6 Guilt-Free Dessert Recipes that Won't Tip the Scale

Celebrity chef Marisa Churchill, of Top Chef and Food Network Challenge fame, shares a few recipes from her new cookbook, Sweet & Skinny: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Life’s Sweeter Side without Tipping the Scales.

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Exotic Hot Chocolate

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Active time: 5 minutes 

Total time: 5 minutes

 

Spiced with cinnamon and cayenne, this is the perfect hot chocolate to warm up with on a cold day.

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Exotic Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

2 cups 1 % milk

6 packets Truvia® natural sweetener (1/8 cup & 1 tablespoon)

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 of a vanilla bean

1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3 star anise (available in the spice isle of the supermarket)

Pinch of salt

2 cinnamon sticks, optional for garnish

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Exotic Hot Chocolate

Preparation

In a small pot, combine the Truvia® natural sweetener, cocoa powder, cinnamon, star anise, salt, and cayenne.  Cut the vanilla bean in half length wise, scrape the black seeds out of the pod using the back of a knife, and add it into the pot.  Whisk in the milk

 

Place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Whisk frequently so that nothing settles to the bottom of the pot and burns. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pot from the heat.  Add in the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted.   

 

Pour the hot chocolate into two mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve immediately.

 

Note: This hot chocolate can also be made several days in advance, refrigerated, and reheated before serving.

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Strawberry Rouge

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Strawberry Rouge

Ingredients

½ cup cachaca or good quality rum (for a non-alcoholic version substitute 2/3 cup club soda)

1 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar

6 medium sized strawberries, rinsed and quartered

10 medium sized basil leaves, roughly chopped

2/3 cup pineapple juice, with no added sugar

2 Tablespoons lime juice, approximately 2 limes

2 packets Truvia® natural sweetener

½ cup crushed ice

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Strawberry Rouge

Preparation

In a tumbler, combine the basil, strawberries and lime juice. Muddle the mixture by pounding to break up the berries and release the basil flavor.

Add the cachaca or rum, balsamic vinegar, pineapple juice, Truvia® natural sweetener, and ice into the tumbler. Shake for several minutes, until the drink is chilled and well blended.

 

Strain only half of the mixture, so that you still get a few pieces of basil and strawberry in each glass.  Serve the drink in a well chilled martini glass.

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Nuts About Banana Cream Pie

Yield: Makes 12-14, depending upon the size of the slice

Active time: 50 minutes

Total time: 3 hours

 

Peanut butter and bananas are a perennial favorite combination, so this pie is always a huge hit. I’ve made the filling extra creamy by blending whipped fat-free evaporated milk with peanut butter and reduced-fat cream cheese. This is much tastier than simply spreading peanut butter on a banana!

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Nuts About Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients

9” deep dish pie crust, store bought

 

For filling:

8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature

14 packets Truvia® natural sweetener

1/2 cup chunky, natural peanut butter, salted

1/2 cup fat free evaporated milk, divided into two portions 1/4 cup each

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin

2 medium size ripe bananas, about 2 cups

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened toasted coconut, reserve 1/8 cup for garnish

1/8 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, as garnish

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Nuts About Banana Cream Pie

Preparation

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prick the bottom of the pie shell a dozen times with a fork. Bake in the oven, on the center rack, for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.  Allow the crust to cool completely before filling, about 30 minutes. The crust can also be baked the day before and stored at room temperature, until ready to fill.  If you could not find pre-toasted coconut, you can also place your coconut into the oven, and bake for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

Place 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk into a small pot. Whisk in the gelatin and allow to sit for 3 minutes to soften. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and cook, while whisking, until hot and the gelatin has melted.  Do not bring the mixture to a boil.  Transfer the hot milk to a mixing bowl, add in the other 1/4 cup of evaporated milk. Place this into the freezer for 10 minutes to chill before beating.

 

In the meantime, combine the cream cheese and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for one minute to incorporate.  Add in the Truvia® natural sweetener, and salt. Beat for an additional minute.  Set aside.

 

After 10 minutes, remove the evaporated milk from the freezer.  The edges of the milk should be starting to set. If they are not setting and the milk is not cold, place back in the freezer for an additional 5 minutes.  Beat the chilled milk for 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer on high speed.  It should now resemble whipped cream.

