Baking and Slow Cooking Recipes. Baking cakes and puddings in the slow cooker is a particular interest and one of the focuses of my blog. You’ll find on my blog recipes for slow cooker meals and cakes, as well as lots of regular baking.
Anyone for tennis? It’s Wimbledon fortnight so dessert must contain strawberries this week, right? My easy strawberry mousse cake is a perfect way to celebrate the championships in SW19, or just a good way to end a summer’s day!
A sponge cake topped with strawberry jelly filled with strawberries, then a layer of strawberry mousse (with a secret, read more to find out!) and then all topped off with more fresh strawberries, this certainly makes a dessert everyone will enjoy.
What’s more it is easy to make it in simple stages too! For us this was a great way to use some delicious strawberries from the strawberry patch. All that summer fruit ready either in your garden or in the shops just needs to be enjoyed in summery desserts.
To make this dessert you will need two baking tins of the same size. One you will bake the cake in, the other you will make your jelly in, then you will assemble the whole strawberry mousse cake in one of the tins too. As I usually do as I am short on time, I made a few shortcuts to make this dessert easy to make.
The strawberry mousse layer is not difficult to make, instead of using whipped cream and gelatine and tricky ingredients like that, I used Greek yoghurt (0% fat version but full fat would work just as well I am sure) and a sachet of jelly crystals. This strawberry yoghurt fluff as it is also known s a lovely treat on its own, as well as being used in layered desserts like this. Simply make up the jelly using half the stated liquid (see recipe below for full details) and whisk in the Greek yoghurt until thick. Then as it starts to set whisk again until bubbly and light. An easy and delicious strawberry mousse, without all the calories too!
While your sponge cake is baking, make up strawberry jelly in the other baking tin, ensuring you line the tin so you can get the jelly out in one piece. Add strawberries into the jelly before it sets. Assembling the strawberry mousse cake is then as easy as placing the cooled sponge cake in a clean baking tin of the same size (lined again so you can get it out), sliding the jelly on top, then spooning on the strawberry fluff layer when it is thickened but not completely set. The whole dessert is then transferred back to the fridge to set. Once the strawberry fluff/mousse layer is set then you can top with your strawberries.
My strawberry mousse cake is ideal for afternoon tea, a special dessert, or for entertaining in the summer. It would be a great dessert for a barbecue as well, whether you are watching the World Cup or Wimbledon!
If you are concerned about such things, this dessert is also low in WeightWatchers smart points, coming it at only 3 points for a slice (serves 6). The points are from the cake alone. Of course you can also make a sponge the normal way with butter and sugar for this cake instead of sweetener and light spread.
Strawberry Mousse Cake
A simple summer dessert making the most of summer strawberries, with a layer of jelly and a layer of strawberry yoghurt mousse.
For the jelly layer:
100 g strawberries
1 sachet strawberry jelly crystals (I used sugar free)
250 ml boiling water
100 ml cold water
For the strawberry mousse layer:
1 sachet strawberry jelly crystals (I used sugar free)
275 ml boiling water
150 g Greek yoghurt (I used 0% fat)
For the cake:
2 medium free-range eggs
87 g self-raising flour
75 g Sukrin Gold (or use sugar)
75 g margarine (I used light sunflower spread)
200 g strawberries (halved)
To make the jelly:
Line a 7 inch baking tin with clingfilm. Add the boiling water to the jelly crystals in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the cold water. Remove the stems from the strawberries and place in the base of the lined tin. Pour the jelly mixture over the fruit and put in the fridge to set (it will take approx 1-2 hours).
To make the cake:
While the jelly is setting, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Prepare another 7 inch baking tin by greasing it with a little of the margarine/butter.
Beat the eggs, margarine or butter, sweetener (or sugar) and flour together in a bowl until smooth. Pour into the tin and bake for 20 minutes approximately at 180 degrees, or until cooked through and lightly golden.
