Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guilt-Free Maple Sticky Toffee Pudding

While most traditional desserts are packed full of calories, delicious gourmet creations, that are lower in fat, are possible to make like this version of the English classic - Sticky Toffee Pudding. A delectable combination of rich satisfying flavours and textures, this low fat recipe is full of sticky Medjool dates and Canadian maple syrup - all for less than 175 calories per pud, rather than the usual 800-900! The secret: no butter or refined sugar, just sweet dark maple syrup, dates, flour, vanilla and whipped egg whites, which makes these luscious little puddings lovely and light, but still full of deep rich flavour. 

Maple syrup, in addition to being a Canadian icon, is also considered to be one of the Ultimate Superfoods, with similar health benefits like blueberries, green tea, red wine and flax seeds. With over 54 beneficial compounds, Canadian maple syrup is also an excellent source of manganese and zinc, two of the minerals that are important in energy production and in producing antioxidants for your body’s defence. 

100% natural and low in calories, Canadian maple syrup is a versatile addition to many tasty culinary creations, including this nutrition packed Maple Sticky Toffee Pudding. Irresistibly delicious, this warm and comforting dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth, guilt-free!

Even the bees like it — How sweet is that!

Guilt-Free Maple Sticky Toffee Pudding 
Serves 8 

3/4 cups pitted dried dates
2/3 cup dark grade Canadian maple syrup, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup self-raising or whole wheat flour
Low fat 0% Greek yogurt 

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the dates and 3/4 cups of water in a pan and simmer for 5 minutes, then pour it all into a food processor. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the egg yolks, followed by the flour and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then gently fold into the date mixture.

Put 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1 tsp of chopped pecans into each of eight small ramekins, greased with a little vegetable oil. Pour the date mixture on top.  Cover each ramekin tightly with lightly greased squares of foil, then stand them in an ovenproof dish, pouring in enough hot water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the moulds. Cook for 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove the foil, run a knife around the edges and invert onto warm plates. Serve with a dollop of low fat 0% Greek yogurt 
and drizzle of some extra maple syrup!