 

Spoon the peanut mixture into the evaporated milk and mix on medium speed for 1 minute to incorporate. Add half of the toasted coconut, 1/8 cup, into the pie filling, and mix until combined.

 

Spoon a third of the mixture into the baked pie crust, and smooth out, to cover the bottom of the crust.  Peel and slice the bananas into 1/4” thick slices.  Top the peanut mixture with all of the bananas. Cover the bananas with the rest of the peanut cream.  To garnish, top with the remaining toasted coconut and peanuts.

 

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour, or up to overnight, before serving.

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Chocolate Tiramisu Mousse Cake

Yield: Makes 12-14 servings

Preparation time: 90 minutes

Total time: 3 hours

 

An Italian dessert that’s a little bit of heaven in your mouth.

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Chocolate Tiramisu Mousse Cake

Chocolate sponge cake ingredients

Nonstick pan spray, for pan

½ cup all-purpose flour (I do not recommend whole wheat flour for this recipe)

¼ cup unsweetened dutched cocoa powder

⅛ tsp salt

¾ Cup of Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable*

3 large eggs

4 large egg whites

⅛ tsp cream of tartar

 

Coffee syrup ingredients

¼ cup brewed coffee

¼ cup coffee flavored liqueur, like Kahlua® brand

½ tsp coffee extract

Juice of 1 orange, 2 Tbsp

 

Tiramisu mousse ingredients

10 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup reduced fat ricotta

½ cup fat free evaporated milk

1 tsp gelatin

½ Cup Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable*

¼ cup cocoa nibs (available at Whole Foods), reserve 1 Tbsp to garnish

2 Tbsp cocoa powder, to garnish

Photo: Octavia Hunter

Chocolate Tiramisu Mousse Cake

Preparation

Bake chocolate sponge cake: Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third. Spray a 17-by-12 inch rimmed baking sheet with pan spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

 

To make the cake, stir together the flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl.

 

Place the Truvia® natural sweetener into a measuring cup.

 

Put the whole eggs into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the whisk attachment at high speed for several minutes, until thick, pale, and yellow. Slowly pour in the Truvia® natural sweetener in a slow and steady stream. Continue to whip the eggs for about 3 minutes. Add flour mixture into the eggs, and mix on low speed, just until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and mix well for 10-15 seconds.

 

In a clean bowl using clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites at high speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, then continue to beat until the whites hold a medium peak when you lift the beaters, about 2 minutes. A medium peak will look like a soft ice cream curl, it will arch and then curl back over.

 

Use a large spatula, gently fold the whites into the cake batter until blended and no longer streaky.

 

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the batter to make sure it's as level as possible in the pan.

Bake just until the cake feels soft and springy in the center when you press it lightly with your fingers, 6-8 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

 

Run a small paring knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the cake. Lay out a sheet of waxed paper slightly larger than the pan on a flat surface. Invert the pan over the waxed paper. Remove the pan and carefully peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the cake.

 

Note: You will need an 8” round spring form cake pan to make the cake. If you do not have this, you can also layer the cake into an 8” trifle mold or glass bowl. To build the mousse cake, cut the cake into two 8” round pieces. Reserve the additional cake scraps for the center layer.

 

Make coffee syrup: To make the syrup, combine all of the coffee syrup ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

Make tiramisu mousse: Place ¼ cup of the evaporated milk into a small pot. Whisk in the gelatin and allow to sit for 3 minutes to soften. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and cook, while whisking, until hot and the gelatin has melted. Do not bring the mixture to a boil. Transfer the hot milk to a mixing bowl, add in the other ¼ cup of evaporated milk. Place this into the freezer for 10 minutes to chill before beating.

 

In the meantime, combine the Truvia® natural sweetener and cream cheese. Beat using an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add in the ricotta and beat for 1 minute.

 

After 10 minutes, remove the evaporated milk from the freezer. The edges of the milk should be starting to set. Beat the milk for 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer on high speed. It should now resemble whipped cream.

 

Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the evaporated milk, and mix for 1-2 minutes to combine.

 

Assemble cake: To assemble the cake, place the first cake circle into the bottom of the cake pan, use a pastry brush, or, spoon ⅓ of the coffee syrup onto the cake. Spoon ⅓ of the tiramisu filling on top of the cake sponge and sprinkle half of the cocoa nibs on top.

