For the love of chocolate! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I have had visions of chocolate laden desserts dancing in my head for several days now. Yes, I may be a dietitian, but that does not make me immune to the allure of chocolate, especially the molten variety such as a chocolate sauce or ganache. There is something about the rich, silken, texture of chocolate that makes it irresistible, but such desserts are inevitably as rich in calories as they are in appearance, so the Registered Dietitian in me has been hard at work creating a dessert that simply looks decadent, but is not! The featured recipe has less than half the butter, and two-thirds of the sugar in the original recipe, but tastes just as sinfully delicious. Warning: The batter may get consumed before it makes its way into the oven!
The refreshing taste of raspberries provides the perfect foil for the rich, velvety taste of the chocolate cake and molten sauce! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to get the scoop on why raspberries are as good for you as they look!
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 1-2 tsp Hershey’s natural, unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 4 tbsp)* + 2 tsp of unsalted butter
- 1 cup + 2 tsp confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease 6, 5.5-6 oz ramekins or custard cups with the 2 tsp of butter.
- Dust ramekins lightly with the unsweetened cocoa. Tap out any excess.
- Cut the 1/2 stick of butter into several pieces.
- In a thick bottomed pan, on very low heat combine the butter and chocolate chips, stirring constantly, until completely melted.
- Crack the whole eggs into a bowl and add the egg yolks. Reserve the egg whites for another use.
- Beat with a hand mixer until combined.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar, beat until light and thick.
- Add the melted chocolate and flour, beating again until well combined.
- Divide equally among the six ramekins.
- Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Transfer to the middle of the preheated oven and bake for approximately 11-12 minutes or until edges begin to set, but centers are still soft. Be careful to not over bake.
- Let stand for 2-3 minutes.
- Use a knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the sides of the ramekin.
- Put a dessert plate on the top of the ramekin. Using a pot holder to support the bottom of the hot ramekin, carefully invert the cake onto the plate.
- Cut a small wedge out of the cake to allow the sauce to flow.
- Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately**, garnished with the fresh raspberries.
*Increase to 6 tbsp or 2/3 stick of butter for a moister cake that is still lower in calories than the original.
** The sauce will begin to thicken and the edge of the cake may begin to harden if not served immediately.
A Registered Dietitian’s tip: Dark chocolate has been touted by experts and the media for its health benefits. Stay tuned for next week’s post to get the low down on how this all time favorite can also support health.
Ravishing raspberries: As nutritious as they are delicious, a cup of these luscious little beauties can supply 8 whopping grams of fiber, providing a third of the daily recommendation for fiber for women. Like dark chocolate, raspberries are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. In particular, raspberries are rich in an antioxidant called ellaigic acid.
What are anti-oxidants? To understand what antioxidants are and how they work, we need to understand what oxidative damage can do to the body. While we all know that oxygen is vital to life, oxidative damage involves “reactive oxygen species” where lone oxygen atoms called free radicals are produced. These nasty little substances tend to be short of electrons, making them highly unstable as they scavenge electrons from different compounds in your body, subsequently “oxidizing” them and triggering a cascade of chain reactions that can eventually lead to chronic disease.
For example, the oxidation of LDL or your “lousy cholesterol” creates an “oxidized” LDL that is thought to start atherosclerosis or a hardening and narrowing of your arteries.
Enter antioxidants: As their name suggest, these “super heroes” can quench free radicals, by giving up their own electrons, and neutralizing the “bad guys”. While most healthy folks have an arsenal of natural, antioxidant enzyme systems that like the marines are always on standby, ready to fight off free radicals, you can provide reinforcement to this battalion by consuming naturally occurring antioxidants from whole foods.
How do you spot an antioxidant? Antioxidants are easy to detect, as they are found in most brightly colored fruits and vegetables. In fact, the deeper and richer the color, the greater the antioxidant activity. Antioxidants often leave stains behind too, because of the pigments they contain, providing another clue to their presence. Think turmeric, blueberries, or strawberries, to name but a few.
Stay tuned for all about the antioxidants in chocolate in next week’s post!
Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informational purposes, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your personal physician or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored to your specific needs.