Thursday, February 7, 2008

Slighty Better for You, Still Chocolate

I Googled "healthy Valentine's Day recipes" and found some things that were mildly less sugar-coma-inducing than, say, bags upon bags of Hershey's Kisses.

I'll share!

This recipe is from here:

Chocolate Mousse

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, rum or strong brewed coffee
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons water

1. Sprinkle gelatin over liqueur (or rum or coffee) in a small bowl; let stand until softened, about 1 minute.

2. Whisk together milk, whole egg, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan until smooth. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatin mixture, stirring until the gelatin has dissolved. Add chocolate and vanilla; stir until the chocolate has melted. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

3. Bring 1-inch of water in a wide saucepan to a bare simmer. Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, water and the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar in a heatproof bowl large enough to fit over the saucepan. Set the bowl over the barely simmering water and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, moving the beaters around constantly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 140°F. (This will take 3 to 5 minutes.)

4. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating over the heat for a full 3 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the meringue until cool, 4 to 5 minutes longer.

5. Whisk one-fourth of the meringue into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold the chocolate mixture back into the remaining meringue with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated. Spoon the mousse into 6 dessert glasses, and chill until set, about 3 hours.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 248 calories; 6 g fat (3 g sat, 1 g mono); 38 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 68 mg sodium; 238 mg potassium.

3 Carbohydrate Servings

These involve FRUIT and therefore are super-healthy:

Chocolate-Dipped Apricots

1/3 cup sugar
2 strips lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
24 dried apricots (about 1/4 pound)
2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped peeled pistachios

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and place a wire rack on top.

2. Combine sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon stick and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. Add apricots and gently simmer just until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the apricots with a slotted spoon to the rack. Let cool completely.

3. Melt chocolate in a small metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Dip half of a poached apricot in the chocolate, letting excess drip off. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios over the chocolate half and return the apricot to the rack. Repeat with the remaining apricots. (You will have some melted chocolate left over.) Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 20 minutes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per candy: 43 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 107 mg potassium.

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Store in an airtight container, with wax paper between each layer, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

This one claims to take hours, but it might be worth it, especially if you're a big sucker for chai spices. (Like me.) It sounds goooood:

Chai Chocolate Pots de Creme

Makes 8 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 5 hours (including 3 hours chilling time)
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

2/3 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons crushed cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon bruised cardamom seeds (see Tip)
7 whole cloves
4 slices peeled fresh ginger
4 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (see Tip), finely chopped
1 1/4 cups reduced-fat milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Crystallized ginger for garnish (optional)

1. Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Lay a double thickness of paper towels in a baking pan large enough to comfortably hold eight 4- to 6-ounce heatproof custard cups or ramekins. Set the cups in the pan (the paper towels will keep them in place).

2. Heat cream, cardamom, cloves and ginger in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture just comes to a full boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Place chocolate in a 4-cup glass measure. Return the cream to medium-high heat and reheat to boiling. Immediately pour through a very fine sieve set over the chocolate, pressing down on the spices to extract as much flavor as possible; don't stir the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes, then gently stir until the chocolate completely melts and the mixture is well blended and smooth. (If the chocolate is not completely melted, microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds on High, then stir.)

3. Wipe out the saucepan, add milk and sugar, and heat just to boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves. In a slow, thin stream, gradually stir about two-thirds of the boiling milk into the chocolate. If the mixture looks separated at any point, stop adding milk and stir the chocolate until it is smooth again before continuing.

4. Whisk egg, egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl until well blended. While constantly whisking the egg mixture, add the remaining milk in a slow, thin stream. Strain the egg-milk mixture through a fine sieve into the chocolate mixture; stir well to combine. Evenly divide among the custard cups, about 1/4 cup each.

5. Place the pan on the low oven rack. Add enough very hot tap water to come 3/4 inch up the sides of the cups. Bake until the tops appear barely set when the cups are jiggled, 16 to 20 minutes; don't tap the tops as this will mar the surface.

6. Transfer the cups to a wire rack. Let cool thoroughly, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Let warm up just slightly before serving. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a small piece of crystallized ginger (if desired). NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 204 calories; 15 g fat (8 g sat, 3 g mono); 132 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber; 36 mg sodium; 87 mg potassium.

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 3 fat TIP: Tips: You can use either whole cardamom pods or the peppercorn-size seeds for this recipe. Crush or bruise the seeds with the side of a chef's knife or a heavy-bottomed pan to help release the flavor. If necessary, substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom; the flavor will be fine, but the texture will be a little less silky.

Almost any semisweet or bittersweet chocolate will work in this recipe, although if you choose an extra-bittersweet one with more than a 65% cacao content, reduce the chocolate to 4 ounces and increase the sugar to 1/4 cup. MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

2 comments:

Swistle said...

*hyperventilating*

PixelPi said...

OMG. I thought it said "Chocolate Mouse."

I am such a terrible cook I could never make these delicious things. But someone could. And then send them FedEx.