A problem shared is a problem halved right? So here's my problem....I can't stop eating cake! My love affair with the gooey, moist, decadent, calorie-laden treat is going from strength to strength.
I blame my family! I grew up with the smell of sweet sugar and melted butter and the constant background humming of a Kitchen Aid. Even now you will catch me and my siblings walking straight through my mum's front door to the fridge and cupboards to hunt the cake tin down..
I've always had a super sweet tooth but these last few weeks have seen cake become an all too daily regular in my diet. It started with my birthday and cheesecake, quickly followed by my brothers birthday and tiramisu. Fast forward a few days and i'm sharing courgette and lime cake with an old friend (felt virtuous with this one). And finally i have just come back from staying with friends for a few days which saw me sharing tea and cake.
I don't have a problem with cake per se. In fact i am wholeheartedly in the "balanced diet" camp and you won't see me embarking on the latest diet craze or "cleaning up my eating". BUT equally i am a dietitian AND i know too much of cake (or most foods in truth) is only going to lead me down the wrong path and that is to the shops to buy a new wardrobe.
So i had this dilemma: give up cake and be eternally unhappy OR bake some tasty and nutritious cakes and be happy and healthy. A NO BRAINER ?
My inspiration came from a recent Waitrose recipe card for a "Spiced banana loaf" which contained weetabix, ginger and cinnamon. Sounded delicious and I loved that it used bananas and weetabix, both of which are good sources of fibre. But i didn't have any banana and I wanted to boost the nutritional content further and lower the sugar content so i did the following to the recipe:
- Halved the sugar
- Used dates and apricots instead of bananas
- Added linseeds
- Used a mix of wholemeal and white flour
The addition of linseed, dried fruit and the wholemeal flour will boost the fibre further, helping you get a step closer to your 30g of fibre per day.
The result.. A moist, spiced, warm tasty loaf. I actually took the cake out a little too early (eager?) but this just meant i had to eat it with a spoon. It was a winner in my household so i felt i had to share the recipe:
- 3 weetabix, soaked in @150mls milk
- Large handful of dates
- small handful of loosely chopped dried apricots
- 2 large eggs
- 120g light brown sugar
- 120g butter (at room temperature)
- 75g wholemeal self raising flour
- 75g white self raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 170, gas mark3. Grease a 1lb loaf tin
- Gently heat the apricots with a little water over a low heat until soft. Remove from heat, allow to cool and then mash
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the butter, flour, bicarbonate and spices and whisk until combined. Add the date and apricot mixture and weetabix and mix.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for @60 minutes until golden, firm and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes and the turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool (or slice whilst hot, scooping up the crumbs as you go along..)
I hope you enjoy making it and of course eating it! My youngest as you can see demolished his portion.