Cleaning Up The Classics Part I: Crumble & Cupcakes

So this is my absolute favourite thing to do. I love the challenge of taking something we all know and love but that is considered less than beneficial, breaking it down to its component parts, giving the ingredients a spring clean and rebuilding the dish in all its deliciousness but so that when we enjoy it we benefit from what we are putting in.

I thought I’d take this on as a bit of a theme and publish instalments (as they come to me!) but to get us started I’ve chosen two dishes that I consider true classics; the good old British crumble and a slightly more transatlantic influenced cupcake (which is really just a fairy cake without wings isn’t it?!).

Let’s kick off with the crumble.

In essence this isn’t ‘unhealthy’ in its idea; warming fruit compote topped with a crispy, crunchy rubble….. sounds pretty good really! The problem is most recipes call for large quantities of sugar, white flour and butter to create this family favourite. I however have devised a few simple tricks to harness the natural sweetness of the fruit and rework the topping to make it work for you rather than against you. Can I get a high five?

As for the cupcakes I’m sure many would think this a fool’s mission from the outset, but as I say the more challenging the better in my book! These retain a beautifully moist texture, a sumptuous chocolatey-ness and are smattered with cacao nibs (see my previous post for why these guys are far superior to their milky drop mates). The culmination of the decadence being a seemingly naughty almond butter ganache that just supercharges the awesomeness of these marvellous morsels without a pinch of icing sugar in sight! Ideal.

All the ingredients used are wholesome in nature and thus delight the tastebuds without perturbing our systems by flooding them with synthetic compounds or unmanageable amounts of energy. Good quantities of fibre from whole grains, healthful fats and protein also mean that the satisfaction is not short lived; our bodies can utilise the calories within as good energy so will not leave you feeling hungry half an hour later. Oh and did I mention they are absolutely scrumptious?

I personally wouldn’t ever want such things to disappear from my edible world, they are called classics for a reason! Apart from the fact they taste good I think everyone has memories tied to certain dishes which make them important to preserve. Upcycling them to make them applicable to the constraints of a healthful and nourishing lifestyle however? More than acceptable in my book, and I hope after trying them out for yourself you will agree.

Apple & Cinnamon Crumble


Crumble Ingredients

  • 150g jumbo oats
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 20g coconut palm sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 60g date nectar or maple syrup
  • 50g roughly chopped almonds or pecans

Apple Compote (this also works beautifully well with pears)

  • 3 Bramley apples
  • 4 + 2 Royal Gala or other sweet eating apples
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

To make the crumble topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl and pour onto a baking tray, spread out with a spatula and pop in the oven.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes then mix everything about a bit so the edges don’t burn. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes before stirring again, if it’s not quite at the crunchy rubble stage pop it back in again and keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to be too well done as it will be going back into warm through with the fruit.

To make the compote

  1. Peel, core and chop the Bramleys and 4 of the eating apples. Pop into a small pan with an inch of water, cover with a lid and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cook gently for 15 minutes then use a fork to gently mash the pieces, I like a chunk-ish textured puree. Depending on the size of your chunks they may require anoth 5-10 minutes of gentle simmering. Add the cinnamon and ginger, stir through.
  3. Peel and core the remaining 2 eating apples and dice into small pieces.
  4. Once the apples are cooked to your desired consistency remove from the heat and stir through the fresh, diced apple. Pour into a baking dish or portion between individual ramekins and top with your slightly cooled crumble rocks.
  5. At this point you can either pop the crumble into the fridge to be reheated later (the crumble will retain its beautiful crispness as it has been pre-toasted) or pop into a warm oven for 10 minutes to allow everything to heat through together.
  6. Serve with custard, yoghurt or your choice of ice cream (for me nothing beats Booja Booja Vanilla M’Gorilla dairy free ice cream but feel free to adorn your creation with your personal favourite).
  7. Devour with great gusto 😀

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Raw Chocolate & Almond Butter Ganache Ingredients

  • 2 oz raw chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup crunchy almond butter

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Line or grease a muffin tin.
  2. Mix the ground almonds, ca so, bI arbitrate of soda soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, water and vanilla.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir to incorporate, fold through the cacao nibs and then spoon the batter into the liners.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

To make the ganache:

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil very gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, keep stirring so you require the least amount of time and heat to melt it.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the maple syrup, use a hand whisk to incorporate then allow to cool.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat in the almond butter until a thick frosting forms. If you find it is slightly too thick add a dribble of nut milk.
  4. Once the cakes have cooled spoon a small amount of chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake and smooth with a knife. Sprinkle with extra cacao nibs if desired, pop in the fridge to harden for 10 minutes.
  5. These should be kept in the fridge, whip them out 5 minutes or so before you want them so the cakes aren’t cold.