Tuesday 4 November 2008

it's beginning to taste a lot like christmas

And just to be different, I shan't write about the US elections in this post. And you can't make me.

Inspired by Caroline's pumpkin bake-o-thon, I decided to put together some pumpkiny goodies using the extra tin of pumpkin puree that was lurking in my cupboard. (It was for Canadian Thanksgiving but, ironically, we were in the States at the time.) I have a very loud and persistent sweet tooth at the moment, but I need to try and keep eating as healthily as I can. You know, so I can stuff my face for two solid weeks at Christmas. (Mental note: ensure Christmas outfit has an elasticated waist.)

First up were Starbucks Pumpkin Scones, which are normally slathered in icing, but I was a very good girl and refrained. I used wholemeal flour instead of white, Splenda instead of sugar, and didn't need to add the half and half because the dough was wet enough (in the UK, you could use single cream or whole milk.) They emerged from the oven smelling spicy and Autumnal, and were remarkably light and not overly sweet. I can see why you'd want to add the icing (as you'd find at Starbucks) because they aren't as sweet as a cake or muffin, but I was quite happy to polish one off without the extra sugar rush. I think these would be lovely with some honey for breakfast. The recipe tells you to divide the dough into 6, but I made 12 scones that are a very decent size. 6 is just stupid big.

The second recipe was for Pumpkin Muffins, and again, I substituted wholemeal flour for white, Splenda for sugar, rapeseed oil for the applesauce (because unsweetened applesauce doesn't seem to exist in this country), and omitted the walnuts. I reduced the quantities to make 12 muffins only, so this used up the remaining pumpkin in the tin very nicely. They smell like Christmas, and taste like little cakes. The raisins make the muffins beautifully sweet, and the pumpkin makes them satisfyingly filling.

If I can figure out how to make a healthy pumpkin latte, I'll let you know.

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