How to make healthy raisins a star this Christmas

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Chef Miko Aspiras hooks up with California Raisins to make healthier breads and desserts for the holidays

Sweet bread and desserts are always a staple in the Christmas season, but they may not always be good for re­vellers. Generally high in sugar, fats and cholesterol, holiday desserts almost always lead to weight gain and unpleasant blood test results come January.

“There are those who sadly stay away from sweets during Christmas but it doesn’t have to be the case,” says Chef Michael Aspiras of Le Petit Souffle and Scout Honor. “All you have to do is to know what ingredients to use for healthier treats.”

Coming to the rescue of dessert-deprived folks this Christmas, Aspiras collaborated with California Raisins to come up with fat- and cholesterol-free desserts that are low in sodium, low in refined sugar and sweetened by a deserving star ingredient for Christmas.

Bread Recipe: Raisins Bomboloni with Raisin Rum Chantilly and Crispy Topping
California Raisin Rum
Chantilly Cream
400g Dairy whipping cream
400g Non-dairy whipping cream
100g Raisin puree
Vanilla beans


1. Whip all ingredients together until stiff.

For the brioche
Dough No. 1:
86g Stiff levain
366g Hard levain
55g White sugar
176g Water
116g Whole egg

1. With hook attachment, mix all ingredients until well blended.
2. Cover with a cling wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Dough No. 2:
250g Raisins (pureed chunks)
936g Hard flour
55g White sugar
24g Yeast
486g Whole egg
590g Butter (softened)
18g Salt

1. Combine all dry ingredients and egg on rested dough, mix until the dough sticks on the hook.
2. Slowly add small amount of butter, mix until butter is combined.
3. Continue adding butter until completely incorporated, then add raisin puree.
4. Keep the dough in an oil coated container, transfer the dough, fold four sides, cover with cling film, chill overnight before using.

For the raisin rum chantilly
310g Raisins
70ml Rum
160ml Water
45g White sugar

1. Cook sugar in water until it turns into light syrup; add in rum remove from heat.
2. Soak raisins in rum, soak overnight.

Dividing the dough
1. Remove cling film, flour working table and top of the dough, turn the container upside down, slowly lift the container until the dough falls down.
2. Lightly flour the dough again, divide the dough in a form according to desired weight.

Shaping
1. Pinch the sides of the square dough like a dumpling, then seal.
2. Place the seam side on the working table, place your palm on the top of the dough and shape into a ball doing a circular motion.
3. Place rounded dough in a baking tray seam side down, cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
4. Pipe top with crisp topping batter.
Baking
1. Preheat oven at 200°C.
2. Bake for 12 to 5 minutes.

Crisp topping batter
200g All purpose flour
4g Baking powder
4g Salt
200g Unsalted butter
(softened)
100g Confectioner’s sugar
4 large eggs (beaten)
15g Vanilla extract
1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
2. Using clean, dry mixer bowl and paddle, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until light, pale, and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. With mixer running, gradually add eggs, then vanilla; mix until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.
4. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl, and then fold ingredients by hand to mix fully. Transfer mixture to piping bag with a round piping tip, do not refrigerate.

Assembly:
1. Make a one-inch incision at the bottom of each cooled buns, fill with Chantilly.
2. Dust with powdered sugar

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