Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

CARAMEL LAYER COOKIE BARS

No such thing as too many cookies…so here ya’ go.

These were created to use with Cinnamon Bliss…one of my favorite things on earth.  You can find it in this link at Amazon.com and a little goes a long way, so the jug will last awhile.  If you can’t find it or don’t want to have that much hanging around, my Gold Caramel Sauce or a good-quality store-bought sugar-free sauce would be wonderful in these.

(Using the commercial stuff, these are fairly full of sugar alcohols – which I’m not fond of.  Whey Low doesn’t contain any, so using that and the recipe for Caramel Sauce would be best if you are sensitive to SA’s.)

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Crust:
Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup Whey Low granular, Maltitol crystals, or Splenda Granular
1 tablespoon sugar-free maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preaheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.
Stir together almond flour, flour, oatmeal, Nature Sweet crystals or Splenda, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix until crumbly.  Reserve 1/2 cup for the topping. Pat remainder into the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until starting to become golden on the edges.

Filling:
2/3 cup Cinnamon Bliss OR Gold Caramel Sauce – recipe link above (or store-bought SF)
2/3 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds

Bring sauce and nuts to boil and, stirring constantly, boil for 2 minutes. Pour over baked crust.  (If using Gold Caramel Sauce, just heat through…don’t boil or it will be TOO chewy!)

Topping:
4 ounces sugar free Dark or Milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup reserved crumbs

Sprinkle chopped chocolate over caramel layer. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over chocolate. Return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until caramel is bubbly on edges and top crumbs are slightly golden. Cool in pan and cut into 16 pieces.  Makes 16 servings.

Per servings: Calories 207; Protein 4 g; Fat 15 g; Carbs 15 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 83 mg

 

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CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CAKE ROLL

Chocolate and cake in the same dessert is wonderful.  Add in some cool, wintery peppermint-laced cream filling and let’s just swoon and get it over with, shall we?!

So pretty!

Your holiday table will love you for the effort you put forth to make this.  (And it’s not hard – don’t be scared of a cake roll.  If something awful happens when you try to re-roll it, just break it up in chunks, place in beautiful goblets, add a little more cream on the top and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.  No one will guess…or even care!!)

This is best made at least a day in advance.  The cake becomes moist and melts in your mouth and the filling more mellow and perfect!

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Cake:

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, separated

3/4 cup Whey Low Granular or maltitol crystals (or Splenda granular as a last resort)

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 11×15 inch jelly roll pan with vegetable cooking spray and line the bottom with waxed or parchment paper.  Coat paper with cooking spray.

Lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle it with 1/4 cup powdered sugar or powdered Whey Low. (Most of this will stay on the towel.)

In a small bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Separate the eggs and, with very clean beaters, whip the whites with 1/4 cup of the Whey Low/maltitol, until soft peaks form.  Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup Whey Low for two minutes, until thick and light yellow.  Beat in the water and vanilla.  Beat in the flour mixture in two batches, just until combined and smooth.    Gently stir in half of the egg whites.  Carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites, just until no streaks remain.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or just until cake springs back when touched lightly.  Do not overbake!  An over-done cake will crack when you try to roll it.

Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and invert cake onto towel.  Carefully remove paper.  Starting on the short end, slowly roll the cake AND the towel.  Place on a wire rack and cool completely – at least 30 minutes.

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Filling:

One 8-ounce package fat-free or reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

5 tablespoons Splenda Granular

1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract

3 cups whipped cream, chilled (use 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream) OR 3 cups Cool Whip, thawed

2 sugar-free candy canes OR 10 sugar-free starlight mints, crushed (or regular, if you can’t find sugar free…it’s hardly any added sugar grams per serving)

3 drops red food coloring

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In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with the Splenda and peppermint extract until smooth.  Beat in whipped cream or Cool Whip until combined.  Stir in crushed candies.  Fold in the food coloring, leaving a few streaks…it will look like a candy cane!

