It’s a new year. Of course you already know that; how could you not? Even if hard liquor means NYE is a little more fuzzy than the Black Hole of Calcutta, you can no doubt read the signs of newspapers, magazines and adverts: January is here. We are urged to eat salad, join the gym and consider plastic surgery. I am going to add another demand to that list: enjoy yourself. Yes, I know that we have all over-indulged in recent months. Yes, I know many of us could do with losing a pound or ten. But January is hard; it is cold, it is dark, it is full of money worries and fights at the sales.
I am not promoting 365 days of gluttony. Honest. What I am suggesting is that there is a middle way. Why not calm the calories, but continue the comfort? If getting up in the dark and returning home from work in the dark doesn’t qualify one for a slice of cake, I don’t know what does. But, that cake can be healthier. And perhaps smaller. I’m advocating controlled gluttony.
The way in which I like to control my gluttony is by controlling the amount of food that I can get my hands on. The only urge stronger than my urge to eat, is the urge to not visit Sainsbury’s on a drizzly Monday night. As there are only two of us in my flat, whole cakes sitting in the kitchen are simply too tempting. Thus I tend to scale my recipes down to one egg, and bake them in individual portions in a pudding tin (which usually cuts cooking time down to around 20 or 25 minutes); this way there are pre-destined portions and a limited quantity. Gluttony controlled.
To demonstrate this method, here are my Little Lemon cakes. No cane sugar, no butter (thus the healthiest cake I make) but pure luxury and joy.
Notes on this recipe:
Only the best, unwaxed, organic, juicy lemons will do here. We are going to be using the whole lemon, pith and all, so nasty lemons will leave a nasty taste in your mouth.
Keep your eye on these cakes: fructose sugar can easily catch and burn.
If you double this recipe you can bake it in a lined 20cm cake tin, and bake it for around an hour.
This recipe is based on one seen on 'Eat Yourself Thin'.
1 unwaxed lemon
100g fructose sugar (available at health food stores)
100g ground almonds
30g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g light cream cheese
1 tbsp honey
Pop the lemon in a small saucepan and cover with water. Place on the hob to simmer for about an hour.
Once the lemon is soft, remove from the water and (carefully) cut it in half and remove any pips. Pop the remaining lemon, skin et al, into a blender or chopper and blitz until you have a lemon purée.
Heat the oven to 170C, and line your muffin tin (I like to use squares of baking parchment to do this, but muffin cases may be easier).
Beat together the egg and fructose until pale, light and fluffy.
Add in the flour, almonds, baking powder and mushed up lemon and fold together.
Spoon the mix into your cases or your tin, pop them in your oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
When the little cakes are a little more golden, remove them from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then decant them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
As they cool, make your frosting. Simply beat together your cream cheese and honey. Spoon this on top of your cooled cakes.
So, what do you do to keep your calories in check? Any foodie New Year’s resolutions?
Hope you are well!
P.s. One of my resolutions is to be better with my blog. From now on you will have posts every Wednesday, and a few different types of post. So keep checking in!