Remove from the oven, then from the tin after around five minutes, place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Wash the tin you used to bake the cake as you will use it again later to make up the dessert.
To make the strawberry mousse layer:
Make up the jelly crystals in a large bowl with 275 ml boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Add a 150 g pot of Greek yoghurt (I used 0% fat version) and mix well.
Leave it for a few minutes and then whisk well. Refrigerate in the bowl. Whisk again after around 15 minutes, when it has started to set, until light and bubbly. The mixture should be quite thick.
If your mousse layer is starting to set, and your jelly is set and your cake is cool, you can now layer up the dessert. If not, wait until the mousse has thickened, jelly is set and cake is cool.
Using the clean baking tin from earlier, line the whole thing with clingfilm so you can get the dessert out of the tin.
Place the cool cake at the bottom, tip the jelly layer from the other tin on top of it carefully, then pour the strawberry yoghurt mousse on top.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.
Once set, top the strawberry mousse cake with the halved strawberries, and serve.
With the heat right now making homemade ice lollies is just what we all need! These strawberry ice lollies are quick and easy to make, from just two ingredients you can easily get your hands on. It only takes a few minutes preparation, and then a few hours in the freezer, so you and your family can even be enjoying your own homemade lollies later the same day like we did with these!
Making ice lollies is so simple. I always make fruit ice lollies using pureed fresh fruit. Simply puree your strawberries in your blender, then add a little lemonade for a little extra sweetness.
I used diet lemonade here so these are also zero point ice lollies on Weightwatchers, as well as being suitable for the whole family. They are not overly loaded in sugar, other than the naturally occurring sugar in the strawberries.
The next step is simply pouring the strawberry lemonade mixture into your moulds. The lolly moulds I used are shown at the bottom of the post (affiliate Amazon link, I make a few pennies if you buy from this link, at no extra cost to you). Add your lolly sticks and then transfer to the freezer. Next just wait four to six hours at least until frozen solid, then you can dig right in and cool down.
If you want to try different fruit lollies, papaya and apple are also delicious and again so easy to make. If you have fruit that is going a bit soft, just whiz it in the blender and freeze and you can still enjoy it at its best later on.
Once frozen and removed from the moulds I store my ice lollies in a freezer bag, separated with small squares of baking paper to stop them sticking. Admittedly they don’t last long once made, as everyone eats them up, but the thought is there!
Strawberry Ice Lollies
Simple to make ice lollies (popsicles) made with pureed strawberries and lemonade
400 g strawberries
200 ml lemonade (I used diet)
Puree the strawberries in a blender.
Pour in the lemonade and stir.
Pour into your ice lolly moulds and add lolly sticks.
Freeze for 4-6 hours until solid.
Remove from the moulds and enjoy!
Pin these simple homemade strawberry ice lollies to make this summer!
So now that I work at home more often, I’ve started enjoying cooking a simple meal at lunchtime instead of having to grab a pre-packed sandwich from the nearest shop. A halloumi frittata is perfect for this, I switch out the vegetables with whatever I have in the fridge but I usually have red peppers and baby plum tomatoes in there so they are often included! Spring onions are perfect to add a bit of flavour as well.
It only takes minutes to make and then I have my person-sized halloumi frittata ready to eat, served with a bed of salad if I’m feeling extravagant but quite often eaten standing up at the kitchen counter (from a plate usually I promise!). My small omelette pan is ideal for this, it makes the perfect frittata with two eggs plus my fillings.
But what is a frittata?
If you like the look of this frittata/omelette/egg dish but are wondering exactly what a frittata is, then let me tell you. Whereas your omelette fillings are added in the centre before folding it over, with a frittata the fillings are added in with the eggs. It is also started off on the hob or stovetop then finished off in the oven, unlike an omelette which is cooked completely on the hob. Of course from the name we can also tell that a frittata is from Italy whereas an omelette is from France. The Spanish version is a tortilla or Spanish omelette, which contains potatoes. All of them are delicious ways to enjoy eggs! I find frittatas really easy to make as there isn’t much hands on time and not much can go wrong. Omelettes can sometimes be tricky to make and fold!
