Since I feel like it has been a while since I whined about how many extra times I had to go to the gym largely as a result of my blog (approximately since my chilli beetroot brownies is my guess), I thought I would try another recipe that would perhaps stave it off for a little longer.
Believe it or not, however, I never actually intended to do a healthy recipe. I had originally planned on making mille feuille, but a combination of a surprisingly busy week and a lack of experience in making any kind of puff pastry resulted in the decision to try something a bit quicker and more simple. After taking the obsession with BBC Good Food to a new level, I bought a copy of their healthier magazine. After having a scan through, I noticed my Mum had her eye on a gingerbread recipe over my shoulder, so I thought why not give it a go? Besides I’m a bit of a sucker for anything with ginger in myself.
I have to admit that, again, I have not done a huge amount to change the recipe. I mainly switched the maple syrup in the recipe for honey and used slightly different sugars in order to try and bring out the lighter tones. The problem with this, however, is that I personally think that the treacle is actually the strongest flavour, so it definitely could have come through a lot more successfully than it did. However, again in all modesty, it was still absolutely delicious. Replacing the butter with oil not only drastically reduced the amount of fat, but it also made it deliciously moist and, even in some ways, sticky texture that makes a really good gingerbread. I also found the process of using a date puree quite interesting: I have been meaning to experiment with a few cake recipes myself using a similar method and, now that it have proof that it actually works, I would watch this space.
On the whole I would have to say this is one of the few healthier recipes I have tried that I would say is as good as the real thing. However, when I say healthy I think it is definitely still to be enjoyed in moderation (if possible). And don’t worry, I have no intentions of putting a healthy bias on this blog anytime soon (ain’t nobody got time for that!) but you can’t argue that it doesn’t hurt every once in a while. Whether you are sticking with healthy new years resolution/ attempts to get that beach bod or not, either way I hope you enjoy!
Healthier Honey Gingerbread (Serves approx. 16)
- 140g dates, chopped
- 75ml rapeseed oil
- 75g black treacle
- 50g honey
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 large egg
- 175ml buttermilk
- 250g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
- 25g molasses sugar
- 25g soft light brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 160C/ 140C Fan/ 320F
- Put the chopped dates in a bowl and pour over 125ml boiling water. Leave to sit for approximately 30 minutes to cool.
- Meanwhile put the oil, treacle, honey and ginger in a bowl and mix together with a fork.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg slightly and then stir in the buttermilk.
- In a larger bowl, mix together the flour, bicarb, dried spices and sugars. Make sure all the sugar is broken up by rubbing it between your fingers.
- Once the dates have cooled, blitz them and the liquid they are soaked in with a stick blender until they form a thick puree. Add this to the flour with the egg and the treacle mixes and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour this into a greased and lined baking tray, then bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. They will be baked when a skewer comes out clean.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes in the tin. Once they have cooled slightly, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices and serve.