Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sugar Free Treats

Bananas Foster Crème Brulee
12 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar substitute or no calorie, sugar free sweetener
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
3 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 bananas
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 tablespoon dark rum

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar substitute together until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Set aside. Using a double boiler, bring the cream to a light simmer stirring constantly - do not boil. Remove the cream form heat, then slowly pour the cream into the egg mixture. Add vanilla and rum.

Pour the egg and cream mixture back into the double boiler over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the custard is thick, about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a mesh colander or sieve into a clean bowl. Allow the mixture to cool some then chill for at least 6 hours.

Slice two ripe bananas and place in a bowl. Whisk together melted butter and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add dark rum and mix well. Add bananas and coat with mixture. Spoon bananas into serving cups then top with chilled custard mixture. Sprinkle top with Splenda Brown Sugar Blend and caramelize with a kitchen torch just slightly and serve.

Angel Food Cake
1/2 cup sugar substitute or no calorie, sugar free sweetener
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites (12)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup sugar substitute or no calorie, sugar free sweetener
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Move oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix 1/2 cup sugar substitute and flour; set aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl on medium speed until foamy. On high speed, beat in one cup of sugar substitute by adding two tablespoons at a time. Add vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sweetener. Continue beating until stiff and glossy meringue forms. Fold in 1/4 cup sugar-flour mixture at a time, just until sugar-flour mixture disappears. Gently spoon into an ungreased tube cake pan. Cut gently through batter with metal spatula or butter knife to remove any air bubbles and to spread batter gently against the side of the pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof funnel or bottle. Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen side of cake with knife or long, metal spatula and gently remove from pan.

Apple Cake
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup lite or no sugar added apple juice
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Fuji apples - peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour one 9-inch round or square baking pan.Beat the eggs until thick and light. Continue beating and add in the oil, applesauce and the apple juice. Stir in the flour gradually until well blended. Add the baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Place sliced apples on the bottom of the baking pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake tests done. Let cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes before turning out of pan.

Going Green-Organinc Food Recipes

Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms and Mascarpone
3 chicken breasts
1 pound of pre-cooked polenta
1 lb assorted fresh mushrooms such as baby bella, white, portabella and shiitake
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons fresh, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup mascarpone cream cheese

Cut chicken beast into thin strips and sauté in olive oil until done and set aside. (For faster preparation, precook chicken the night before and refrigerate.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice polenta into 1/2-inch slices and place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Coarsely chop mushrooms. Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper in oil, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add butter, lemon juice, and parsley and heat until butter melts and liquid forms a sauce. Slowly stir in cream and mascarpone and heat until sauce is warm and creamy. Remove from heat. Place a few slices of polenta on each plate and top with mushrooms, chicken and sauce. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Tomato Basil Brushetta
24 slices (1/2 inch thick) baguette (about 8 oz)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
1 can (14.5 oz) organic diced tomatoes, drained thoroughly
2 ripe, red organic tomatoes
3/4 cup fresh mozzerlla cheese, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Slice baguette in long diagonal slices. Heat oven to 425°F. Place bread slices on ungreased cookie sheet, and brush with olive oil. Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until very light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. While bread is baking, stir together all remaining ingredients except garlic. Cut garlic cloves in half. Rub cut sides of garlic over toasted bread slices. Spoon mixture onto bread slices. Serve immediately.

Little Sweethearts – Valentine Treats Kids Will Love

Chocolate Chip Heart Waffles
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Special Equipment – Heart shaped waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron and grease with cooking spray, if necessary. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in milk, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk into the flour mixture just until blended. Beat egg white and sugar with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into flour mixture. Spoon batter onto hot waffle iron, using the same amount you usually fill the iron and sprinkle chocolate chips over the waffle before closing the iron. Cook each waffle about 3 to 5 minutes or until done. Serve topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and sprinkles, if desired.

Sweet Cinnamon Valentine Cookies
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream powdered sugar, butter and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, except food coloring. Divide dough in half. Mix food color into one half and leave the other half as is. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into heart shapes with cookie cutters. Mix and match sizes and colors as desired. Place cookies about two inches apart on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until set and very lightly browned. Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to cooking racks.

Valentine Brownie Hearts
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with cooking spray. Heat chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring frequently, until melted then remove from heat. While chocolate is cooling, cream sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl on high speed for 5 minutes. Turn mixer speed down to low and slowly pour in chocolate. Stir in flour and chocolate chips until blended. Add nuts, if desired. Pour brownie batter into lined pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan then remove parchment to counter top and cut brownies with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Sandwiches with Strawberries & Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1 1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
6 to 8 cleaned and sliced strawberries
Whole wheat sandwich thins

Place the hazelnuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat 2 to 4 minutes or until just starting to brown. Place the hazelnuts and the chocolate chips in a large food processor and blend until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in one tablespoon of oil to chocolate and hazenuts while processing. Add another tablespoon of oil, if needed, until the mixture becomes smooth and easy to spread. Cut sandwich thins into heart shapes with a cookie cutter and spread the bottom piece with about one tablespoon of chocolate hazelnut spread. Top with strawberries and the top piece of the bread and serve.