Gently unroll the cake, leaving it on the towel.  Don’t force it to lay completely flat.  Spread the filling evenly over the cake, and slowly re-roll as before.  If it cracks don’t panic…you can probably lay that part on the plate and no one will be the wiser!

Sprinkle with cocoa powder and a little powdered sugar, if desired.    Chill for at least overnight.  This is best made a day ahead…seriously!Makes 16 servings.

Per Serving (using fat free cream cheese): Calories 115; Protein5 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 7 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 146 mg

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CHOCOLATE-MINT CHEESE BALL

Just in time for the Holiday dessert tables that are everywhere you go.  You can’t escape this time of year – the buffets, the lunch rooms, the office parties, and hundred and one other occasions to eat…each filled with stuff we shouldn’t have.

This one everybody will love – whether they like to eat low-sugar or not!  Most bigger grocery stores carry the sugar free star-light peppermints, or you can order from an on-line candy store.  One of my favorites is Perfectly Sweet.  Or there is Candy.com, but they sell in bulk.  I don’t know…you might want 425 star-light mints.  Who am I to judge?!

I serve it with the Murray’s Double Chocolate Cookies – or graham crackers – or off of a spoon…

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One 8-ounce pkg. reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup Splenda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
One 4 ounce package sugar-free peppermint candies
1/4 cup Hersey’s sugar free chocolate chips or other sugar free chocolate, finely chopped

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, Splenda, vanilla, 3 tablespoons finely crushed candies, and chocolate. Place in a small plastic wrap-lined bowl and chill 4 hours or overnight. Unmold cheese ball and place on a pretty plate. Gently press 1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candies onto the surface. 

The candies tend to get “wet” if left in the fridge too long. I would press them onto the surface just before serving.

Makes ten servings, 2 tablespoons each.
Per Serving: 118 Cal; 3 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 4 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar

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Blog78

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE

When I saw this recipe I was very skeptical…usually these kind leave a LOT to be desired.

But this is one moist and delicious dessert!  And unless you told someone they would never, in a million years, guess what the secret ingredient was.

It’s very flavorful and rises well…not eggy or too dense…just right.  It has a very nice texture and a tender, moist crumb.  (I thought it got better the next day – the flavors more intense and when stored in the fridge it’s nice and fudgey, almost.)

It’s beans and eggs with a little cocoa powder thrown in – it’s very good for you.  (The carbs are complex one and come from the beans.)  Seriously!  Do try this, you won’t be disappointed.

I have to give credit to Lauren from Healthy Indulgences for the inspiration.

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One 15-ounce can unseasoned black or kidney beans – drained and rinsed (I prefer S&W kidney beans for this)

1 tablespoon water or coffee (the coffee will bring out more intense chocolate flavor)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup Whey Low granular or maltitol

5 eggs

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(I recently made the WHOLE thing in the blender.  Gets pretty thick, so you need a fairly powerful machine, but it works great. I pureed the beans first with the water/coffee and an egg…then added the rest of the eggs…then the remaining ingredients.  Processed till smooth.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Coat a 9 or 10 inch cake pan with vegetable cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a blender, food processor or with a hand held blender wand, puree the beans, water/coffee, and vanilla until smooth.  Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter and the Whey Low for one minute with an electric mixer.  Beat in the eggs for two minutes, or until very light and fluffy.  Beat in the bean mixture, just until combined.  Beat in the cocoa mixture for one minute, until very smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or frost and cover.  Makes 10 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 171; Protein 6 g; Fat 11 g; NET Carbs 10 g; Sugar 5 g; Sodium 155 mg

Blog98

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BLOG

35-SECOND CHOCOLATE CAKE

Now here’s a sweet little sweetie that you can mix and cook in the cup and in – alright maybe 1 1/2 minutes tops – you’ll have a cute little cutie for a guilt free snack.  (But it’s only 35 seconds in the microwave…so there!)  Soooo good, for so not a lot of work!

The best part?  No huge 16-serving monstrosity sitting on your counter staring you down every time you pass by the kitchen.

