Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A spoonful of sugar - diabetic puddings!

Had my second request- this time from Maddy Carvosso who wants some diabetic-friendly pudding recipes for her husband.

Now before I start obviously with any medical condition each person is different and though these recipes should be safe for those suffering from Type 1 diabetes (those that inject insulin) they may need to be modified for those with type 2. Whatever form of diabetes you suffer from do make sure you are happy that the ingredients are suitable for your diet. If you are unsure then please check first with your doctor or nutritionalist.

A good substitute to add sweetness to puddings and cakes is unsweetened apple sauce, which is used in serveral of the recipes below. A lot of recipes that I discuss below also use the sugar substituate called SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener.

It is suitable for diabetics since it uses the sweetening ingredient sucralose which is not recognised by the body or broken down for energy, so it has no effect on insulin or blood glucose levels. It works best in recipes where it is used to sweeten the recipe (rather than to caramalise such as with a creme brule).

For recipes that need light cream I like using Elmlea double or single light which are really good substitutes- the light varieties contain 50% less fat than normal single or double cream:

I've done a selection of recipes and I hope they will give you some inspiration for different puddings and sweet treats. These recipes will also be good for anyone dieting.

Lime cheesecake

15 wheatmeal biscuits
50g melted reduced-fat spread
200g diet peach yoghurt
250g reduced-fat smooth ricotta cheese
2 tsps finely grated lime rind
1 egg
2 tbsp caster sugar
0.25 cup wholemeal plain flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C if fan assisted oven). Grease a 22cm loose-base tart dish. Put biscuits into a food processor and blitz until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the spread and process until combined. Press mixture over base of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking tray and put in fridge.

Put the yoghurt, ricotta, lime rind, egg, sugar and flour into a bowl and with a hand held mixture blend on a low speed until smooth. Pour mixture over biscuit base. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set and edges are light golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until cold.

Serves 12

Cherry Clafoutis

1.25 kg frozen morello cherries
4 heaped tbsps SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener
5 eggs
120g plain flour
600ml light single cream
200ml skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Light margarine, for greasing

Defrost the cherries then drain and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.

Beat the SPLENDA® and eggs in a bowl until pale. Add the flour, single cream, milk and vanilla extract and mix everything together well. Grease a large baking dish. Place the cherries on the base of the dish and pour the batter mixture over the cherries. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Serve either hot from the oven or allow to slightly cool. Serve with low-fat cream.

If you don't like cherries you can crush 250g raspberries and use them instead.
Serves 8

Diabetic Orange Cake

A lovely cake that gets its sweetness purely from an orange

4oz butter
3 whole eggs
1 whole orange (skin still on but cut into quarters and de-seeded)
8oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
0.5tsp ground cloves
0.5tsp ground nutmeg
500g packet of mixed dried fruit

Preheat oven to degrees C (160 degrees C in a fan-assisted oven). Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin and pour in the mixture. Put the butter eggs and orange in a food processor and blitz to combine. In a large bowl combine all the other ingredients except the dried fruit. Add the orange mixture and combine. Then add the mixed dried fruit. The final mixture should drop freely from a spoon- if it is a bit thick add a little skimmed milk to loosen the mixture.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Check with a squewer that it comes out clean so that the centre is cooked – if not bake for a little longer.

Once cooked allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin then remove to cool on a rack and store in an airtight container for up to two days.

Panna Cotta
2 leaves of gelatine
800ml reduced fat single cream
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
3 heaped tbsp Splenda® Granulated Sweetener

Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Meanwhile put the cream and the vanilla seeds in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to very low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the soaked gelatine leaves from the bowl and gently squeeze out any excess water. Put the gelatine leaves and Splenda® into the cooled cream. Leave to cool completely, stirring from time to time.

Pour the mixture evenly into 6 glasses and put in fridge for 12 hours. Serve immediately from the fridge.

Diabetic Apple Bread Pudding
2 medium apples
2 tbsps brown sugar
1 tbsp water
625ml skimmed milk
1 vanilla bean halved lengthways
4 thick slices fruit bread
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (140 degrees C for fan-assisted oven). Grease deep 1.5 litre.

Peel, core and quarter apples, cutting each quarter into 3mm slices. Put sugar and water in a frying pan over a low heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves.  Add the apples and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Put the milk and vanilla bean in medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, put a lid on the pan and stand for 5 minutes then remove the vanilla bean which is no longer needed.