 

Layer the cake scraps in the center layer, neatly creating a circle that will cover the tiramisu filling beneath. Cover the cake sponge with ⅓ of the coffee syrup, top with ⅓ of the tiramisu filling, and the other half of the cocoa nibs. Top with the final circle of cake. Cover the cake with the remaining coffee syrup. Top with the remaining mousse, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. To serve, dust the top of the cake with the cocoa powder. Sprinkle with the remaining Tbsp of cocoa nibs on top.

 

If you are using a spring form pan, wrap a hot towel around the outside of the cake pan before you unlatch the sides of the pan. This will warm the pan and help it to smoothly pull away from the sides of the cake. Slice and serve.

Photo: Octavia Hunter

“Almond Joy” Macaroons

Yield: Makes approximately 30 macaroons

 

As a child, I loved coconut desserts: macaroons, coconut cake and especially the chocolate-and-coconut Almond Joy candy bar. I haven’t eaten one of those in many years, but I do eat these cookies, designed to be reminiscent of the candy but not so cloyingly sweet. In this version, pineapple replaces some of the coconut for natural sweetness with fewer calories.

Photo: Holly Stewart

“Almond Joy” Macaroons

Ingredients

1/3 cup crushed pineapple packed in juice, drained

1 ¾ cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup sugar

¾ cup egg whites (from about 5 large eggs), or ¾ cup liquid egg whites

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Nonstick pan spray (if not using a baking mat)

About 30 whole almonds, skin on

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Sweet & Sugar Free! Substitute 6 tablespoons plus 2 ½ teaspoons (26 packets) of Truvia® for the sugar. Omit the flour and increase the pineapple to 2/3 cup. If the dough is too dry to scoop, stir in 1 tablespoon water before scooping. Baking the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes.

Photo: Holly Stewart

“Almond Joy” Macaroons

Preparation

Put the pineapple, coconut, sugar, egg whites, flour, and salt into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes, until all of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is sticky. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 weeks.

 

To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF with a rack in the center position. Coat a baking sheet with pan spray or line it with a silicone baking mat.

 

Scoop out tablespoon-size balls of the mixture to make about 30 cookies. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about ½ inch apart (they will not spread). Press an almond into the top of each cookie. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pan from front to back. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely, about 1 hour.

 

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler until you can stir it smooth. (Alternatively, use a microwave oven.) Spoon the melted chocolate over the cookies in a zigzag pattern. Allow the chocolate to harden before serving.

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Photo: Holly Stewart

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: Makes 16 cupcakes

 

Red velvet cake has been around since the 1920s, its signature color ranging from bright to brownish red. I use a natural red dye (found in health food and gourmet food stores) to color these cupcakes, with beet and cocoa added to boast both color and moisture. The traditional creamy white frosting is made with milk and flower, but I think cream cheese gives the best flavor and texture. While many cakes suffer under refrigeration, these remain moist and the frosting soft and luscious.

Photo: Holly Stewart

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cupcake ingredients

1 ½ cups cake flour

1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup low-fat buttermilk

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons finely grated raw beet

1 ½ tablespoons natural red food coloring

2 large eggs

2 egg whites from large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

 

Frosting ingredients

6 ounces (3/4 cup) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)

¾ cup powdered sugar

1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Photo: Holly Stewart

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Preparation

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350ºF with a rack in the center position. Line 16 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. Sift a second time to remove any lumps. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, beet, and food coloring. Set the bowls aside.

 

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and egg whites on high speed until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat for about 6 minutes longer, or until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Use a spatula to gently fold the flour mixture into the eggs, then fold in the buttermilk mixture.

 

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes in their liners to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours before frosting.

 

To make the frosting: Put the cream cheese into a medium bowl and sift in the powdered sugar. Use a paring knife to slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the bowl, or add the vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the frosting is completely smooth. (If using a standing mixer, use the paddle attachment.)

 

To finish: Frost the cupcakes with a small icing spatula. Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

 

Note: The frosting can be made up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered, before frosting the cupcakes.

Photo: Holly Stewart

Sweet & Skinny: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Life’s Sweeter Side without Tipping the Scales

Want more healthy recipes?

Then check out our slideshow on the healthiest recipes from "The Biggest Loser!"

 

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First Published Tue, 2012-01-03 10:53

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