Thursday, January 22, 2009

Guilt FREE Creamy Desserts

Experience the pleasure of rich desserts without the guilt.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse


Fluffy and rich, mousse is a classic make-ahead dessert. Serve as a satisfying midday snack or an after-dinner indulgence.

The custard base will be thick, but whipped topping is folded in to give it the classic airy texture of a mousse. Because this dessert needs time to chill, it is a terrific make-ahead option.

Yield
6 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup mousse and 1 teaspoon hazelnuts)

Ingredients
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup Frangelico (hazelnut-flavored liqueur)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Preparation

Combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Heat milk over medium-high heat in a small, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Place the milk mixture in pan, and cook over medium heat until very thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly. Spoon mixture into a medium bowl, and add liqueur, vanilla, and chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Place bowl in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until mixture is cool, stirring occasionally.

Remove bowl from ice. Gently fold in one-third of whipped topping. Fold in remaining topping. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.


Mango-Passion Fruit Gelato
Mango-Passion Fruit Gelato

Mango adds a fun tropical punch to this cold treat, but feel free to substitute fresh or frozen peaches if you prefer.

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups chopped peeled mango (about 2 mangoes)
2 cups passion fruit nectar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
Preparation

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Place sugar mixture and mango in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl; cool completely. Stir in the nectar and half-and-half.


Pour mango mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.


Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream Pie
Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream Pie

The filling for this ice cream pie combines vanilla ice cream with a cherry-brandy puree. Top with cherry-brandy sauce for an impressive finish.

All the flavors of the classic summertime dessert combine in this easy-to-prepare pie. Since the cherries are cooked, frozen ones work just fine--and they save you the trouble of pitting fresh ones.

Yield
8 servings (serving size: 1 pie wedge and 3 tablespoons sauce)

Ingredients
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons brandy
1 (12-ounce) package frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 cookie sheets)
4 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream, softened
Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Cool completely.

Combine butter and honey in a medium bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs, stirring to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Place 1/2 cup cooled cherry mixture in a food processor; process until smooth. Place the remaining cherry mixture in an airtight container; cover and chill.

Place softened ice cream in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add pureed cherry mixture, and gently fold in to achieve a swirl pattern. Spoon mixture into the cooled crust. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Top with reserved cherry sauce just before serving.

Chocolate Parfaits
Chocolate Parfaits

Use sugar-free, instant chocolate pudding instead of regular for a low-sugar filling that's still rich and creamy.

Prep: 20 min., Chill: 1 hr. We tried using both sugar-free instant and regular pudding mixes. To our surprise, we preferred the flavor of the sugar-free.

Yield
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients
1 (1.4-oz.) package fat-free, sugar-free chocolate instant pudding mix
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 (8-oz.) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
3/4 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (4 cracker sheets)
1 tablespoon freshly grated chocolate
Preparation

1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a bowl until blended and smooth. Fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping.

2. Spoon 1 Tbsp. crumbs into each of 6 (4-oz.) glasses, and top with 1/3 cup pudding mixture. Repeat layers with remaining crumbs and pudding mixture. Top each parfait evenly with remaining whipped topping and grated chocolate. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.


Caramel Custard
Caramel Custard
Boost your calcium intake with a serving of dairy-packed custard

Prep: 5 min., Cook: 5 min., Stand: 5 min., Bake: 1 hr., Chill: 3 hrs. The hot water bath helps insulate the custard from the direct heat of the oven and provides a more gentle environment for even baking.

Yield
Makes 10 servings

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 (14-oz.) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated fat-free milk
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preparation

1. Cook sugar in an 8-inch round cake pan (with 2-inch sides) over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, 5 minutes or until sugar melts and turns light golden brown. Remove pan from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. (Sugar will harden.)

2. Process egg yolks and next 5 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture over caramelized sugar in pan. Cover mixture with aluminum foil.

3. Place cake pan in a broiler pan. Add hot water (150°) to pan to a depth of 2/3 inch.

4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in center of custard comes out clean. Remove cake pan from water bath; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

5. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; invert onto a serving plate.

Tip: The 8-oz. blocks of 1/3-less-fat cream cheese have marks on the packaging noting 1 oz. measurements. By using these marks, it is easy to measure the 3 oz. of cream cheese that you need for this recipe.


Banana-Caramel Custard: Prepare custard recipe as directed, adding 1 medium-size ripe banana to egg yolk mixture in blender.

1 comment:

maggie said...

there should be a warning sign on top of your blog: dieters beware!

my tummy is growling, that's what your post did to me and my (tummy) *grins*.