Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Do you love food that looks like another food? I’m not talking about vegan hotdogs (which I can’t get my carnivorous head around) but about the fancy, mind bending creations of Heston Blumenthal. Desserts that look like chicken, sand that is in fact a 3 course meal and gases that turn your soup into a salad (the last one is a bit of a stretch but you get the idea). I love the idea of challenging people’s perception of food and what is ‘normal’ (which is why I bake with different vegetables and fruits to make my sweet dessert creations). Inspiration comes in many forms; today’s comes from one of my many cooking and food apps.
One of my favourite apps is from Hello Cupcake. It’s an instructional app, full of the most ingenious video clips (is it ok that I still refer to them as videos despite the fact that no one has used a VCR this century?!) of penguins, polar bears and ducks. So what you say? These are cupcakes; decorated cupcakes that entertain, sing and keep my children entertained for ages (yep; we are weird parents that won’t let the kids have a DS but let them watch dancing sugar). 3 year old S’s absolute favourite clip is the singing spaghetti and meatball cupcakes. He watches it over and over again, until the “Lalalalahs” drive me insane. Of course he desperately wanted to eat them, so we put our heads together to come up with a Mummy friendly version.
These Spaghetti Cupcakes are a healthy mashup of different recipes from Mummy Made.It and are a great addition to a kids birthday party. I’m constantly hearing from people that making healthy is too hard, especially when it comes to entertaining children, but trust me when I say all it takes is some imagination, lots of colour and some healthy recipes (so it’s lucky you are here!!).
The original recipe uses buttercream icing in a piping bag to create the pasta so I have used Zoodles; or zucchini noodles (which now form the basis of my diet). I love my Spiralizer and have used it on the smallest setting to make zoodles. If you don’t have a Spiralizer try to thinly cut the zucchini into strips, or use a mandolin to make even, flat strips that can then be narrowly cut into pasta strands. I did try to make the pasta using apples but I found that they went too brown and sloppy. Caramelising the zucchini masks any vegetable flavour that you may be worried about. I have made my own Sugar Free Berry Jam but if you are rushed use your store bought jam, and remember to sprinkle Coconut on top. Spaghetti and Meatballs just aren’t the same without a bit of stinky cheese!
The Spaghetti Cupcakes can be made using your favourite cupcake flavour (maybe carrot, chocolate or even pumpkin) and the meat balls could even be chocolate donut balls, but I like the Chocolate energy balls as they are so simple and ovenless to make. Constructing the Spaghetti Cupcakes is fun and a job the kids can do themselves, which makes eating them even more entertaining.
- 8 Cupcakes any flavour will work but I used Vanilla-see recipe below
- 8-10 Tablespoons Coconut Cream see recipe below
- 2 Zucchinis or Apples; spiralized or thinly cut see notes above the recipe
- 2 Tablespoons Caramel Sauce see recipe below
- 8 Chocolate Energy Balls see recipe below
- 1/4-1/2 Cup Jam see recipe below
- 1/4 Cup desiccated Coconut
- 4 Eggs separated
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Cup Milk of choice
- 2 teaspoons Vinegar
- 2/3 Cup Coconut Cream a 400ml can of coconut cream or milk opened and left in the fridge overnight; the thickened cream removed and the watery remains discarded or used in the jam
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Maple Syrup
- This can be replaced by 2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Cream from the can used in the coconut cream
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1/3 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Dash of Salt
Chocolate Energy Balls
- Makes way more than you need for decorating
- 1 1/3 cups Dates
- 1 cup Nuts Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamias
- 1/4 cup Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Optional: 1/2 - 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup i find they are sweet enough without it
- Optional; Chia Seeds Sunflower seeds etc
Sugar Free Berry Jam
- 1 Cup Berry; fresh or frozen use strawberries, raspberries or blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup optional; depending on tartness of fruit
- 1 teaspoon Gelatine
- Spread a small amount of coconut cream over the top of each cupcake. This is the 'glue' for the pasta.
- Gently heat the caramel (or maple syrup) in a small saucepan and add the zucchini noodles. Stir until the 'zoodles' are well coated and cooked. Allow the zoodles to cool.
- Place the zoodles over the cupcakes to resemble pasta. Layer the noodles in an unorderly fashion; the messier the better!
- Dollop jam over the zoodles and place a chocolate energy ball on top.
- Top with a little more jam and sprinkle with the coconut. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge before serving.
- Pre heat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Place the egg whites into a bowl of a kitchen stand mixed with a whisk attachment.
- Whisk the egg whites on medium until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk on medium until combined.
- In a separate bowl sift the coconut flour and baking powder.
- Add to the vinegar to the milk.
- With the mixer on medium/low add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternatively in 2 rounds. Whisk until everything is just combined (not over mixed).
- Place 8 cupcake liners in a tray and spray.
- Evenly pour the mixture into the liners and smooth the top of the cupcakes.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tray.
- Place the thickened cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
- Whisk until thickened and combined. Keep the cream in the fridge; it will thicken as it gets chills.
- Place then cream and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and changed to a golden colour.
Chocolate Energy Balls
- Place the dates, nuts, cocoa, maple syrup and vanilla extract (with seeds if using) into a food processed and blend until a smooth paste forms. Add a teaspoon or 2 of water if the dates are having trouble blending.
- If your food processor is more Urkell than Schwarzenegger (or you have a hand held mixer) soak the dates in boiling water to soften them first, then discard the water before blending.
- Once the mixture is well combined, roll into balls, approximately 1/2-1 Tablespoon per ball.
- The mixture will make 20-24 balls.
- If using, roll the balls in Cocoa or Desiccated Coconut.
- Store in the fridge.
Sugar Free Berry Jam
- Place the berries and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring regularly.
- Sprinkle the gelatine over the berry mix and whisk until combined.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 8 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. The jam will set within 4-6 hours.