So when I can make this in about ten minutes at home from a few simple ingredients, I feel like I’m winning because I haven’t bought something pre-packaged and its a healthy option too! I use the lighter reduced-fat halloumi because I am counting the calories at the moment but feel free to use normal halloumi if that’s not something you’re into.
A great light lunch option
On WeightWatchers Flex (the program is called Freestyle in the US) this is just 3 smartpoints which I think is great for a filling lunch and leaves me lots of points for the rest of the day! Eggs and the vegetables are zero points, so you only need to count the points for the halloumi.
If you like this summery recipe, you might also fancy trying some of these other recipes:
A delicious and easy recipe for a halloumi frittata with red peppers, ideal for lunch or a light meal
2 medium free-range eggs
4-5 spring onions (sliced)
5-6 cherry plum tomatoes (sliced in half)
1/2 a red pepper (sliced)
35 g lighter halloumi (reduced fat) (sliced)
Fry the spring onions, cherry plum tomatoes and sliced red pepper in a little spray oil or light cooking spray in a small ovenproof frying pan for a few minutes until soft.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl, season, then pour the eggs over the vegetables in the small frying pan. Swirl the eggs around the pan and use a wooden spoon to move the eggs aside as they set so that it cooks through.
Allow to cook for a few minutes and in the meantime preheat your grill (broiler) to medium heat.
Add the sliced halloumi on top of the frittata and then place the frying pan (make sure you are using an ovenproof one) under the grill to brown the top and cook through. Grill for 3-4 minutes, checking to make sure it doesn’t burn or brown too quickly.
Remove the frying pan from the oven using an oven glove. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes then use a spatula or wooden spoon to loosen the edges and slide the frittata onto a plate to serve.
Love halloumi frittata? Make sure you save this on Pinterest for later!
Sometimes you want dessert but you don’t want it to be too full of sugar. I thought I would try making a sugar-free pavlova using sweetener instead of sugar, because on the latest WeightWatchers plan which I’m following at the moment, egg whites (and eggs) are now a zero-pointed food! So by swapping the sugar for granulated sweetener I thought I could make a summery light dessert which would be WeightWatchers friendly. My sugar-free apricot pavlova was the delicious result. Making the most of the gorgeous summer fruit which is in season now, and using no-fat Greek yoghurt in place of double cream for the filling, this dessert deserves a place in your summer menu!
How to roast apricots for a dessert
To make the apricots soft and tender, I roasted them with a sprinkle of sugar over them. This makes them deepen in flavour. You can also drizzle over some honey before roasting if you want to make them even sweeter. The flowers I used to decorate were some basil herb flowers from my garden, they added a lovely herb flavour as well as a dash of colour.
How to make a meringue using sweetener for a sugar-free pavlova
So did you know you can make a meringue using sweetener? Because sweetener is so sweet, you don’t use as much of it as you would sugar, and because it is often like powder in texture, you don’t need to whisk it in in quite the same way as you make a meringue with egg white and sugar. The sweetener goes right in at the start and you whisk the eggs until they form stiff peaks. I used a stevia based sweetener, a supermarket own brand, in granulated form, though it is actually more like a powder. A little cornflour and cream of tartar is added to make sure the centre of the meringue is soft.
The texture of the meringue is not the same as a meringue made with sugar, it is softer. Because of this you need to make sure when you spread out your meringue on your lined baking sheet, that it is deep enough. If it is too thin in places it will be difficult to peel off the baking paper after cooking and keep the meringue in one piece. So use a small plate as a guide and make sure your meringue is about an inch deep and even throughout.
