raspberry and Lindt chocolate baked oats

I can’t believe in the three years we’ve been running this blog that we’ve never done a baked oats recipe. What gives? I’ll tell you what – I’ve always thought they look faintly off-putting, like a callous on a foot. There’s something distinctly grim about mixing egg, oats and sweetener together – it feels so…Slimming World, that we’ve actively avoided it. However, I wanted some chocolate and needed an excuse to buy some without Paul giving me a lecture about it, so I came up with this fancy recipe. I say fancy, it’s about as fancy as wiping your clout with a KFC wetwipe. But first, a quick diversion.

We’ve had CCTV installed. We had to do it, really, a family up the street turned up with a caravan and I mean, honestly, there goes the neighbourhood. Bet they’re the type who leave their bins out all week long, trekking out to the end of the drive in their boxers every time they want to throw away a bit of rubbish. Actually, that’s us: my neighbours have seen my helmet more than Paul has. Now, being us, we couldn’t just get a bog standard CCTV camera, oh no. Couldn’t miss a second of the action that takes place on this street, at both ends of the house. Our CCTV guy was a treasure, one of those rare people we like who come into the house, barely say a word, don’t try to talk to us about football or tits, leaves plenty of their arse hanging out of their trousers for illicit gawping AND he knew what he was doing with his tools. I only mention that because we’ve had an electrician come back twice recently to fix a light fitting only to spend both times looking mystified at it as though it was an alien invention. As it happens, the CCTV man fixed that too. We can log in from anywhere and view what is taking place on the street, the cameras record audio, we can pan and tilt them, all great stuff.

However, who knew that it would tap into hitherto undiscovered voyeuristic streaks in the both of us? There’s something hypnotic about watching the street from the comfort of your own sofa. I’m aware that this means we’re becoming just like all the other curtain-twitchers we moan about, but that was inevitable – it’s like picking up an accent of those local to you, only with more hormone-replacement therapy. I wish I could tell you we’ve seen something interesting, but aside from one of the neighbours letting his dog crap on our garden (it’s OK, I’ll send Paul out at 2am to return the favour) and about a billion old people all looking into our garden as they walk past, there’s nothing. It has paid for itself already though – we’ve been able to sack our cleaner because they only stayed for 1 hour 55 minutes instead of the two hours we pay them for. We deducted that five minutes from her last pay for good measure and sent her shrieking into the cold night.

I’m joking, of course we didn’t. We sacked her for always leaving the TV tuned into TVP Polonia and rifling through our knicker drawer.

Anyway, enough about us. Let’s get this recipe out of the way, shall we?

Yep, it is. Hey, this makes enough for one. Double up as you wish.

to make raspberry and Lindt chocolate baked oats, you’ll need:

  • 75g raspberries – cor, I bet that was a shock to the system
  • Lindt chocolate balls – or any chocolate really, I only use these because the dark chocolate balls are so good – but if you have shite self-control and can’t stop yourself eating them all, keep them in the freezer – they’ll soften in your mouth as you suck on them, which to be fair is the exact opposite of what I normally say to folks
  • one small egg (from a hen, not the Cadbury’s factory, you chubby wee delight)
  • 40g of oats – bog-standard, nothing fancy (this is your healthy extra B, mind you)
  • half a ‘syn-free’ yoghurt – we used Muller, but only because we had one rattling around in the fridge. Use what you like!

Some people add vanilla essence or sweetener into this. We don’t, because it’ll be sweet enough and the clash of flavours between the raspberries and the chocolate is what makes this dish. Christ, that sounds wank. You’ll also need an ovenproof dish – we used these little heart-shaped Le Creuset ramekins from Amazon because we’re frightfully middle-class, but honestly, any old tat will do – don’t buy these especially for these recipe. Or do, because we’ll get 0.00004p commission.

Should we…should we do it? Hell yes, let’s bust out an old face from so long ago…

Although we have (unusually) counted the syns for the cooked raspberries into the recipe above (1 syn – 250g is 3 syns – and yeah I know the maths is a bit off but I don’t have the tits to carry off being Rachel Riley), we wouldn’t usually bother. Raspberries are syn free in their normal form – mushing them a bit isn’t going to up the amount of calories and sugar and whatnot in them. Your choice. Look at it this way, you could ‘forget’ to syn the raspberries and then add another half Lindt-ball in there to make it a round 4 syns…just saying. Your choice though – the official Slimming World decretum is that COOKED FRUIT MUST BE SYNNED.

Pfft.

to make raspberry and Lindt chocolate baked oats, you should:

  • have you got something to mop your brow with – you’ll need it, because boy is this recipe complex
  • heat the oven to 200 degrees
  • press your raspberries into the bottom of the ramekin
  • mix together your oats, yoghurt and egg and pop on top
  • cut a Lindt ball in half (or stop pretending and put two whole ones in there, syns be damned) and pop it in the middle, then cover it up with the oats mixture like a cat burying a poo in the garden
  • stick in the oven for about thirty minutes and then pull it out to the adoring gasps of your friends and family
  • tip it out on a plate, add a bit of yoghurt for decoration, enjoy

Come on, how easy was that? Anyway, want more recipes? Click the buttons.

