Sweet and satisfying without the guilt—our desserts are both scrumptious and healthy. The key to enjoying your favorite sweet treat, while still following a healthy diet, is to consume in moderation.
These flourless chocolate cakes are as rich as a restaurant dessert, but they’re made with a fraction of the fat and no dairy butter. When these cakes bake, the gooey filling causes the center to sink in.
1 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 large eggs
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
Powdered sugar (optional)
Place pistachios in a food processor; process until a crumbly paste forms (about 3 1/2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once.
Place 1/4 cup pistachio butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, cocoa, eggs, and egg whites in top of a double boiler; stir well with a whisk. Add chocolate; cook over simmering water until chocolate melts and sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat; add baking powder and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Chill 2 hours.
Place remaining 1/4 cup pistachio butter and 1/2 cup sugar in food processor; pulse 4 times or until combined. Add milk and salt; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a small saucepan; discard solids. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 4 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; pour into a bowl. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Bake cakes at 450° for 9 minutes or until almost set (centers will not be firm). Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert each cake onto a dessert plate; drizzle with sauce. Garnish with powdered sugar, if desired.
Heart Healthy Dessert? Really?
Oui Mon Cher, even dessert. For our fifth heart healthy installment these bite-size chocolate brownies are packed with dried cranberries and chopped pistachios for tangy sweetness and the perfect amount of crunch.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick aluminum foil.
2. Pour water to a depth of 1 inch into bottom of a double boiler over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer; place butter, chocolate, and coffee in top of double boiler over simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs on low speed. Add next 4 ingredients; beat until blended. Stir in chocolate mixture; fold in flour. Stir in pistachios and cranberries. Pour into prepared baking pan, spreading batter evenly.
4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours or overnight. Cut brownies into 36 (1 1/4-inch) squares.
VANILLA BOURBON SWEET POTATO PIE
As Natchez, Mississippi nears its tri-centennial one of their true Southern desserts is featured in this blog.
Sweet potato pie is a traditional side dish in the Southern United States. It is often served during the American holiday season, especially at Thanksgiving, and is similar in many ways to pumpkin pie. Marshmallows are sometimes added as a topping, but this was adopted more in the Northern United States than in the South.
It is usually made as a large tart in an open pie shell without a top crust. The filling consists of mashed sweet potatoes, milk, sugar and eggs, flavored with spices such as nutmeg. Other possible ingredients include vanilla or banana extracts. The baked custard filling may vary from a light and silky to dense, depending on the recipe’s ratio of mashed potato, milk and eggs.
Though creamy vegetable pie recipes date back to Medieval Europe, sweet potato pie appears in the southern United States from the early colonial days. Like many sweet potato recipes, sweet potato pie was likely developed by African-American slaves from traditional African cuisine, making it a staple of soul food today. Recipes for sweet potato pie first appeared in printed cookbooks in the 18th century, where it was included with savory vegetable dishes. By the 19th century, sweet potato pie was more commonly classified as a dessert.
3 large sweet potatoes (2 1/4 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 1/4 sheets)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup pecan halves
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey
1. Prepare Filling: Bring sweet potatoes, salt, and water to cover to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat; cook 35 minutes or until tender. Drain. Peel potatoes, and mash with a potato masher in a large bowl. Let cool slightly. Whisk together sugar, vanilla, bourbon, and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir sugar mixture into sweet potatoes. Stir in flour.
2. Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter; press mixture on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes or until center is set.
TORTA DU BARD
Named for my new friends DuBard House in Grenada, Mississippi, this dessert is an easy and yet, very elegant dessert to serve your guests.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
- 1 egg + 4 yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1 2/3 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup less two tablespoons peeled almonds and pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- Halve the pine nuts crosswise, and peel and sliver the almonds. Preheat the oven to 350°F (about 180°C).
- Melt the butter. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow. Add the lemon rind, the flour a bit at a time, the butter, and, finally, the baking powder.
- Pour the batter into 9-inch baking pan that has been buttered and dusted with flour and powdered sugar; sprinkle the surface of the cake with the nuts. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry (it will also begin to pull away from the sides of the pan).
- Once the DuBard has cooled, dust it with powdered sugar and serve.
Amazing White Cupcakes with Creamy Whipped Frosting
A good friend of ours in LA , (Lower Alabama), requested a perfect cupcake recipe; not dry but super moist, and the frosting smooth and not overly sweet. Majik this is for you.
Ingredients For Cupcake
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
Ingredients For Frosting
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preparation – Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place oven rack on the bottom third of the oven. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside. In a large bowl and mixer add the oil and the sugar. Beat them together for approximately two minutes so they are mixed well and the sugar has dissolved. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat again for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium low speed just until it’s incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add the sour cream and beat on medium low speed till the sour cream is mixed in very well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and beat for about 30 seconds more to be sure everything is mixed well.
With a spoon or scoop, fill the cupcake liners slightly over half full. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Preparation – Frosting
Whisk milk into flour in a small saucepan until smooth. Heat and stir until it boils and thickens. Cool thoroughly.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add thickened milk. Beat until mixture resembles whipped cream.
Frost cupcakes. If you aren’t serving these right away, keep them refrigerated but let them come to room temp before serving.
The perfect dessert to clean the palate, cool refreshing Lemon Sorbet.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from the heat, and cool. Combine the syrup with the lemon and zest and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After the sorbet is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.