To fill my pavlova, I used another zero-pointed food on the current WeightWatchers plan, 0% fat Greek yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is thick and creamy (even when 0% fat) and is a great alternative to whipped cream in this sugar-free pavlova. I know some people find the taste of Greek yoghurt too sour, and if you do you can add a little vanilla extract if you like to tone it down.
Finally, top the Greek yoghurt with the roasted apricots, then decorate with edible flowers, if using. A pretty and light summer dessert which looks great! If you are counting the points then this is 4 Smartpoints for the entire pavlova, or 2 Smartpoints for half.
Sugar-free apricot pavlova
A light summery dessert which is WeightWatchers friendly and makes the most of summer fruit
1 tsp caster sugar
2 egg whites
1.5 tbsp Stevia sweet granulated sweetener
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp cream of tartar
150 g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Halve the apricots and remove the stone and place them in a baking dish. Sprinkle over the caster sugar.
Roast the apricots for 25 to 30 minutes until tender. Allow to cool. Turn the oven down to 100 degrees Celsius.
Place the egg whites and Stevia granulated sweetener in a stand mixer and whisk together until the egg white forms stiff peaks.
Fold in the cornflour and cream of tartar carefully.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Use a few blobs of the meringue to fix the baking paper to the baking sheet.
Spoon the meringue onto the baking paper and form a disc about an inch deep.
Once the oven is at 100 degrees, put the meringue in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until firm. Turn off the oven and open the door and leave the meringue in there to cool for an hour or so until cold.
Once cool, carefully peel off the baking paper, ensuring you don’t break the meringue.
Fill the meringue with the Greek yoghurt and top with the roasted apricots. Decorate if desired. Serve.
When the craving hits for afternoon tea, you can’t beat a cream scone, and at this time of year summer fruits are a lovely addition. Well that was what I thought until I made a giant blueberry cream scone, which has to be the ultimate afternoon tea bake! Slice it in half and fill with whipped cream and blueberries and you’ve got a brilliant dessert for your summer get-together.
I love buttery scones and adding blueberries adds that lovely tart flavour. I avoided the big Devon-Cornwall question of whether the jam or cream goes first by only using whipped cream and blueberries to fill my giant blueberry cream scone this time. Blueberry jam or compote is excellent in there too. (And of course the cream should go first in place of butter!)
If you aren’t familiar with a cream tea, it is a light meal consisting of tea with scones, cream and jam, often served in Devon and Cornwall in the South of England, and which holidaymakers often enjoy as a treat when they visit those areas. It is a typical summer treat and very British, so in the current feeling of British pride following the Wedding of Harry and Meghan, I think a giant blueberry cream scone would be a fabulous dessert to serve at your summer barbecues and parties!
I made my giant blueberry scone in my slow cooker, so it was a breeze to make and didn’t heat my kitchen up any more on a day which was already hot and humid. Win win! It also costs less to use the slow cooker than to turn on the main oven, so that’s another benefit to baking in a crockpot. If you enjoy making indulgent slow cooker desserts in the winter here’s a great summer slow cooker dessert to add to your repertoire!
Simply make up your scone dough, adding the blueberries before the milk, shape it into a rough round, and pop it into the slow cooker on several protective layers.
Leave to bake for one and a half to two hours (or until the scone is cooked through and no longer wet on top, timings vary depending on your slow cooker so always test it with a skewer or knife to check it is cooked through and check the sides to look out for burning). The smell of baking will fill your kitchen without it getting too hot.
Once done, the giant scone is golden and just needs to be cooled before you split it and fill with whipped cream and fresh blueberries.
Next spoon your whipped cream on, spread it round with a spatula knife and top with blueberries, before placing the top back on and serving.
A cross section shows that lovely thick layer of whipped cream and blueberries between the buttery fruity layers.
Giant Blueberry Cream Scone
Bake a delicious blueberry scone in your crockpot and fill it with whipped cream and fruit
225 g self-raising flour
1 tsp cream of tartar or baking powder
55 g unsalted butter (cold)
30 g caster sugar
150 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
200 g fresh blueberries
150 ml double cream
Place the flour, cream of tartar, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix.
