Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Guilt Free Dessert Recipes

If you are like me, you'll know that at the end of a long day and a nice dinner, there is always room for something sweet. Most desserts out there are either: high in fat & calories, low in fat and high in sugar, or sugar free and high in fat. How can we get our fix without jeopardizing our efforts of the day? Try these recipes below and you too can beat the system. They are some of my favorites that I have collected from great chefs over the years. Happy Cooking!

Yogurt and Fruit Parfait (approx 200 calories per serving)
Jamel Drake
Yields 1 serving

1 cup fat-free vanilla flavored yogurt
1 Tbsp fat free whipped cream
15-10 chopped berries
Sprinkle of granola

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Blueberry Coffee Cake (210 calories per square)
Ellie Krieger

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or plain whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries

Cream butter and sugar together. Add one egg at a time to make sure they are well incorporated. Add vanilla and mix well. Then, incorporate non-fat plain yogurt. Mix well and set aside. In another bowl, mix all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt together. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2 stages. Mix well to incorporate and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine white sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1/2 of the cake batter to the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 of the nutty crumb mixture and a cup of fresh blueberries on top of the first layer of cake batter. Add the rest of batter and spread evenly. Add the rest of the crumb mixture on top. Bake 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Cool, unmold, and cut into 12 even squares. Enjoy!

Poached Pears (260 calories per pear)
Ellie Krieger

Yields 4 servings

2 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 1-inch strips orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
4 ripe pears

In a saucepan, combine wine, sugar, orange juice, zest, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Peel pears in the meantime making sure to leave the stem intact. Slice 1/2-inch off the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom. Gently place pears in poaching liquid, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to ensure even color, until pears are cooked but still firm. Remove saucepan from flame, uncover and cool with pears upright. Once cool, cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally, if desired. Gently remove pears from liquid and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, reduce liquid by about half over a medium-high flame for 15 minutes, until liquid is thicker and slightly syrupy. Remove from flame and let liquid come to room temperature. Drizzle each pear with 2 tablespoons syrup and serve.

Pumpkin Flan (100 calories per flan)
Ellie Krieger
Yields 8 servings

2/3 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup solid-pack pumpkin

Spray 8 (4 oz) ramikins lightly with cooking spray. Arrange ramekins inside a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and forms a medium-brown caramel, about 7 minutes. Working quickly, transfer 2 teaspoons of the caramel to each of the ramekins, swirling as soon as you spoon in the caramel (it will harden quickly). Set aside.

Combine milk and evaporated milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm. Reduce heat to a low simmer and keep milk warm. Meanwhile, bring about 4 cups water to a boil and keep hot. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fold pumpkin into egg mixture. Then fold into evaporated milk. Divide filling among ramekins, then place baking sheet in oven. Pour hot water into baking pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until flan is just set. Let cool. Place a dessert plate on top of each ramekin and invert; flan should slide out, and syrup should flow onto sides of the dish.

Fresh Raspberry Mousse Almond Crumb Cake (250 calories per serving)
Fitness Magazine

Yields 8 servings

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces (1/2 package) light cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup raspberry jam or preserves (preferably seedless)
3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) fresh raspberries (optional)
3 tablespoons (5/8 ounce) sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or potato masher or knife until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup for later use.

Add yogurt, vanilla and almond extracts, egg, baking powder, and baking soda to mixture. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Pour into 8-inch-round nonstick baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and jam; beat at low speed until blended. Spread evenly over batter. Top with reserved flour mixture, sprinkling of raspberries (optional) and almonds.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until edges are browned and center is nearly set. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate 3 hours, or until well chilled. Cut into 8 wedges.

Guilt Free Double Chocolate Brownies (111 calories per brownie)
Fitness Magazine

Yields 16 brownies

tablespoons butter
cup granulated sugar
cup cold water
teaspoon vanilla
cup all-purpose flour
cup unsweetened cocoa powder
teaspoon baking powder
cup mini semisweet chocolate pieces
teaspoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat the bottom of a 9-x-9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. In a medium saucepan, melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in sugar, water, and vanilla. Mix in flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder until combined. Add chocolate pieces. Pour batter into pan; bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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