Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You say choco-holic like it's a bad thing!

And today isn't even my birthday! According to my handy-dandy food calendar, today is National Chocolate Day! All I have to say is…about time! I've been needing an excuse to dive into my sugar-free chocolate stash. And since it's almost Halloween, I just may whip up one or two chocolate-infused desserts for my friends.

First, the good news. Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. In addition, dark chocolate has a number of antioxidants that help balance certain hormones in the body, reduce the formation of free radicals and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, eating large quantities of any energy-rich food such as chocolate increases the risk of obesity.

So, as per usual, moderation is key folks!

Now to help you out, here are a few sucralose-sweetened chocolate recipes, courtesy of Hungry Girl and Splenda.com.

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups moist-style chocolate cake mix (half of an 18.25-oz. box)
Two 25-calorie packets diet hot cocoa mix
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
2 tbsp. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 tsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/8 tsp. salt
Place chocolate chips and the contents of both cocoa packets in a tall glass. Add 12 ounces of boiling water, and stir until chips and cocoa mix have dissolved. Place glass in the freezer to chill for 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once cocoa has chilled, give it a stir, and mix with all other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whip batter with a whisk or fork for 2 minutes. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray, or line it with baking cups. Evenly spoon batter (which will be thin, but don't worry, your cupcakes will puff up!) into the pan. Place pan in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Cupcakes will look shiny when done. MAKES 12 SERVINGS

Died and Went to Heaven Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot strong black coffee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cake pan or bundt with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
Blend flour, SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in large mixing bowl.
Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and coffee in a small bowl.
Add flour to mixture, using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix until Smooth (about 2 minutes).
Pour batter into cake pan or bundt pan.
Bake for 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Chocolate Velvet Mousse
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Curacao, Triple Sec, or brandy)*
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups sliced strawberries
Place chocolate and milk in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until chocolate melts. Set aside.
Stir together egg substitute, SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, cornstarch and Grand Marnier in a small mixing bowl. Add to chocolate mixture. Stir constantly. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken (approx. 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend or process briefly (10-20 seconds) to make a more creamy texture. Pour into medium bowl and cover.
Refrigerate chocolate mixture approx. 2-3 hours or until cool. Whip cream until stiff and fold into chocolate. Refrigerate overnight to set. Will keep refrigerated for 3 days.
To serve, layer strawberries and mousse in 6 all- purpose wine glasses.


My Year Without said...

Hi! I just found your blog looking for sugar free recipes. It looks like you have some really yummy recipes!

I have been sugar-free all year so far, and have chosen to stay away from Splenda/sucralose, and wondered if you had done any extensive research about it. I did a little and what I found was disturbing. Whole Foods, the giant health food store, won't carry it because the studies that have been done on it were either inconclusive or done by those backing Splenda. Also, Andrew Weil, MD speaks out against it....if you are interested, you could visit my blog and click on "Splenda" in the categories section.
I would be interested to know what you think!

Katie said...

Hello there! Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to Splenda/sucralose. Hopefully I can shed some light. Ever since I joined the Calorie Control Council two years ago - which is a non-profit trade association that represents the light food and beverage industry - I've read up on a LOT of research involving low-calorie sweeteners and fat replacers. Contrary to some of the negative hype found online, the safety of sucralose is documented by one of the most extensive and thorough safety testing programs ever conducted on a new food additive. More than 100 studies of humans and animals, conducted across a broad range of areas, clearly indicate that sucralose does not cause any adverse health effects, including cancer, birth defects, tooth decay and more. I personally have made Splenda part of my daily diet and feel comfortable telling others to do the same. If you're still suspicious, check out some of these sites for more information:
www.sucralose.org,www.caloriecontrol.org/sucralos.html,www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2006/406_sweeteners.html, and www.acsh.org/news/newsID.449/news_detail.asp.
Hope that helps!