Meanwhile cut bread into quarters and then arrange alternate layers of the bread and apples in the dish finishing with a layer of bread. Whisk the eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl and then gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture carefully over bread and apple.

Place the dish into a deep roasting tray then add boiling water into baking tray so that it comes halfway up side of pudding dish. This is called a bain-marie (water bath) and creates steam in the oven to keep your pudding moist.

Bake uncovered about 1 hour or until set. Serve with low fat ice cream/cream.

Catalan Cream

3 vanilla pods
7 egg yolks
5 heaped tbsps SPLENDA® Granulated
250ml skimmed milk
750ml light single cream (5% fat) (Elmlea does a good light cream)

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C. Cut the vanilla pods in 2 lengthways remove the seeds with the point of a knife and place them in a bowl with the egg yolks. Add the SPLENDA® and beat until pale. Pour in the milk and cream and whip well together.

Fill four individuals ramekins with the mixture. Put the dishes in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides (bain-marie) and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. When cooked the cream should be firm but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Leave to chill in the fridge for two hours. Serve immediately on removing from the fridge.

If you would prefer a lemon version substitute the vanilla pods with lemon zest.

Bread pudding

3 slices day-old white bread, cubed
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups skimmed milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbsps SPLENDA® Granulated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Spray a 1.5 litre baking dish with spray oil. Put the bread cubes and raisins in the prepared dish. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl then pour over the bread and raisins stir everything together. Put the dish in a deep baking tray and fill the tray with water until it is half way up the side of the dish. Bake 45 - 55 minutes, or until a squewer inserted in the pudding comes out clean. Remove the pudding from the oven and serve warm or chilled. Can serve with the following custard.

Easy custard

2 tbsps custard powder
1 pt skimmed milk
2 tbsps SPLENDA® Granulated

Mix the custard powder with 2 tbsp milk to a smooth paste. Put the remaining milk in a heavy based saucepan and bring almost to the boil. Gradually add milk to custard powder paste. When thoroughly combined, return to the saucepan. Place over a medium heat and stir continuously until mixture comes to the boil. Reduce heat and continue stirring for a further two minutes. Remove from heat and add SPLENDA® Granulated, stirring until dissolved. Serve hot or cold.

Floating islands
An impressive end of dinner dessert that will impress even non-diabetics! A little patience is all that is required.

8 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
2 heaped tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated
1.5 litres skimmed milk
2 vanilla pods, seeds only

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Put the whites in a bowl and add the salt then whisk with a hand blender until they form stiff peaks. Continue whisking and add 1 tbps of SPLENDA®.

Meanwhile, bring the milk and the vanilla seeds to the boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. Scoop up a large tbsp of the egg white (one sixth of the mixture), smooth with the back of a knife and put delicately onto the surface of the milk. After 1 minute, gently turn over the egg white mixture and poach for another minute. Gently remove the poached meringue and rest on kitchen paper. Repeat the process until all six portions of egg white have been cooked.

Strain the milk through a sieve. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1 tablespoon of SPLENDA® and then pour the milk into the mixture and cook over a very low heat- if the heat is two high the custard will overcook. Stir constantly for around 20 minutes until the custard ‘coats’ the back of a spoon. Put the custard into 6 dessert bowls and place a poached meringue on the surface of each custard. Serve chilled 

Lemon pudding cake

A light and refreshing dish that separated when cooked to produce a lovely lemon sauce underneath the pudding.

3 Large eggs, separated
3/4 Cup SPLENDA® Granulated
2 tbsp butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
1 Cup lowfat buttermilk (if you can't get this use 1 cup of skimmed milk, 1tbsp lowfat natural yoghurt and 0.5 tsp lemon juice)
1/3 Cup lemon juice (fresh if possible)
1/4 Cup plain flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Coat a souffle dish/straight-sided baking dish with spray oil.

In a large bowl beat the egg whites with an electric hand-mixer on high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup of the SPLENDA® and continue to beat until it forms stiff white peaks.

