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It's cake Captain, but not as we know it...

Thursday, 5 May 2011  |  Admin

Apologies everyone for not being around but as you can imagine, things have been very busy at Cheeky Wipes HQ, with the arrival of baby Aerin. This week sees life back to 'normal', and my protective bubble has burst with H being back at work and my folks back in Northern Ireland. So we've endured our first school run (no tantrums from the kids or me!) and I'm back at my desk as usual.
The bank holiday weekend was a sociable occasion for us, with different groups of friends round for afternoon tea and cake on Friday and Monday. So there was a LOT of baking going on in our house over the past week or so. Somewhere between Friday and Monday I came to the realisation that it was probably pretty pointless for me to be starting to exercise to lose my baby weight (starting easy with the Davina post-natal DVD) if I was then stuffing my face with cake two hours later. But, given that I'm breast-feeding, I'm not quite ready to give up my cake habit just yet...
So, I dug out my old trusty Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache written by the slightly irritating Harry Eastwood, from Channel 4's 'Cook yourself thin.' I went through a spell of using this book a lot (probably when I was trying to lose weight after my last baby!) but it has been languishing on the shelf for a while now and to be honest I'm not sure why.
This book is fab! It's chock full of recipes for cakes, scones and other sweet delights but instead of using butter or oil these recipes all use some sort of veg to add moisture. And not just your usual carrots, but beetroot, courgette and butternut squash all feature in some recipes. This isn't a new idea by the way, when I showed the book to one of my older guests on Monday, she informed me that cakes were routinely made using potato during the war when rationing was in place. There's nothing new in cookery as they say.
I tried 3 recipes from the book over the weekend and they were all without doubt scrummy. The brownies use beetroot to provide moisture and that lovely squidgy brownie texture. The book recommends roasting beetroot yourself but I used pre-packed, pre-cooked beetroot (not the stuff in vinegar obviously) and the brownies suffered no ill effects.
The white chocolate, fruits of the forest and cinnamon blondie uses butternut squash - I've made this before and it's lovely, a bit different from the normal cake / brownies that I usually make. The white chocolate provided sweetness against the tartness of the fruits of the forest and again, I made life easier (and cheaper) by using frozen fruits of the forest rather than fresh.
The rest of the squash went into the delightful 'light chocolate cake'. Now I have to admit there is butter in the icing, but there's also mascarpone, making it a tad healthier than normal butter icing. It produced a fabulous chocolate cake, really moist, chocolate-y and lovely, definitely on my 'make again' list.
As I make more of the recipes again, I'll share them with you - and look forward to more healthy eating recipes in coming months, plus fitness DVD reviews too!

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