Archives for posts with tag: Baking Mad

In continuing my quest to battle the bulge and lose that extra weight, I am always on the look out for tasty, yet low calorie treats. So when the Baking Mad Healthy Baking challenge arose, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.  I selected the Apple Strudel recipe since we had access to hand picked apples from a local source. It also happens to be a favourite dessert of my husband from his childhood visits to Austria.

The baking challenge was sponsored by Baking Mad and Silver Spoon Half Spoon sugar, which has half the calories of regular sugar.

This recipe serves 6

650 grams Apples Eating, Cox’s (approx. 5 apples)

30 grams Almonds ground

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

35 grams Half Spoon Granulated Sugar (Silver Spoon)

1 orange finely grated zest**

Approx. 4 tbsp sunflower or grapeseed oil, plus extra for brushing and greasing

6-8 ready made filo pastry

cinnamon and Half Spoon sugar for sprinkling

**I didn’t have an orange, so I used lemon zest as a substitute.

Healthy ingredients

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/Gas 5.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples into a bowl. Add the ground almonds, spices and sugar and orange zest (or lemon zest).

Apple mixture

Unroll the pastry and cover with a damp cloth to stop it from drying out. Taking one sheet at a time brush each sheet of filo pastry with the oil, then place the sheets of pastry on top of each other onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper.

Arrange the apples in a narrow strip, lengthways down the centre of the pastry to within 3cm of each shorter edge.

Strudel construction

Fold the 2 shorter edges over the filling and then fold over 1 long edge and tuck the fruit firmly underneath the pastry. Brush with any remaining oil and fold over the other edge, so that it overlaps by at least 5-6cm.

Before the oven

Carefully transfer the strudel to a large oiled baking sheet. Brush with a little oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crisp and golden.

After the oven

Leave the strudel to cool down slightly. Dust with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and Half Spoon sugar. Serve with greek yogurt.

Apple strudel with greek yogurt

This is a very tasty recipe. You’d never know it was low calorie. The flavours of the apple, almond, cinnamon and Half Spoon sugar worked so well together. The only downside of this recipe is the filo pastry was a bit too chewy around the folded edges. When I make it again, I’ll probably use half the amount of filo.

I had never made strudel before, and after this recipe challenge, I’ll definitely make it again.


Anyone who knows me from my Seattle days and even my New York days to some extent knows that I bake a mean chocolate chip cookie.  In fact, at one point, they were world famous.  They were shipped to New York when I lived in Seattle, I baked them for bands touring through and I shipped them to a few fans UK when I lived in New York. I used the old faithful Toll House recipe back then and it was a hit. You can’t get Nestle Toll House chocolate chips very easily here and when you do find them, the price is highway robbery.  I settle for either the tiny packs that are on offer at the local supermarkets or I chop up a chocolate bar for chunky chips.

Biscuits or cookies are a favourite accompaniment with tea and coffee in the Punch Comms office.  Generally the boys take turns buying old faves like the hob nob or custard creams.  This time, I said to them, “If you buy the chocolate chips, I’ll throw in the eggs and flour and bake you chocolate chip cookies.”  The challenge was set.

Sugar and butter

Mixing the batter

Since I’d grown so used to the Toll House recipe, I decided to set myself even more of a challenge.  I was going to try a new chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Lo and behold my favourite patissiere, Eric Lanlard, recently featured his Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on LoveFood.  He hasn’t steered me wrong yet, so I’m giving it a go…

Milk and Dark Choc Chips

Bowl of dough

The recipe itself is a bit different.  This one calls for half the white sugar than brown sugar, rather than the same amount in the Toll House recipe.  It also calls for one egg and one yolk vs two eggs in the Toll House.  And, the butter is melted rather than creamed with the sugar.   I also combined dark and milk chocolate chips just to shake things up a bit.

Scoops of Dough

In Eric’s recipe, he suggests using an ice cream scoop to measure out the cookie dough on to the baking sheets.  This is a great idea.  I always had a hard time making equal amounts of dough with a regular spoon.  I didn’t want such large cookies, so instead of an ice cream scoop, I used a measuring tablespoon.

Cookie Stack

The verdict is in… the cookies are VERY tasty.  The cookies are bit crispier than their Toll House cousins, but very light in texture.  These will go perfectly with the tea and coffee break at work tomorrow. Oh and tomorrow is Social Media Day, a perfect way to celebrate – getting social and eating cookies!

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