In another bowl, put butter, remaining SPLENDA®, lemon peel and egg yolks. Beat on high until mix is thick and lemon-colored. Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice and flour. Add about 1/4 of the egg whites to batter and stir gently to combine without knocking out all the air. Then fold in remaining whites. Pour batter into prepared dish and place this in a deep baking tray. Place the whole thing into the middle shelf of the oven and then pull out shelf slightly and pour boiling water into tray half way up the side of the dish. Bake for about an hour- when done the top of pudding should be rich brown and the centre firm when lightly pressed. Serve pudding hot or cool. Make sure you spoon the portions up from the bottom of the baking dish to get the lemon sauce that has formed beneath the pudding.

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

You can buy sugar free jam but the following is quite an easy recipe for making your own:

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup cold water
Pack of sugar free jelly mix such as Hartleys. It depends which you are using to how much you need- adjust to your taste since the more or less you add will change the consistency.

In a large saucepan, crush the strawberries and combine with the water and jelly mix. Place over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour into sterilized containers or jars. Allow to cool and cover. Store in fridge for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Diabetic Cupcakes

Very easy and loved by children as well as grown ups!

3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 small can crushed pineapple in fruit juice (not syrup) undrained
1.5 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 large bananas sliced
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp SPLENDA® Granulated
1.5 cups light cooking oil

Put all ingredients in bowl. Blend everything together gently- do not overbeat. Line a cupcake baking tray with paper cases and divide out the mixture. Bake in a preheated 160 degrees C oven for about 30-35 minutes or until a squewer comes out a cake clean.

Diabetic fruit cookies

Quick and easy and great with a cuppa!

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup apples, peeled & chopped
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp group cinammon
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped

Put the water, dates, apple and raisins in a pan and bring to the boil then simmer for three minutes. Remove from the heat and add the margarine and stir. Cool mixture and then add all the other ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight if you have time. Drop spoonful of the mixture onto lined baking sheets 2 inches apart.
Bake in preheated 180 degrees C oven for about 24 minutes. Store in the fridge in air tight container.

Diabetic Mini Fruitcakes

0.5 cup Diced orange peel
0.5 cup Diced lemon peel
0.5 cup Diced dates
0.5 cup Golden raisins
0.25 cup Brandy or orange juice
2 tsp Baking powder
0.5 tsp Baking soda
1.5 cups All-purpose flour
0.5 tsp Ground allspice
0.3 cup Vegetable oil
2 tbsp Brown sugar
2 Eggs
0.5 cup Chopped pecans
12 Pinneapple chunks
This is so easy- just combine the first 5 ingredients in mixing bowl then add everything else except the pineapple. Mix everthing together and then divide the mix into paper lined cupcake tray filling each 2/3 full. Top each with a pineapple chunk. Bakefor 30-35 minutes at 160 degrees C (until a squewer comes out clean). Allow to cool and store in airtight container.

Raspberry Frozen Yoghurt


A refreshing low fat and low sugar treat to be used whenever you would normally use ice-cream



2 cups frozen raspberries
0.5 cup non-fat lemon yogurt
1 tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated
1 tsp Fresh lemon juice

In a food processor blend frozen raspberries, yogurt, SPLENDA® and juice until smooth. For a quick dessert serve immediately. Or place in an 8x4-inch rectangular freezer container and freeze for 4 hours or until frozen.

Whipped Topping

This can be used on cakes and puddings for an extra treat. It should be prepared as close to serving time as possible since it loses volume after a period of time.


0.5 cup dry milk
0.3 cup Cold water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Sugar (or substitute for SPLENDA® Granulated if you don't want any sugar)
0.25 cup SPLENDA® Granulated
0.5 tsp Vanilla

Combine dry milk and water and put in fridge for 30 minutes then beat at high speed for 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and beat again at high speed for 4 minutes. Stir sugar and sugar substitute together and add gradually to the whipped milk while it is being beaten. Add vanilla to whipped topping and refrigerate until used.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Fudge Recipe

A very simple recipe that requires very little cooking.


450g cream cheese, softened
50g unsweetened chocolate
0.5 cup SPLENDA® Granulated
1 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 cup chopped pecans

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (about 40 seconds) then allow to cool. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, chocolate, sweetener and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour into an 8-inch square baking pan lined with foil. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into 16 squares.

