Tag Archives: rhubarb

Easy FAT FREE dumplings

Most recipes for English dumplings have quite a high amount of fat in them. There are lots of different recipes available on line with the more traditional ones using suet or butter but I have found a way of making some tasty dumplings to top a casserole without the fat.

The very basic recipe is simply;

(For 2 people)

  • 100g self raising flour,
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Milk to bind together(substitute coconut milk or soya for vegan or lactose intolerance)
  • Seasoning

Mix together the flour and baking powder and then add a little milk to bind together. Keep adding small amounts of milk until all the flour is mixed in but taking care to keep the mixture fairly firm so that you can spoon or shape dumplings onto the top of your casserole. It needs to be soft enough to spoon on top but not too wet that it spreads out too much.

Now depending on what your preference is and the casserole you are making, you can then vary the dumplings accordingly.

If you want a cheesy flavour then of course you can add cheese (which will not be FAT FREE so use a very strong low fat cheese if this is what you want) Alternatively add a teaspoon of English Mustard (more if liked) which gives a cheesy like flavour without the cheese.

I like to add more flavour to mine by adding herbs. I usually just use some ready mixed herb (a good heaped teaspoon). Adapt the quantity to your preference and casserole recipe but I find this works well with most meats or even vegetarian and either tomato, white sauce or gravy based dishes. (Tarragon works well with chicken dishes)

You could even try a teaspoon of curry powder instead or chilli powder.

You could use this recipe for a sweet dish instead of a crumble topping by adding some honey or sugar (again probably only a good teaspoon). You could use cinnamon with an apple dish or ginger with rhubarb . (We call this a cobbler in England)

Depending on your casserole you may need to part cook the base first and thicken any gravy or sauce. Once the dumplings have been added they need to be left undisturbed.

Spoon the dumpling mixture on top of the casserole around the dish allowing space between each spoonful for the mixture to expand and rise in cooking. Don’t worry about getting too close to the edge of the dish (those become the crispy “best bits)

I find it works best with a lid on to start with so that the dumplings steam for a while first and don’t dry out too much.

Place the casserole back into the oven at around 180 degrees (with lid on) for about 20 minutes and when they are looking “almost done” remove the lid and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes to allow the tops to brown and crisp up a little. You may want to turn the oven temperature up to about 200 to finish off.

I don’t usually serve any potatoes with this as the dumplings themselves give you enough carbohydrates but remember this only gives a fairly light portion each for two people so add more veg or increase the quantity for more.

I also like to use Wholemeal Self Raising flour to make it a little more healthy.

Have fun experimenting – sorry there are no pictures as it usually gets eaten too quickly

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Rhubarb Loaf Cake

I made this yummy cake last night and following requests for the recipe; here it is….

I have loads of Rhubarb chopped up in bags in my freezer and as we are not “regular” pudding eaters (trying not terribly successfully to control our weight) I thought I had better try and use some before the next crop starts appearing.  We only have one plant but it seems to be extremely happy where it is and grows like a mad thing (great for our Rhubarb Chutney) so when I was sorting the freezer yesterday I took a bag out to use and decided to try and make a cake.

The first thing I did was tip the already chopped and frozen rhubarb into a saucepan and cooked it until all the liquid had boiled off and I had a nice thick puree.

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Yes I know it does not look terribly appetising but this bag of rhubarb was fairly green so not a great colour.  I added a bit of ginger powder and about a teaspoon of the sugar we had saved from some crystallised ginger.

I then set this aside to cool.

When it had cooled I made a basic cake mix – I used a 2 egg mix but I think if I make this again I will use a 3 egg  mix.

For my cake mix method see:

Anyone for cakes????

Oh – you want to know how much rhubarb? truth is I forgot to weigh it before I started but I think it would have been about 2 good size sticks.

Anyway, I added the cake mix to the pureed rhubarb and mixed it all together

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Oh – and for this cake to make it a little “healthier” I used wholemeal self raising flour (because it was next to the caster sugar in the cupboard)

I lined a 2lb loaf tin with paper and popped it in the oven at 160 degrees

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Again this is something I was learning as I went along… After 45 minutes it looked like this..

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but I decided it needed a little longer as when I took it out it was quite floppy so in total it took just over an hour.

I would therefore put it in at slightly higher temperature – but no higher than 180 when making this again, but eventually it looked like this…

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We were a bit impatient to try it with our cup of tea so I cut a couple of slices and we had it warm (would have been very nice with a dollop of ice cream if we had any…)

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Very yummy!   I’m going to have to make this again very soon to try the variations I have thought of – that is, use a 3 egg mix and bake at a slightly higher temperature.  Now I mixed the rhubarb in well but you could always “marble” it or perhaps layer it by putting in half of the cake mix, then the puree and the rest of the cake mix on top,  go on… experiment, its fun!! If you don’t like Rhubarb then try raspberries or whatever fruit you fancy.