Skinny Desserts: Passion fruit tarts, and layered mocha meringue cake
'I couldn't possibly have dessert, no room!' say the calorie-conscious guests, but wait until they discover these recipes from Kathryn Bruton have less than 300 calories per serving
This cake is designed for a crowd - great to look at, even better to eat and, most of all, pretty simple to make. You will in no way feel that this is a low calorie dessert. It tastes as indulgent as it looks.
Layered Mocha Meringue Cake
Serves 12. 218 calories per serving.
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10 medium egg whites
400g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
250g plain fromage frais
30ml chicory and coffee essence (such as Camp)
100ml whipping cream
30g dark chocolate, minimum 70pc cocoa solids, broken into pieces
10g cocoa powder
1. Line two 12 x 8in Swiss roll tins with greaseproof paper.
2. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whisk until soft peaks form.
3. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once added, whisk the mixture on the highest speed for 7-8 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth when rubbed between your index finger and thumb (if you can feel any grains of sugar, you need to whisk a little longer). Mix the cornflour and vinegar together and add to the mixture. Whisk for a further minute and then divide the meringue between the two prepared tins, spreading it out with a spatula or palette knife. Bake for 25 minutes, and then allow to cool completely in the tin.
4. When ready to assemble the cake, mix the fromage frais with the chicory coffee essence. Lightly whip the cream until soft peaks form and gently fold in the fromage frais mixture. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
5. Slice each sheet of meringue in half lengthways. Place one piece on to a platter. Spoon one third of the coffee cream on top and spread out. Repeat with each layer except for the top. Dust the final layer of meringue with cocoa and then drizzle the melted chocolate all over. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before serving. This cake is best eaten on the day it is made.
Passion fruit tarts
Serves 6. 225 calories per serving.
For the pastry: 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
125g flour, plus extra for dusting
25g icing sugar
1 medium egg yolk
¾ tablespoon ice-cold water
For the filling: 15 passion fruit (yielding about 160ml of juice)
100g 0pc fat Greek yogurt
70g clear honey
70g raspberries, to decorate
Icing sugar, to dust (optional)
1. Rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and use a knife to cut it through the flour. Add the water and continue until it starts to come together. Tip out on to a clean work surface and bring together with your hands to form a relatively smooth dough.
2. Roll into a sausage shape and cut into six equal pieces. Place one between pieces of greaseproof paper, flatten out and repeat with the other pieces. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Grease six 4in round fluted tart tins with a little butter and dust with flour. Roll out one disc of pastry to ¼in thick. Gently press into a tin and trim the edges with a sharp knife. Repeat with the remaining dough, then chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the fridge. You can complete this step the day or night before.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Place a piece of greaseproof paper in each case and fill with baking beans, or similar. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans, then bake for another 10 minutes.
5. For the filling, scoop out the passion fruits into a small blender. Blitz to break up the seeds, then pass through a sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Add the yoghurt and honey and mix well. Whisk in the eggs immediately before using.
6. Pour into the tart cases and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until set with a slight wobble. Allow to cool, then top with raspberries and icing sugar and serve.
This is one of those cakes you will not want to share, and if it was 3,000 calories per slice, it would be worth every bit of it. Verjuice may be hard to get your hands on in supermarkets, but won't be a problem online. It is the juice of unripe grapes and is both sweet and gently acidic.
Extracted from Skinny Desserts: 80 Flavour-packed Recipes Of Less Than 300 Calories by Kathryn Bruton, published by Kyle Books