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Bye for now.

J

PS: I’m kidding about our cleaner. We pay her handsomely and spend two hours the night before cleaning our entire house so she doesn’t think poorly of us.

chocolate cake filled pastel eggs

Happy Easter, all – I’ve been forced to make a nice Easter recipe for chocolate cake filled pastel eggs, saying as I can barely hear my TV for the sound of fatties crying into their children’s Easter Eggs and shallow-breathing around the empty Mini Egg packets. It’s pretty to look at and I suppose it could be fun to make these with children, but not for me, as I dislike children. Snotty-nosed little poo-machines. Every day I run the risk of deliberately crashing my car into the central reservation when the ‘child of the day’ calls in on Radio 2 at half seven. They’re always so achingly middle-class it enrages me. ‘What are you doing today, little Randolph?’ ‘WELL CHRASS UM IT’S MY PICCOLO EXAM AT HALF SEVEN UM AND THEN I’M MAKING ARTISAN PARST-AARGH WITH THE HELP’. Pfft. At 11 I was too busy counting my pubic hair to worry about exams.

Pah. Sometimes I’d welcome the sweet caress of death. 

Speaking of death, I got told off for being rude by a group of old ladies in Waitrose today for having the temerity to say ‘excuse me please’. I know, shocking behaviour. I’m basically Harold Shipman but I murder with words. No, listen, I was making to leave when seemingly every elderly lady in a ten mile range of Ponteland Waitrose decided to meet and hold an impromptu W.I. meeting right in the store doors. Seriously, the automatic doors were stuttering back and forth whilst they gossiped and clucked in one giant lavender mass. I waited for a few moments, clearing my throat, tapping my foot, cocking my shotgun, but no. One old love looked me straight in the eyes (I assume, her cataract was haunting her vision) and then carried on chatting. Eventually I caved, collapsed forward into their huddled mass, sending copies of the Daily Mail flying and hips popping like popcorn in the microwave. 

No, I said ‘excuse me, please’ and waited for the mass to disperse, which it didn’t. It took me asking three times, in increasing pitch and volume, before they deigned to let me past, but not before some wizened old crone with lipstick bleeding into her almond-esque skin clutched my sleeve and told me to ‘respect my elders’. Pfft. It was all I could do not to pick her up and post her into the charity token bank, hopefully into something ironic like Age Concern. Instead I smiled my most ingratiating smile and said ‘terribly sorry Sir’ and walked past. I assume she’ll have sat bolt upright in her Medichair about ten minutes ago with a look of anger.

It didn’t help that as I was leaving I was pounced on by some chap who felt it necessary to proper tell me off for apparently going the ‘wrong way around the one way system’ which ‘could lead to serious accidents’. Undoubtedly I was in the wrong, but in my defence I hadn’t spotted the lettering on the road indicating it was one-way until I turned the corner and had it in front of me. I’ll get a periscope fitted to the car just as soon as I can. He was needlessly officious about the whole thing despite my genuine apologies, banging on about those serious accidents. Serious accidents? If I had been going any more than 5mph I’d have been surprised – I was overtaken by a flock of grannies itching to get to the door for their meeting, for goodness sake. We weren’t about to repeat the M4 motorway disaster. I wiped the flecks of his spittle off my coat and carried on, suitably chastised. I did notice that he wasn’t doing jackshit about all the massive, perfectly spotless, ridiculously oversized Range Rovers parked up on the double yellows to the side of the store though. Wonder why.

Anyway, I couldn’t have been in Waitrose for a more middle-class reason if I tried – I was after white eggs. Not boring old normal eggs, but white eggs, because they take the dye a lot easier for the recipe below. You can use normal eggs though, just leave them in the dye for a bit longer.

There’s a myriad of ‘Slimming World desserts’ which are, without exception, disgusting. You can’t make a good dessert because all the delicious tasting things are rammed in syns – caramel, sugar, flour, butter, cream, chocolate, toffee….no amount of stirring an Options into a friggin’ bowl of fromage frais is going to fool your tastebuds into a food-orgasm, is it? Nearly all of the desserts seem to be the same – take more eggs than is decent, decant a jar of sweetener into it and then add something to give it a flavour, like a Rolo or some apple. That’s not a cake. It tastes like a fart and looks like a scabby knee. It’s no more a lemon drizzle cake than I am a successful heterosexual with fabulous flowing hair. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I see why people try these things – because the idea of being able to eat cake and diet is a wonderful one, but personally, I think it’s a con. I’d be amazed if any successful slimmer has managed to get to their ideal weight and then carried on making these eggy abominations. You’re given 15 syns for a reason – to have the extra bits you fancy, to enjoy yourself and not feel like you’re on a diet. Use them!

