often and thought it was normal to have sniffles, pimples, mood swings and fatigue.  It wasn't until I met Katie Dickens in a dance class that I learnt about raw desserts.  I made a chocolate mousse tart first. It tasted rich and decadent and only contained fruit, nuts and seeds.  It didn't give me a sugar rush, it didn't give me pimples and it didn't make me gain weight!  I was so excited to finally indulge in a dessert without feeling guilty or gross. I made it for my mum and she loved it, too.  Since then we have made countless raw desserts. I told my friends we'd be hosting an event for anyone who would like to taste them, and so Joyful Desserts was born.


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What inspired you to start guilt-free dessert cooking classes?
It saddened me that these desserts were such a secret. I want everyone to know that there are delicious dessert options without refined sugar, dairy, wheat and animal fat.  I'm so glad that now anyone can access this information and begin their journey of effortless clean eating, and I am constantly receiving feedback from class participants who have done just that.


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What do you hope to achieve by running these healthy dessert cooking classes?
I hope to inspire people to take control of their health in a way that is fun and easy.


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What is your favourite a) food to eat, b) food to make?
My favourite food to eat (at the moment) is Ani Phyo's Coconut Ice Kream topped with my healthy 'Ice Magic' style chocolate sauce.
My favourite food to make is a fresh, green smoothie!  It's an awesome way to start my day.

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Where do you hope to see Joyful Desserts in the future?
I never dreamed Joyful Desserts would take off like it has, so I'm taking 'baby steps'.  The Facebook page is blossoming into a supportive community network.  I will continue to introduce people to healthy treats through our monthly 'Healthy Desserts Night' classes.  I also have some ideas for additional workshops that I am tinkering with.  It's all very exciting!

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Next class:  Thursday 23rd May 2013, 6.30pm-9.30pm, Brisbane.  Cost is $40 per person or $70 for two places. For bookings please email joyful.desserts@hotmail.com with 'May Interest' as the subject line.
Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/joyfuldesserts for recipes, healthy inspiration and next class details.