I’ve been experimenting with different flavors (a White Velvet and a Lemon one) so stay tuned…check back…don’t go away!

If you wanted to make a “Master Mix” so that when the urge hits you can do this even quicker, multiply the dry ingredients in the recipe by 10, mix very well, and keep in an airtight container.  THEN when you want a nice warm cake, measure 1/3 cup and add the wet ingredients.  Perfect!!  (Thanks to reader Cindi for the idea!!)

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2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 tablespoons Splenda Granular or Whey Low powdered

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon  instant coffee crystals – optional, but brings out the chocolaty YUM!

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon oil

Drop of vanilla extract

Spray a coffee cup or ramekin with vegetable cooking spray.  In the cup combine the flour, Splenda, cocoa powder, baking powder, coffee crystals and salt until no lumps remain.  Stir in the milk, olive oil, and vanilla until smooth.

Bake in the microwave on high for 35 seconds.  You may need to add 5 more seconds (maybe 5 more after that, depending on your microwave)… but don’t be tempted to overcook or it will be rubbery!  It should be moist on the bottom and will continue cooking as it sets.

Serve with chocolate sauce…a sprinkle of powdered sugar…whipped cream or eat plain as a brownie.

(Use hot or cold leftover coffee in place of the crystals and milk to lower the calories even more.)

Total Recipe: 110 Cal; 2 g Protein; 5 g Fat; 14 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 0 mg Sodium

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BLOGS

CINNAMON-CHOCOLATE TEA BREAD

I love to make quick breads.  They are hardly any work, but always rewarding!

This one is soft and buttery with a ribbon of cinnamon infused chocolate running through…can’t get any more comforting than that!

Slather it with some fat free cream cheese, if you like…but warm and plain is just fine!

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Topping:
1/4 cup Whey Low Powdered
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped sugar free dark chocolate (milk choc would be fine, too)

Bread:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Whey Low Granular
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat with vegetable spray, two mini loaf pans or an 8X8 inch square pan.

For the topping:
In a small bowl cut the softened butter into the sugar sub and cinnamon with a fork. Stir in the chopped chocolate and set aside.

For the bread:
In a small bowl stir together the flour, almond flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a medium bowl cream the butter with the sugar sub until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and sour cream. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture just until combined. Pour 1/4 of the batter into each prepared pan (or 1/2 of the batter into an 8×8 pan).

Sprinkle 1/4 of the topping onto the batter in each pan. Divide the remaining batter between the pans and sprinkle the remaining topping over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester comes out with large, moist crumbs when inserted into the middle.

Remove from the oven to a wire rack. Run a sharp knife around the edge and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool on wire rack. (If using a square pan, you don’t have to remove the cake.) Slice and eat while slightly warm or wrap each mini loaf tightly with plastic wrap. Makes 16 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 114; Protein 2 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 7 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 53 mg

BLOGS2b

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BLOGS

MOCHA CAKE

This is always requested for birthdays, potlucks…just about anywhere someone wants me to bring a cake – this one is IT!

I adore this – it’s very, very chocolaty and extremely moist.  (It’s not low-carb…sometimes you can’t mess too much with a great thing.  But it’s sugar free or low sugar, depending on which sub you use.)

One of the secrets is to never over-bake your cakes.  I know books and everywhere will tell you it’s done when it pulls away from the pan.  I think that’s too late.  There will be some carry-over baking from the residual heat and it will be dry when it’s cooled.

Baking JUST until large, moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted in the middle is PERFECT.  It will continue to bake for a few minutes out of the oven, but won’t be over-done at all.  I also cover it with plastic wrap while it’s still warm…this keeps the moisture in, too.

Anyway…frosted or not, this will be a favorite of yours, too.  I love to use it as a “shortcake” with berries and cream – very different and very unexpected.  Everyone will like it that way!

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2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups Whey Low granular

1 cup oil

1 1/2 cups hot coffee

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 or two 8-inch rounds with vegetable cooking spray.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the sugar sub, oil, coffee, milk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Batter will be thin.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean near the center.

