Justine Murphy mymuybueno Cookbook

A healthier sticky toffee pudding

Barnes chef Justine Murphy on her mymuybueno Cookbook

A new cookbook aims to get children eating less refined sugar with delicious alternatives

Justine Murphy is a Cordon Bleu trained chef and founder of mymuybueno, a food business with a deli and cookery school. Having survived a traumatic and food-deprived childhood, she fled Britain to chef on super yachts and healed herself through the joy of cooking and eating. She now lives in Barnes with her husband and two sons, and has just published her cookbook, packed with family recipes that kids will love, without any refined sugar.

What are your tips for getting children to love food and eat more healthily?

Get them involved. If they are a part of it, and they understand more about the ingredients, a rewarding satisfaction comes from eating it, knowing they have been a part of the process. That excitement and passion is then instilled from a young age.

What do you like cooking at home?

Everything. From breakfast to dinner and everything in between. I love spice so we eat plenty of curries, now it’s cooler I enjoy making stews, leaving the oven to do the hard work all day and filling the house with the most amazing aroma, and we have a roast every Sunday, usually followed by my sticky toffee pudding. All my desserts are plant-based, so guilt-free! If I’m eating potatoes cooked in butter, I don’t want to have a cake with half a pound of butter and sugar in it too.

Tell us about what you like about Barnes – and any favourite go-to places?  We’ve just moved here from Mallorca, where we had become accustomed to a certain way of life, so we wanted to choose a part of London that meant I could be close to being central, but feel like we are in the country. I feel we’ve really got that in Barnes, I love it. It’s such a beautiful and tranquil place to live, it’s great for my boys and our dog too. The market is wonderful, and we love having walks in the town stopping for a drink at The Sun Inn as well as visiting Olympic Studios for breakfast. I love picking up fresh bread from Gail’s and meat from Ginger Pig, and fruit and veg from Two Peas in a Pod. 

Any favourite Christmas recipes and traditions you have?

I love Christmas Day and all the trimmings, but it’s actually Boxing Day that I love more, probably because I get to really relax and I know everyone is well fed and we have food for days to graze on. I thoroughly enjoy putting a big spread together, leftover turkey and stuffing, a big ham with an apricot glaze and cloves, bubble and squeak cakes, coleslaw, chutneys and a big cheese board. With the addition of wine and board games, I am in my happy place!

The mymuybueno Cookbook is out now.

sticky toffee pudding

Serves 6

After a roast dinner in winter time, this would always be a treat, yet all the butter, sugar and cream that goes into the decadent and delicious traditional pudding is just too much. Here is my healthier version which is just as moist and will surprise you.

For the pudding

110g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing

120ml water

200g Medjool dates, pitted

110g coconut sugar

200g self-raising flour, sifted

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted

240ml almond milk

4 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

For the toffee sauce

400ml tinned coconut milk, shaken well before opening

200g coconut sugar

¼ tsp Himalayan salt

For the pudding

Preheat the oven to 170°c and lightly grease a small heatproof lasagne or pie dish with coconut oil.

Add the water and dates to a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes, until the dates have absorbed at least half of the water, then use an immersion blender to whizz them into a purée.

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and then pour it into a bowl with the coconut sugar and stir until all the sugar has been dissolved.

Stir the flour and bicarbonate of soda into the coconut oil and sugar mixture, then mix in the almond milk and maple syrup.

Lastly, stir in the date purée and apple cider vinegar. Mix until everything has been well incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pudding comes out clean.

For the toffee sauce

Add all your ingredients to a saucepan over a medium to high heat, stirring to combine everything while it comes to the boil and starts to thicken.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the toffee sauce into a jug ready for serving. You can make this in advance and store it in the fridge, then gently reheat in a saucepan before serving, or make your toffee sauce while the pudding bakes. Pour it while hot over your servings of sticky toffee pudding.


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