It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to make some delicious sweets, but just in case you're still looking for something, here are two of celebrity chef Devin Alexander's healthy, yes, healthy, recipes with introductions from the Manhattan Beach-based chef.
True Love in a Bowl
I developed this recipe for a bodybuilder ex-boyfriend because he has a raging sweet tooth, yet always wanted to make clean eating a priority. Ice cream was his go-to comfort food, so what better way to deliver true love than through super-clean ingredients…made with love? Friends have since fallen in love with the recipe. And as someone who’s lost 70 pounds and kept it off for many years, I actually consider this recipe “important” in my life. Hopefully you’ll give and get love through it too!
I always keep a few bananas in my freezer so I am ready when a chocolate craving hits. Just be sure to peel the bananas before you freeze them!
2 medium, peeled, frozen bananas
2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, to taste
Cut the bananas into 1-inch pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Sprinkle the cocoa powder over the bananas*. Process the bananas on high and cocoa powder until smooth, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. It will take at least a few minutes for the bananas and cocoa powder to fully incorporate and become thick and creamy like ice cream. Stick with it. The payoff is chocolate decadence!
Divide the mixture between martini glasses, heart-shaped ramekins or other small bowls and serve immediately.
Makes 2 (about a heaping half cup) servings. Each serving has: 122 calories, 2 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates (21 g sugar), <1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 1 mg sodium
*If you want the banana flavor to shine through, use just 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. If you’re like me and prefer it to more closely resemble chocolate “ice cream” use 3 tablespoons (or more). :)
By Devin Alexander ©2006
Chocolate not-Only-In-Your-Dreams Cake
I dreamed about eating a cake like this for years (both in my sleep and just rapid-ﬁre thoughts during the day). I’m serious. I’m one of those “There’s no such thing as chocolate cake that’s too rich” types. I was dieting, but I would have to “cheat” with chocolate from time to time just to keep my sanity.
And then came this cake. It’s as rich as they come and I love it more than any other ﬂourless chocolate espresso cake I’ve had. Plus, it packs six grams of ﬁber, so it really is guilt free!
If you really want to impress your friends, store some, unbaked, in the ramekins in an airtight container in your freezer. When you need a no-fuss dessert, pop them in the water bath and bake them 30 to 32 minutes.
Butter-ﬂavored cooking spray
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1 cup dark or light brown sugar (not packed)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon very ﬁnely ground espresso beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
4 raspberries, optional
Four 3-1/2 -inch-diameter ramekins
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Generously mist four 3-1/2 -inch-diameter ramekins with spray. Place them side by side in an 8 X 8-inch baking pan. Add water to the pan until it reaches halfway to the top of the ramekins.
Use a sturdy whisk or spatula to mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add the cocoa powder, espresso and salt. Stir until just combined and no lumps remain. Divide evenly among the ramekins (each ramekin will be about two-thirds full).
Bake for 21 to 24 minutes, until the tops look silky and puff slightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a bit wet. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the ramekins from the water bath to a cooling rack. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then invert each ramekin onto a dessert plate. Let stand for 1 minute, and then slowly lift off the ramekin (the cakes should come out on their own, but if they don’t, run a knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen them). Cool for another 5 to 10 minutes. Use a ﬁne sieve to evenly dust each cake with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar. Place one raspberry on the center of each cake, if using. Serve immediately.
No more than 20 minutes hands-on prep time.
Makes 4 cakes; 4 servings or 8 portions
Each 1-decadent-disk portion (1/2 cake) has: 101 calories, 3 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g ﬁber, 182 mg sodium
Each 2-decadent-disk serving (1 cake) has: 203 calories, 7 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g ﬁber, 364 mg sodium
You save: 293 calories, 33 g fat, 19 g saturated fat
Traditional serving: 496 calories, 6 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 35 g fat, 20 g saturated fat, 195 mg cholesterol, 3 g ﬁber, 369 mg sodium
Recipe taken from Devin Alexander's THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER!
Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.
To learn more about Chef Devin Alexander, visit her website, www.devinalexander.com, and follow her on Twitter: @chefdevin.