Do not overbake by waiting until cake comes away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack and when almost cool place some toothpicks randomly into the cake and cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil. This will keep it even more moist. Makes 20 servings.

Per Serving (with Nature Sweet): 230 Cal; 5g Protein; 13g Tot Fat; 24g Carb; 2g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 262 mg Sodium


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PecanTorte39sm BLOGS

PECAN CHOCOLATE TORTE
Cake:
Vegetable Cooking Spray
1 cup broken pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup Nature Sweet Crystals
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar free hazelnut syrup
Frosting:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Splenda
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat two 8-inch round cakes pans with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.  Place a medium bowl and electric mixer beaters in the freezer.
In a small bowl combine pecans, flour, salt, and baking powder.  In a blender or food processor, add eggs, NS crystals, and vanilla.  Process for 30 seconds.  Add the nut mixture.  Cover and process until smooth; about 1 1/2 minutes.  Divide batter between prepared cake pans.  (It will seem like a very little amount of batter.)
Bake for 15-25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  (Centers may appear fallen slightly.)  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes and then loosen cakes and remove from pans.  Return to racks and cool completely.
In the chilled bowl whip the heavy cream until soft mounds form.  Add the Splenda, unsweeted cocoa powder, and cinnamon.  Beat until just combined.  Return to the fridge until ready to use.
To assemble the cake:  Split each layer in half, horizontally, with a serrated knife.  Brush at least two of the layers with the hazelnut syrup.  Place one on a plate and spread 1/3 cup of frosting.  Repeat until you’ve used all the layers.  Frost the top and sides of the cake.  Garnish with berries, or chocolate curls if desired.  Makes 16 servings.
Per Serving: 152 Cal; 3 g Protein; 11 g Tot Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 62 mg Sodium
PECAN CHOCOLATE TORTE
A beautiful cake with very little flour – so no need to panic about the simple carbs.  I love that it goes together quickly and looks so impressive.  Crushed berries would be perfect to nestle between the layers, too.
(Take a peek at the inside, below…)

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Cake:

Vegetable Cooking Spray
1 cup broken pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup Whey Low Granular
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
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Frosting:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Splenda
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat two 8-inch round cakes pans with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.  Place a medium bowl and electric mixer beaters in the freezer.
In a small bowl combine pecans, flour, salt, and baking powder.  In a blender or food processor, add eggs, sugar sub, and vanilla.  Process for 30 seconds.  Add the nut mixture.  Cover and process until smooth; about 1 1/2 minutes.  Divide batter between prepared cake pans.  (It will seem like a very little amount of batter.)
Bake for 15-25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  (Centers may appear fallen slightly.)  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes and then loosen cakes and remove from pans.  Return to racks and cool completely.
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In the chilled bowl whip the heavy cream until soft mounds form.  Add the Splenda, unsweeted cocoa powder, and cinnamon.  Beat until just combined.  Return to the fridge until ready to use.
To assemble the cake:  Split each layer in half, horizontally, with a serrated knife.  Brush at least two of the layers with the hazelnut syrup.  Place one on a plate and spread 1/3 cup of frosting.  Repeat until you’ve used all the layers.  Frost the top and sides of the cake.  Garnish with berries, or chocolate curls if desired.  Makes 16 servings.

Per Serving: 152 Cal; 3 g Protein; 11 g Tot Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 62 mg Sodium

PecanTorte40sm BLOGS

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SH

CAPPUCCINO CHEESECAKE with DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Rich, creamy, velvety-smooth with that bite from the coffee and wonderfulness of deep, dark chocolate….what a way to go!

Do NOT make cheesecake with fat-free cream cheese – not if you want an exceptional dessert.  It doesn’t give that real-cakey-almost-dry texture that we associate with fabulous cheesecake.

And when it comes to dessert – it’s DESSERT.  It should be awesome – it’s not an every day food, so you don’t indulge all the time…but when you do you want it to be absolutely memorable!