Cut the butter into cubes and rub it gently into the flour and sugar mixture. Don’t overmix. You want to leave a rough, not fine, texture.
Add approx 170 g of the blueberries then pour in the milk.
Stir together then tip onto a floured surface and form into a round.
Lift the scone round onto a large baking case.
Place a second large baking case in the slow cooker pot. Note: I used my round 3.5 litre slow cooker for this. If you have a bigger slow cooker you might need to double your quantities or use a cake tin inside the pot.
Put the case with the scone into the pot inside the other case. This adds an extra layer to prevent burning at the sides.
Cook on high for one and a half to two hours, until cooked through and golden around the sides. Use a tea/dish towel or squares of kitchen roll under the lid to prevent moisture dripping onto the scone.
Use the case to pull the scone out of the pot and leave to cool.
Whip the double cream, I like to do this by hand using a whisk but you can also use an electric whisk.
Split the scone in half, spread the whipped cream using a spatula knife and then top with the remaining blueberries. Replace the top of the scone and serve!
And there you have it! If you do try this recipe yourself please tag me on social media – @bakingqueen74!
So pleased that the summer is on its way; I have seedlings growing to be planted in my raised beds in the garden and the summer fruit is nearly at its juicy best. All those berries will be delicious when baked into a pie is one of my first thoughts! However if you don’t want the hassle of having the oven on when it is already hot in the house, you can always rely on the slow cooker to bake your pie instead! My Slow Cooker Berry Pie is simple to make and a great option when you want pie but don’t want to heat up the kitchen.
You might think why on earth would I want to bake a fruit pie in a slow cooker! Well if you are thinking that, firstly, what are you doing on my blog hehe, secondly you should go and look at Baking in a slow cooker and see all the delicious slow cooker bakes you can make, this is another to add to your arsenal of slow cooker desserts.
You get a crispy crust on the pastry, not a “soggy bottom” in sight. Just make sure you follow my top tips for baking a pie in the slow cooker to make sure yours is a success too:
Line your slow cooker pot with two layers of parchment/baking paper/large cake cases – this protects the edges of the pastry from burning
Put a clean tea towel/dish towel under the lid of your slow cooker – this prevents water from dripping off the lid onto the top of the pastry and making it soggy
Seal the edges of your pie well where the top meets the sides of the pastry to prevent it from leaking – as you can see mine did leak on one side this time!
Remove the pie from the slow cooker very carefully using the layers of parchment or baking paper to pull it out – be gentle to prevent the sides of the pastry from breaking
Lastly, as with any good berry pie, apply cream liberally and serve!
I’m definitely trying out more slow cooker pie fillings over the summer. Apple and cinnamon, simply strawberries, peaches, perhaps even something tropical with mango or pineapple. Let me know if there’s a pie variety you’d like me to post and I’ll do my best to comply.
Slow Cooker Berry Pie
1 450 g pack of shortcrust pastry mix (alternatively you can use a ready made sheet of shortcrust pastry or make your own pastry)
1 400 g tin of strawberries in light syrup (drain off most of the liquid)
250 g frozen mixed berries
25 g caster sugar
First make up your pastry and roll it out using a rolling pin. Don’t make it too thin.
I used a bag of shortcrust pastry mix to save time and made it up following the directions. If you are using a ready-rolled sheet or ready-made pastry block, remove it from the fridge for the time directed on the package.
I used a round 3.5 litre slow cooker to make my pie, so I ended up with a round pie, this also makes it easier to join the edges as well.
Line your slow cooker pot with two round cake cases (in England you can buy these from shops like Poundland or Home Bargains). You can also use layers of baking paper/parchment. Have a third cake case ready for the next step.
