I have an annoying sweet tooth that is never satisfied. I’m always conscious of being treat aware but life does feel like a constant resistance of temptation as one is never enough.

I adore all British puddings, crumbles with lashings of creamy custard, Banoffee pies with shavings of dark chocolate and those family favourites, the Ferrero Roche, the After Eight Mint and the Quality Street. This year I’ve promised to curb my enthusiasm for the sweet stuff and in a bid to drastically reduce those calories I’ve sought out alternatives that should satisfy my cravings without impacting on my hips.

Instead of just choosing fat free recipes of any dessert, I looked at what I loved so much about my favourites. The biscuit base of a cheesecake, the sweetness of the custard and the consistency of the cream. I then looked for ways to recreate these flavours and textures without the high calorie content.

In my quest I created some new low calorie desserts of my own.

Low calorie cheesecake

Anything containing cheese and butter is bound to be heavy in fat. I made a cheesecake that has crunch galore and just a fraction on the calories of the usual fare. It’s also very easy to make.

Ingredients:

· 120 grams of bran flakes

· 2 tablespoons of golden syrup

· 30 grams of low fat spread

· Angel delight chocolate or vanilla flavour

· Raspberries – fresh or frozen

Method:

Whiz the bran flakes in a food processor. Melt the butter with the golden syrup then add to the bran flakes and whiz again. Put into the bottom of a lined 9 inch spring form tin and push with your fingers until compact. Leave to set in the fridge. Using two packets of Angel Delight, mix using 1/3 less no fat milk than the packet says. Smooth onto the base and allow to set. Top with fresh or frozen raspberries.

It’s creamy, it’s fruity and it has a crunch. It may have a little fat and golden syrup but when divided between the 8 people this cheesecake serves it’s minimal.

 Crumble and Cream

Another dessert I’ve thrown together also gives the crunch I love from a crumble along with the consistency of double cream. This one is so popular that the children now ask for it on a regular basis.

 Ingredients:

· Bran flakes or any low fact crunchy cereal

· Fruit compote (Sainsbury’s do a delicious one in their chilled section)

· Natural yoghurt

· Vanilla essence

· 1 teaspoon of honey

Method:

  1.  Mix a large pot of natural yoghurt with a few drops of vanilla essence and stir in the teaspoon of runny honey.
  2.  Add the cereal to the bowl, followed by the fruit compote and finish off with lashings of the yogurt. You can also make this a hot dessert by warming the bran flakes and fruit first.
  3.  Bran Flakes tend to feature quite heavily in my recipes that need a little crunch. They can also satisfy that Ferrero Rocher craving, here’s a tip I was given by Trimmer You, I’ve adapted it with the addition of cocoa powder:
  4.  Crush bran flakes in a food processor until they are a chunky crumb
  5. Mix with chocolate and hazelnut spread and roll into balls
  6. Finish with good quality cocoa powder to stop the outsides being sticky

They obviously have some calories but a significantly lower amount than the real thing.

Smoothie does it

One product that has helped my dessert cravings no end is the ice lolly. Many have very few calories and can satisfy that sweet tooth after a main meal. My favourite is the raspberry smoothie lolly, at just 80 calories it’s fine to have every night (and I do). Some of my friends swear by freezing a punnet of grapes to help with the cravings but watch out if you have sensitive teeth.