Chocolate-Orange Mousse

Another day and another attempt at guilt-free desserts.  This little chocolate fella was found on Handle The Heat last Friday, and immediately got my attention.  Today I put my skeptic hat on and decided to try the recipe.   To be honest, I wasn’t really planning on making a pretty mousse; I didn’t even believe there is a slight chance it would end up tolerable: never had a tofu dessert before, and always thought there was a good reason for that.

I just wanted to experiment how much chocolate you really need to kill that blah flavor of tofu.  The fact, that my husband is obsessed with dark chocolate, and we have Endangered Species stashed in every corner of our house, helped a lot – I felt no guilt in wasting one bar on a potentially tragic dish.    

Surprisingly, the amount specified by the original recipe was quite sufficient!  Furthermore, the dessert quickly passed Milton test!   Even my men liked it (the 3-year old only after he was… misinformed… that it was ice-cream)!  This chocolate mousse was  super easy to make and even easier to devour…   Hope you give it a try!

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CHOCOLATE-ORANGE SILK MOUSSE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (14-ounce/abt 400 g) package silken tofu
  • 4 ounces/abt 110 g extreme dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 oz/85 g chocolate wafer

DIRECTIONS:

Crumb the wafers in a food processor.  Set aside.    Using food processor’s grater attachment, grind the chocolate.

Boil the water.

Combine cocoa powder, grated chocolate, and water, mix well, till everything dissolves.  Add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract and mix till incorporated.  Add orange zest (this ingredient was suggested to be left optional by the Awesomest Neighbor).

Puree tofu in a food processor till smooth.  Add the chocolate mixture and blend till everything is well incorporated.

Assemble the mousse by layering wafer crumbs and tofu mixture in a cup.  Decorate top with a few left-over crumbs and orange zest.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Honey Muffins

YES! I will say it! Even though I already feel like a traitor, sorry fellow healthy eating bloggers, but no matter how much you advertise low calorie, low sugar desserts, I’m yet to find the one that tastes same or better than its heavily buttered and generously sugared counterpart.

It seems like the new family motto is “Going meatless! Going light!” Not sure it will stick (in fact, I’m seriously planning to break the cycle tomorrow!!!) but here is another healthy recipe.  Its honey aroma fills the house up with a holiday sent!  The kids and the man were clueless about it being low-calorie. I, of course, thought it needed a bit of butter love (adopted from Cooking Light).


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HONEY MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tbs oil
  • 3 tbs apple sauce
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tsp confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)

Yields 12 muffins

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325°.

Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray, and dust with breadcrumbs; set pan aside.

Combine sugar and eggs in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add honey, oil, and apple sauce; stir well. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture; stir well. Stir in coffee. Add remaining flour mixture, and stir just until flour mixture is moist. Mix in walnuts and raisins.

Spoon cake batter into the muffin pan, and bake at 325° for 30-40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack.  If desired, dust with confectioners sugar.

I am down playing of course, but if you, like me, cannot stop wishing for an unhealthier version of this, think about it this way – the less tasty it is, the less of it you will have, which is certainly good for you! How about that prospective?

Light Fruit Tart

We had our fair share of Valentine’s evenings that are quite memorable.   A few where we are sitting in this or that romantic restaurant packed with couples trying to be romantic pretending we are not hearing our neighbors trying to be romantic, pretending they are not hearing us trying to be romantic, pretending…  

The most special one is when while waiting to be seated in our favorite seafood joint, we met this older couple (he was a WWII veteran).  Here we are, thinking, wow!!!, what could be more inspiring than spending the evening with these old love birds!? They happily agree to share a table with us.  A few wine glasses later, Dave and I are just about to get all starry-eyed and envision ourselves  in 50 years still madly in love, when we find out that the couple is actually cheating on his hospitalized wife, they are swingers, and would love to invite us over to her place after the dinner!

So, this year we celebrated at home.  Of course I faced a dilemma.   How do you enjoy a festive dinner, and yet fit into that special night gown later on…

This recipe is a pretty light dessert – a much skinnier version of a traditional fruit tart, but still yummy and exceptionally easy to make.  Adopted from TasteOfHome

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LIGHT FRUIT TART

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tbs cold butter, grated
  • ¼ cup water, ice-cold
  • 1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups halved fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup fresh kiwi, peeled, and cut in circles

GLAZE:

  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cups unsweetened pineapple-coconut juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Yields 16 servings

DIRECTIONS:
Make crust: in a large bowl, mix flour, confectioners’ sugar, and butter until crumbly. Add water and mix the dough. Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to form a ¼ inch-thick (about 5 mm) sheet.
Place onto an ungreased 12-in. tart baking platter. Cover lightly with foil. Bake at 350°/175⁰ C for 10-12 minutes for about 20 min, remove the foil and bake for another 1-15 min or until very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Make filling: in a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth with a hand mixer. Spread over crust. Arrange the strawberries, oranges and kiwi on top.
Make glaze: in a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and juices until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool and drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate until chilled.

And finally, my most delicious desserts, my little Valentines.

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