Place the third cake case on top of the pastry and mark out a circle which is approx. two inches larger than the cake case (or slow cooker pot) then cut this out with a knife.
Drape the circle of pastry over the third cake case, place it in your slow cooker and press in the sides gently so the pastry is flat to the base and sides of the lined pot.
Spoon in the strawberries and mix in the frozen berries.
Make a lid using the remaining pastry and cut to size.
Put on the pastry lid and dampen and crimp the edges to seal. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the top of the pie.
Place a tea towel under the lid and cook on high for 2 to 2.5 hours until the pastry is cooked and no longer soft. Leave the pie to stand for approx 30 minutes before you try to remove it, using the sides of the cake cases to pull it out gently.
Note regarding timings:Slow cooker baking times differ depending on your slow cooker, some of them cook much faster and some cook very slowly. You will need to look for the pastry being cooked and crisp and no longer soft, and look out for burning, to tell when your pie is done. This might take more or less time than in my slow cooker.
Transfer to a plate, slice and serve with cream!
Make sure you pin my recipe for Slow Cooker Berry Pie for later!
I’m not sure how more than half of May has already passed and I haven’t posted yet this month. Blame all the kids parties and clubs as well as being really busy at work I guess. Even though I mostly work from home now this doesn’t mean I spend all day popping in and out of the kitchen baking sadly! This M&M rocky road was popular when I posted a picture on Facebook so I’m posting the recipe at last.
Rocky road is perfect for a crowd so when I realised there was a school bake sale coming up, it was rocky road I decided to make. It is an excellent choice to make when the weather is warmer, as of course no baking is required! Cut it up into small squares, and as well as making these a bit less unhealthy for the kids (as they aren’t so huge!) it means the school can sell more and raise more money!
I have a well stocked baking cupboard naturally (!) and already had the dark, milk and white chocolate and the marshmallows to hand. I just had to get the digestives and M&Ms so after a quick trip to stock up then I was able to get down to making the rocky road. I chose chocolate M&Ms for their bright colours and of course as this was for the school it couldn’t contain peanuts.
For the chocolate I used milk chocolate for the base layer mixed with the marshmallows abd digestives, then topped it off with dark chocolate swirled with white chocolate to add a pretty effect. This adds a bit more colour and decoration as well as being a great excuse to use more chocolate!
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M&M Rocky Road
250 g milk chocolate (broken up)
3 tbsp golden syrup
85 g butter
200 g digestive biscuits (crushed)
75 g mini marshmallows
1 large bag chocolate M&Ms
200 g dark chocolate
150 g white chocolate
Melt together the milk chocolate, golden syrup and butter (I do this in the microwave on a medium setting).
Add the crushed digestives and mix well. Leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the mini marshmallows.
Add half of the share bag of chocolate M&Ms.
Press the mixture into a tin lined with baking paper.
Melt the dark and white chocolate in separate bowls, pour over the mixture in the tin and marble the dark and white chocolate together with a knife.
Spread the remaining M&Ms on top. Chill in the fridge until set, at least for 2 hours but preferably overnight if you have time.
Cut into squares using a large knife. Serve or wrap and transport to your bake sale!
If you love fresh mango and red chillis and want a tasty spiced main dish I have just the thing. My slow cooker mango chilli chicken recipe is easy to make, full of flavour and wonderful served with rice and naan breads to dip in this delicious sauce! When you can make this from scratch in no time at all, you’ll have dinner on the go before you know it.
My slow cooker mango chilli chicken is full of flavour whatever the weather outside, which is good given that is nearly May and is absolutely freezing today. After those hot days in earlier in April when it was warmer than Greece in the UK I think we all just want the summer to be here now. If we can’t have the sun in the sky just yet then this summery yellow dish with its tropical fruit flavours is possibly the next best thing. I don’t know about you but I still like to eat spicy food and curries in the spring and summer, I just might serve it with broccoli rice or stirfried vegetables instead of normal rice to lighten it up a bit.