So with that in mind, the recipe:

chocolate cake filled pastel eggs

to make chocolate cake filled pastel eggs, you’ll need:

  • 12 eggs (white if you can get them, so much easier – normal eggs are fine though)
  • 60 ml milk (take it from your healthy extra)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g plain flour (19 syns)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (0.5 syns) 
  • 110g unsalted butter (21 syns)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (for each dye you use)
  • 125g granulated Stevia (closest you can get to normal sugar)
  • 1 cup hot water (for each dye you use)
  • 50g dark chocolate (13 syns)
  • 2 eggs (taken from 2 empty shells)
  • various food colouring (I use Wilton dye gels, but you can use anything with a strong colour)
  • 25g cocoa powder (4.5 syns)

Assuming you’re going to make six different colours, you’ll need six different containers to hold the dye. Obviously. Or do two, rinse the container, and repeat. You’ll also need icing bags or freezer bags.

To me, that makes 58 syns for the lot, or just under five syns per egg. Worth it. You can sit and peel them like a hard-boiled egg too, then eat the dense chocolate cake within. Oh yes! Fair warning – this recipe isn’t difficult, but it does take time to do the various stages.

to make chocolate cake filled pastel eggs, you should:

  • fill a big bowl with warm water and some salt
  • to prepare the shell, poke a hole into the top of the egg with something small and thin, like a chopstick, and then widen the hole with your finger, fnar fnar, yeah you know what I mean
  • let the yolk and white slip out – now, rather than wasting it, you could make these ham and egg breakfast bites at the same time – just empty the egg into one of these – easy, and no waste
  • repeat this twelve times
  • wash out each egg with cold water AND take a moment to poke something sharp gently around the inside of the egg, you’ll often get a tiny sac of air at the top of the egg which will make them float in the dye later and cause confusion
  • place all twelve washed out eggs into the warm brine and go pick your bum for thirty minutes or so

Then…

  • once you’ve scratched that itch, it’s time to dye the eggs
  • rinse out the shells with cold water
  • fill your dye container with enough boiling water to cover the eggs you are planning to die, add a teaspoon of vinegar and a good splash of dye – then submerge the eggs
  • if they float, scrape the insides again – if there’s no air, they’ll sink see
  • now, leave them for as long as you want – if you want a pastel hue and you’re using white eggs, a couple of minutes will do, but you might need longer if you don’t have strong dye or you’re using normal eggs
  • pick them out and let them dry in an egg box, hole facing down
  • repeat for all the other eggs and shades – remember, hot water, vinegar, dye, egg…

Then…

  • prepare your cake batter – now, I’m a lazy, stylish sod, so naturally we have one of those fancy Kenwood mixers that Nigella uses (this one), but you can do it by hand just as easy
  • weigh out all your ingredients and get everything ready to go
  • butter and sugar first – into the mixer or bowl and beat like crazy until it’s pale and fluffy – thinking about stopping? Don’t – that’s where so many people fall down – this bit is essential
  • beat in the two eggs and a drop or two of vanilla and 
  • mix in the flour, cocoa and baking powder
  • CONFESSION: though you’re not strictly supposed to, I just throw everything into the mixer and stick it on high, never had a complaint about my cakes yet
  • break up the dark chocolate and microwave for thirty seconds, stir, and another thirty seconds, stopping when it’s melting but not completely melted – the residual heat will melt the rest, just stir it away and allow to cool for a minute or so, then tip into the mixture
  • give everything a final good stir
  • get a muffin tray and some tin foil and create nests in each muffin hole – enough tin foil to hold your egg in place (and make sure it can’t tip over – easy to do
  • tip the lot into icing bags or a sandwich bag (twist it up then cut a tiny bit of the corner off, same thing) and gently pipe it into the dyed eggs – you want about three quarter full – better to fill them up to this level and not have enough for a couple of eggs then to try and be get an equal amount in each one
  • place tin foil over the top and put into the oven for fifteen minutes
  • after these fifteen minutes, take them out, pick off any overflow (easy to do when it’s hot) and put them back in without the foil on top for another ten minutes or so
  • allow to cool, then peel and eat!

It’s a dense cake, nice with milk. It’ll really scratch the chocolate itch too. If you’d prefer to use caster sugar rather than Stevia, add another 22.5 syns or, for the sake of argument, another two syns per cake.

Enjoy, and happy Easter! It might be a few days before we’re back because well, it’s bank holiday AND my birthday, but we will return soon! We’ve got four recipes from one big chicken, so there’s that to look forward to!

Finally: thank you for user wizmakel on sortedfood for the recipe idea!

J