One of my good friends is fond of saying: “A little bit of fabulous is a lot more fun than a bowlful of ordinary!”


I especially love the Murray’s sugar free double fudge cookies for this. They are slightly chewy but in the food processor they crumble great. I didn’t have any at the moment I made this one, but it really is better with a chocolate crust!

One thing that I think is super important in regards to cheesecakes: They are best made at least one day before serving. They actually get better and better the longer they are allowed to chill. I leave mine for two days.


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Crust

1 1/4 cups sf chocolate cookie crumbs  (I prefer chocolate…but any will work)

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling

Four 8-ounce pkgs reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/4 cups Splenda Granular

4 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals (decaf is fine)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 eggs

Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee crystals

4 ounces sugar free dark chocolate, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and butter. Mix well. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in Splenda, coffee crystals, vanilla, cream, and cornstarch. Add in eggs, one at a time, just until combined. Pour filling into baked crust. Return to oven and bake for 55-60 minutes or until just set on edges, but the middle is still slightly jiggly. Turn off oven and open the door. Allow the cheesecake to remain in the oven for 1 hour. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and place in fridge to chill (overnight is best).

When cake is very cold run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen sides. Remove pan and place cake on serving plate.

Place chocolate chunks into a small bowl. Simmer heavy cream and 1/2 teaspoon coffee crystals just until scalded, but not boiling. Pour over chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir melted chocolate into cream mixture until very smooth. It should be thin enough that when you lift the spoon it drizzles easily. If it’s too thick add a tablespoon or more of cream until it’s the right consistency. Pour over cooled cake and spread causing some to drip down over the edges. Return to fridge until chocolate is set and then serve. Makes 20 servings.

Per Serving: 206 Cal; 7 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 6 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 168 mg Sodium

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SH wm

CHOCOLATE-CHERRY CREAM PUFFS

Don’t be traumatized by the length of the recipe… it’s not as hard as it looks! And the ooohs and aahhs that will come from those you serve them to will have you making them again and again. Experiment with the flavors of the filling if you wish…it’s easy when you use a different sugar free syrup each time!  (DaVinci or Torani have practically  umlimited sugar free flavors!)

These are best eaten the same day they are made. You can make the filling and ganache a couple days ahead and chill. (Slowly reheat the ganache in the microwave, stir and use when ready to serve.)

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Pastry:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Whey Low or Splenda
4 eggs

Filling:
One-half of an 8-ounce pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar free cherry syrup
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped with 1 tablespoon Splenda

Ganache:
4 ounces sugar free 70% cacao chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar free cherry syrup

Cream Puffs:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium saucepan heat the water and butter to boiling. Reduce heat; with a wooden spoon stir in flour, cocoa powder, salt, and Splenda. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. With the wooden spoon beat in eggs, one at a time, until no longer glossy. Place 2 tablespoons of dough onto greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. (May need to do in two batches.) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and dry to the touch. (Pierce one of the puffs with a sharp knife and make sure it is dry on the inside. If gummy, return to oven for 1 more minute.) Remove puffs to a wire rack to cool completely.

For Filling:
In a medium bowl beat the softened cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and cherry syrup. Fold in whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill.

For Ganache:
In a microwave safe bowl place the chocolate and whipping cream. On 50% power heat for 1 minute. Stir and heat for another minute. Repeat until chocolate is soft, but not completely melted. Add cherry syrup and, with a whisk, incorporate the cream and syrup into the chocolate until it is very smooth. Set aside. (May need to gently reheat when ready to use.)

To assemble:
When puffs are cool, cut in half with a serrated knife. Remove any moist dough in the middle. Place on a plate and fill the bottom with 2 tablespoons cherry filling. Dip the tops of the puffs into the warm ganache. Serve. Makes 14 mini puffs.

(The leftover ganache makes wonderful truffles when left in the fridge. Simply scoop out with a teaspoon or melon baller.)

Per Serving: Calories 206; Protein 4 g; Fat 17 g; Carbs 8 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 145 mg

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