As well as the fresh mango I’ve also used some mango chutney in this dish, which intensifies the mango flavour as well as adding a bit of heat. I also love that this looks so colourful during cooking!
This dish is so easy to make, you just need to mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, and then pour the sauce over the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker. While I don’t use cornflour in many of my slow cooker recipes, preferring other methods of thickening sauces at times like reducing the sauce in a pan first before adding to the slow cooker, adding sweet potato or butternut squash to a dish to create a naturally thick sauce, with this recipe I do use a cornflour paste to thicken up that tasty sauce during cooking, as this technique is often used in Asian recipes to achieve a thicker sauce and it gives great results.
I think you’ll love the sweet and yet at the same time spicy flavour of this slow cooker mango chilli chicken. Soft chunks of mango in the tasty chilli-spiced sauce are just divine. I use light coconut milk for the base of the sauce, to save on calories. Based on the recipe below this works out at 8 SmartPoints per serving, you could also double the amount of chicken breasts and keep the same amount of sauce (there is plenty) which would make it 4 SmartPoints per serving.
Slow Cooker Mango Chilli Chicken
For the sauce:
1 tin light coconut milk (400 ml)
1 tsp ginger puree
2 cloves of garlic
6 tsp mango chutney
1 tsp turmeric
0.5 tsp cumin
For the dish:
1 large onion (diced)
3 chicken breasts
1 mango (diced)
1 red chilli (seeds removed and sliced finely)
1 tbsp cornflour
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a large bowl.
Place the diced onion in the base of the slow cooker and top it with the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Put in the mango, pour over the sauce. Put the sliced red chilli on top.
Cook on high for 3 hours.
Make a paste from the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl. Pour this into the slow cooker and mix well. This will thicken the sauce and also if the sauce happens to split due to the fresh fruit, it will bring it back together. Cook for another hour on high, then serve.
8 SmartPoints based on three servings. If you use 6 chicken breasts instead of 3 and the same amount of sauce (as there is plenty) then it will be 4 SmartPoints per serving.
For more mango inspiration, I bet you’ll love these recipes from my food blogger firneds:
In between making (and eating) cakes and brownies and giant cookies and all kinds of sweet treats for my blog I also try to eat healthily at times. It means I can have a slice of cake without guilt at other times! I created this recipe for courgette and butternut squash lentil bake which is based around zero point foods on WeightWatchers Flex (Freestyle in the US), and the entire bake is zero points. It makes enough for around 6 filling portions and it is a great lunch option served with salad. You might enjoy this as an alternative to quiche or an omelette.
My courgette and butternut squash lentil bake is filled with cooked red lentils, grated courgette (zucchini), butternut squash and sweetcorn, and flavour is added with seasoning and herbs. It is delicious warm but you can also enjoy it cold too in a lunchbox.
It is a great option if you have a high-pointed meal planned for the evening as you won’t be using any of your daily smartpoints at lunchtime if you have it for lunch with salad. Just add a few points in the form of dressing if you like. I also sometimes make this for dinner if I’ve used too many points at during the day.
As you can see, this lentil bake is substantial and filling. If you wanted to you could also add some cheese (just remember to add the points) or use other vegetables, depending on what you have in your fridge. Red peppers would go well, as would peas, green beans and many more. I tend to use whatever fresh herb I have on had to flavour my lentil bakes – whether that is flat-leaf parsley or basil! Fresh herbs add much more flavour than dried so I would recommend using fresh if you have them. It is important to season it well too with salt and pepper, as the lentil, vegetable and egg inside need to be well seasoned to add flavour.
Courgette and Butternut Squash Lentil Bake
A filling lunch option based around zero pointed ingredients on Weight Watchers Flex or Freestyle programs
2 medium courgettes, grated (approx 400 g)
1 medium onion, chopped
200 g tin of sweetcorn, drained
180 g red lentils
150 g butternut squash
4 medium free-range eggs
1-2 tsp fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil
salt and pepper for seasoning
Grate the courgette into a bowl. Squeeze out as much water as you can.
