Brownie Points or Epic Failure: No Bake Chocolate Mousse

I thought long and hard about a Valentine’s Day dessert recipe to tout to the twenty something gal who’s smart and savvy, but has little time to spend in the kitchen. The ease of  this chocolate treat made me curious; it is soooo easy to prepare even kids can make it. I’m not talking You, twenty something gals, I’m talking first and second graders, here! I watched them at a local Williams-Somona.  It was a promotion for Jennifer Tyler Lee’s book The 52 New Foods Challenge.  And so, that’s how the story begins, of this Valentine’s Day chocolate recipe…No Bake Chocolate Mousse

Although appealing to me, I must be honest with you, I didn’t score any brownie points with ‘the man’.  He would have been happier with.. ahem… Bobby Flay’s version (which btw takes over one hour and fifteen minutes to prepare). While cleaning up, He (aka the man) challenged me, “Are you altering the recipe for some minor nutritional improvements?” 

So here’s how it break downs, Honey:

Bobby Flay’s Dark Chocolate Mousse recipe  per serving : 450 calories, 33 g fat, 21 g sat’d fat, 97 mg cholesterol, 234 mg sodium, 17 g sugar, 2 g fiber.

Made according to my recipe (posted below) per serving: 227 calories, 14 g fat, 4 g sat’d fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, 15 g sugar, 7 g  fiber

Clearly this one was not so minor. That said, if you know your man loves to get jacked up on sugar and prefers milk chocolate to dark chocolate DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS RECIPE. It will fail. Save it instead for a girls night in. But, if he’s from California, you may proceed.No Bake Chocolate Mousse

For the interest of anyone who may be reading,  and asking me (along  with members of my family whose names I will withhold),  the obvious question: Why do you continue to use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate or avocado instead of heavy cream, if you know,  no one you’re cooking for  will appreciate it (except yourself)? These are some of the internal conflicts a blogger often faces and legitimately described by Regan Jones R.D. in her post How My Blog was Ruining Dinnertime. (If you’re interested in this topic and you haven’t read this, you should.) I have those same blogging issues. And yes, sometimes my family  accuses me of.. gasp.. cooking for the blog. So do I believe I should have made the dessert Bobby Flay’s  way?  No. For whatever it’s worth, I try to follow a give and take. Sometimes making the family favorites, other times pushing the envelope.  I do find that getting individuals to expand their palates is not an overnight process. (Twenty years ago my husband would not touch yogurt with a ten foot pole, now he reminds me when we’re out.) Yes, I said twenty years!!! Don’t give up! I do think it’s important to continue to expose individuals to healthier choices, mixed in with  familiar foods. It’s not perfect, but I’m not trying to be perfect at what I do, just good at it: wife, mother, blogger, and dietitian.

Let me know how you try to introduce new foods to your family? or do you prefer to just play it safe?

No Bake Chocolate Mousse (serves 2)

Serves 2     adjust servings


Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3/4 ounce dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 pitted date
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons sweetened whipped cream
  • handful of pomegranate seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. 1. Add avocado, cocoa powder, date, skim milk and vanilla to blender or food processor.
  2. 2. Process until smooth.
  3. 3. Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add melted chocolate to mixture in blender and blend again until creamy and smooth.
  4. 4. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or up to 24 hours. Serve with whipped topping. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 276kcal Calories from fat 171
% Daily Value
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Carbohydrate 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 16g
Protein 4g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

Cooking with Spirits: Amaretto Biscotti

Amaretto Biscotti It’s an adult topic. Liquor in the kitchen.  And it’s the  Recipe Redux July theme. Here is our challenge:

From plain Jane vanilla extract to fancy-pants elderflower liqueur, we like to keep a little liquor in the kitchen. Show us how you like to cook, bake or mix-it-up with spirits, extracts and other alcohols. A splash of vodka makes summer sauces shine – and liqueurs brighten desserts: What’s your healthy recipe with spirit?

Once again there are many ways that someone passionate about food /drink could go about this challenge. Rather than succumbing to my first thought, ‘I don’t know where to begin’,  I first checked to see what spirits I had on hand; my kitchen isn’t dry but the supply’s limited. Vanilla extract is a staple in my kitchen. A wine rack holds a few bottles of Australian Shiraz and a favorite bottle of chardonnay. Way back in the the cabinet sits an aging bottle of amaretto. Hmm, baked goods are sooo enhanced by this almond liqueur; maybe it’s time I  put  my bakers’ hat back on.  So I surfed the web for something to bake that would be redux worthy- in need of  a makeover. Then I found this: Amaretto Biscotti.

I made a few modifications; the first was to enhance these biscotti with the nutritional benefits of  whole wheat, but with lighter color and milder taste using whole white wheat for a portion of the all-purpose flour.  Dark chocolate was my choice for both the chocolate covered almonds and for finishing the biscotti based on taste preference, but let’s not forget there are also health benefits to moderate consumption of  dark chocolate  (related to plant phenols, or cocoa phenols to be exact). Now the result is no health food, but every once in a while a gal has to indulge herself, right? Well, that’s the mantra I share with my daugther and  I because I  baked these on her  birthday, they will also be known as birthday biscotti. Happy Birthday, Sydney!

Please be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more ‘spirited’ recipes!

Amaretto Biscotti

 

Amaretto Biscotti

Serves 24     adjust servings


Ingredients

(2 dozen)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup whole white wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 1 cup dark chocolate covered almonds
  • 4 ounces of dark chocolate, 72% cacao or higher

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. 3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. 4. Beat in eggss, liqueur, and vanilla and almond extracts until combined.
  5. 5. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture; beat until just incorporated.
  6. 6. Fold in raw and chocolate-covered almonds.
  7. 7. With your hands dusted in flour, divide dough in half and shape into two 3 x 12 inch logs on the prepped baking sheet.
  8. 8. Bake about 25 minustes until puffed and set. Cool about 10 minutes.
  9. 9. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs on a diagonal into 1-inch thick cookies; arrange cut side down on the baking sheet.
  10. 10. Return to the oven and bake, flipping halfway through until dry and golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.
  11. 11. Place 4 ounces of dark chocolate in small saucepan and melt slowly over medium heat. Drizzle on the biscotti and allow to set about 30 minutes.
  12. 12. Store in a metal tin with sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper between them.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 188kcal Calories from fat 86
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 56mg 2%
Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 10g
Protein 5g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g


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