Recipes: Guilt-Free Girl Desserts

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Makes 30

Calories: 79
Fat: 3.2g
Sat fat: 1.9g
Total sugars: 7.5g
Carbs: 12g

150g/5½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
25g/1oz cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
200g/7oz caster sugar
85g/3oz unsalted butter, softened
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g/1½oz plain chocolate chips

How to:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the egg whites, vanilla extract and chocolate chips, mixing until well combined
  4. Lightly flour your hands and form rounded tablespoons of the cookie mixture into balls. Put these onto the prepared baking tray, setting them about 5cm/2inches apart. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10–12 minutes or until set
  5. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before serving

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Almond Cupcakes with Poached Pears

Makes 12

Calories: 217
Fat: 4.2g
Sat fat: 1.5g
Total sugars: 32.6g
Carbs: 43g


For the poached pears:
1.4 litres/2¼ pints water
200g/7oz caster sugar
6 small pears, halved, peeled and cored
1 cinnamon stick

For the topping:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons caster sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons light evaporated milk, chilled
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the almond cupcakes:
Cooking spray
85g/3oz ground almonds
85g/3oz plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
25g/1oz unsalted butter
100g/3oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
1 egg

How to

Poached pears:
Put the water and sugar into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears and cinnamon stick and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the pears are tender. Drain the pears, discarding the cooking liquor, and set aside.

Put the egg white and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the cream of tartar and mix with an electric whisk for about three minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add the evaporated milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon and whisk until the mixture holds soft peaks. Chill until ready to serve.

Almond cupcakes:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and egg and beat on medium–high speed until combined. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on medium–high speed until incorporated. Add the remaining flour and beat until incorporated
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, filling each hole about one third full. Bake in the preheated oven for 13–14 minutes, or until the cupcakes just begin to colour around the edges
  5. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and serve warm with half a poached pear and a spoonful of whipped topping

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Pistachio Angel Cake

Serves eight

Calories: 170g
Fat: 3g
Sat Fat: 0.3g
Total Sugars: 22g
Carbs: 32g

sunflower oil, for greasing
6 egg whites
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
150g/5½oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g/1½oz pistachio nuts, finely chopped
85g/3oz rice flour, plus extra for dusting
fresh fruit, to serve

How to:

  1. Preheat t-he oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 1.5 litre/2½ pint cake ring tin and dust lightly with a little flour, tipping out the excess
  2. Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk in a large, grease-free bowl until they hold soft peaks
  3. Stir the cream of tartar into the sugar in a small bowl, then gradually whisk into the egg whites, beating at high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir the pistachios into the flour. Fold the pistachio mixture into the egg white mixture lightly and evenly, using a large metal spoon
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and tap the tin to remove any large air bubbles. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25–30 minutes or until golden in colour and firm to the touch
  6. Turn out the cake onto a wire rack and leave to cool, upside down, in the tin. When cool, run the tip of a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen, then turn out on to a plate and serve with fresh fruit


All three recipes are taken from Guilt-Free Girl Desserts, part of The Bonnie Marcus Collection (published by Parragon Books), £5.