Dice the butternut squash and precook in the microwave with a little water for 3-4 minutes until slightly soft.
Meanwhile, place the dry red lentils in a pan with 450 ml water. Bring to the boil then simmer until all the water has gone. This will take 10-15 minutes. Drain over a sieve to remove all remaining water.
Once the butternut squash and lentils are cooked, put them in the bowl with the courgette.
Add the onion, sweetcorn, eggs, herbs to the bowl and mix well. Season well with salt and pepper.
Pour the mixture into a large silicone cake pan sprayed with spray oil. I used a deep 8 inch pan.
Cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until set through (check using a skewer) and the top has gone golden.
Remove from the oven, leave it to cool and it will become more firm. Slice once cooled.
Isn’t it great when the summer fruits are back in the shops, and the weather warms up. While I love summer fruit just as it is, with Greek yoghurt and in overnight oats too, it is also wonderful in cake form, particularly in a slow cooker berry upside down cake! Those sweet berry fruits add their sweet and tangy flavour to the soft sponge and the caramelised topping soaks into the cake adding such deliciousness that I just can’t get enough of it.
The berries become almost jam like in the sugary topping, just look at that amazing colour! I used a mixture of raspberries and strawberries as I just love the tangy flavour of raspberries which cuts through the sweet strawberries.
Whenever I make this cake I am always amazed at how yellow the sponge turns out. It is like you’ve used the freshest eggs laid in your own garden or something. I think really this colour is from the butter and sugar that you coat the base of the slow cooker pot with, to create the caramelised topping, as it soaks up through the cake during cooking and back down once you invert it onto the plate and serve.
My slow cooker berry upside down cake is so easy to make so it makes a great simple pudding to serve up whenever you want it. Who wouldn’t want to dig into that fruity topping to reach the rich sponge beneath?! Ideal with a weekend meal as dessert instead of a crumble or just to have with a cup of tea, however you prefer.
It also looks delicious even before you start baking! Just look at those colours. Definitely not a boring slow cooker dish.
If you are looking for some different slow cooker recipes to try, all in UK measurements, I have lots of family dishes in my slow cooker category, as well as lots of desserts. There’s bound to be something there to grab your interest.
Making puddings in a slow cooker might sound unusual to some but it works so well that you really must try it if you haven’t tried it before. The gentle heat is great for soft puddings and can also make a delicious crust on all kinds of cake, giant cookies and loaves of bread! My post on baking and making desserts in a slow cooker is the best place to start for lots of new ideas.
If you are a devoted slow cooker user like me, if you are making a main meal in one slow cooker already, for the convenience and saved time, then why not make your dessert in another at the same time! For me, if it means I can serve a delicious upside down cake like this with our family meal then I am all for it.
Slow Cooker Berry Upside Down Cake
50 g raspberries
100 g strawberries
50 g light brown sugar
50 g butter
For the sponge:
100 g caster sugar
100 g self-raising flour
100 g butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream the light brown sugar with the butter until creamy.
Grease the slow cooker put then put the sugar and butter mixture in the bottom of the pot, spreading it around the base evenly.
Chop the strawberries and place the strawberries and raspberries over the bottom of the slow cooker on top of the butter/sugar mixture.
Put the cake ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly.
Spoon the cake mixture on top of the strawberries.
Replace the lid, bake on high 1.5 to 2 hours or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean, with a tea towel under the lid to catch the condensation.
Remove the pot from the slow cooker, allow to cool slightly, then run a knife around the cake, invert the pot and carefully catch the cake on your hand, and then transfer to a plate to serve.
The strawberries will caramelise in the sauce.
I made this in an oval 3.5 litre slow cooker.
Times will vary depending on your slow cooker and its size.