Yes, you can have dessert on a diet.
If you haven't tried vegetables in your baking yet, you should. Beetroot, sweet potato and courgettes (when done right) can add extra flavour and nutrients and help keep a sponge moist.
It also means you can skip using so much butter, for a much lighter and more diet-friendly dessert. Tom Kerridge devised this courgette and cardamom cake for his new book, Lose Weight For Good, for people who want to keep a check on their weight but still enjoy good grub.
Sunflower oil spray
250g half-fat margarine
100g caster sugar
4tbsp granulated sweetener
3 large free-range eggs
250g self-raising flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp ground cardamom
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
200g courgettes, grated
For the icing:
100g icing sugar
1tbsp light cream cheese
1tbsp lime juice
Grated zest of 1 lime
1. Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas 4. Spray a 900g (2lb) non-stick loaf tin with a few sprays of oil.
2. Using a stand mixer or electric hand whisk and large bowl, cream together the margarine, caster sugar and sweetener until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground cardamom together over the mixture, add the vanilla seeds and lime zest and fold in gently, using a spatula, until just combined. Lastly, fold in the grated courgettes.
4. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 50-60 minutes. To test, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake: it should come out clean; if not give it a little longer.
5. Once cooked, leave the cake to cool in the tin for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. To make the icing, in a bowl, whisk the icing sugar, cream cheese and lime juice together until smoothly combined.
7. Spread the icing on top of the cake and sprinkle with the lime zest. Cut into eight thick slices to serve.
Calories per serving: 365
Lose Weight For Good: Full-Flavour Cooking For A Low-Calorie Diet by Tom Kerridge is published by Absolute, priced £22. Available now. The accompanying six-part series continues on BBC Two on Wednesdays.