Diabetic Vanilla Ice-Cream

Tin light evaporated milk (about 410g)
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated
1.5 cup whole milk (note whole milk does have sugar content)
1 tbsp vanilla
3 eggs

Combine evaporated milk and SPLENDA®. Beat well until sugar is dissolved. Add whole milk and vanilla extract and beat well then add the eggs and beat the mixture vigorously. Either then pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions or pour into a freezer container and freeze for 8 hours, removing the ice-cream from time to time during that period to beat it to stop ice crystals forming.

Note this recipe contains raw egg so should not be served to babies or pregnant women.
Servings: 8

Diabetic carrot cake and icing

Ingredients for cake:
225g wholemeal self-raising flour
1.5    tsps baking powder
0.5    tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.25sp salt
0.25 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
150 ml oil
0.5 cup plain low fat yoghurt
2 medium carrots peeled and grated
Juice and rind of 1.5 oranges
60g walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Ingredients for topping:
300g light cream cheese, at room temperature
Juice and rind of ½ orange
0.5 tsp vanilla essence
Sugar-free sweetener (eg: SPLENDA® Granulated) to taste
Toasted walnuts halves to decorate

Coat two springform 8 inch pans with spray oil and then line with baking paper. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Put flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, apple sauce and cinnamon in a bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer or spoon. Add all the other cake ingredients except the walnuts and mix again until combined and then stir in the walnuts. Divide the mixture between the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through (check squewer comes out clean). Cool them on wire racks.

Meanwhile blend the cream cheese, orange rind and juice and vanilla essence in a bowl. Add sweetener to taste. Use half the mix to sandwich cakes together and the rest on the top. Decorate with walnut halves.

Sponge Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

This is great for a afternoon treat but also can be used as a birthday cake- just add candles!

Ingredients for the sponge cake:

150g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
8 tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated or half a cup of unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp dried skimmed milk powder
1 tbsp ground rice
1 egg, beaten
7 tbsp vegetable oil
0.5 cup natural low fat yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the cream cheese filling
300g light or extra light cream cheese
2.5 tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
Low sugar jam (shop bought or from the recipe above)

Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC. Spray 2 x 7in round cake tins with low fat cooking spray and then line the tins.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in SPLENDA® Granulated, dried milk and ground rice. Add the eggs, oil, yoghurt, vanilla extract and salt. Mix this into the dry ingredients. If you don’t have a soft dropping consistency add another 1-2 tbsps yoghurt. Spoon into the prepared tins and level the tops. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When cold, the cakes are ready to decorate with the cream cheese filling. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. If you prefer a chocolate sponge then add 1.5 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder.

For the filling beat together cream cheese, SPLENDA® Granulated and vanilla extract.  Spread a layer of low sugar jam over the bottom cake and then use one third to sandwich together the sponge cakes and spread the remaining mixture over the top of the cake. 

Serves 8

Strawberry Tart

A lovely summery pudding that looks great

Ingredients for sweet Pastry:

250g plain flour
3 level tbsp Splenda® Granulated
150g low-fat soft butter
1 egg

Ingredients for pastry cream:
4 level tbsp Splenda® Granulated
30g plain flour
100g ground almonds
2 eggs
100g low-fat soft butter

Ingredients for decorations:
300g strawberries
4 tbsp low sugar strawberry jam (shop bought or made as above recipe)
Juice of 1 orange

In a large bowl, sieve the flour, add Splenda® Granulated and the butter. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Make a well in the middle and crack the egg into it. Bring all the mixture into the centre, gently mixing into a dough. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4). When the pastry is ready, roll out on a well-floured board and use it to line a (9-inch) tart tin, with removable bottom sprayed with low fat spray oil. Prick the pastry base with a fork to stop air bubbles forming, line base with greaseproof paper and weigh down with ceramic beans or dried pulses. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then take out of oven and remove the beans and paper. Return to oven for 5 minutes to dry out the pastry a little.

Meanwhile, begin preparing the cream by mixing together Splenda® Granulated, flour and ground almonds, in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the butter. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix. Pour the cream into the pastry cream. Put back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Put the jam and orange juice in a pan and gently heat so that it combines. Allow to cool a little. Arrange the strawberries on top of the tart, and brush with the jam and orange juice glaze. Put in the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour before serving

Serves 6

So a range of desserts you can make for the whole family to enjoy and also for entertaining. 

Til soon...

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