Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Sweet Selector (Fitting sugar guidelines into recipes)

As manager of a "Healthy Cafe" at a major medical center, I planned a menu where all homemade desserts had less than 12 grams of added sugar.  The American Heart Association recommends that women aim for no more than 24 grams of added sugar a day.  The nutrition analysis software program I used to enter recipes detailed grams of sucrose per serving.

After retirement, preparing most of my foods at home, I adjust my dessert recipes so that each serving has approximately 2 teaspoons of added sugar per serving.  In this recipe for Hot Cocoa Souffle, I predetermined my total sugar amount as 12 teaspoons (6 servings X 2 teaspoons) or 4 Tablespoons.   

The original recipe recommends dusting the baking dish with sugar.  I eliminated that step.  Sugar is in the dry cocoa mix and added to the stiffened egg whites.  I added 1 Tablespoon of sugar to the egg whites and 3 Tablespoons to the cocoa mix.

Original recipe = 13 Tablespoon sugar
My recipe = 4 Tablespoon sugar

I portioned my souffles into 6 individual au gratin dishes, rather than 1 large souffle dish.

The baked products produced a dip in the centers for a small scoop of ice cream-a 2 Tablespoon scoop.

Original recipe = 4 cups ice cream
My recipe = 3/4 cup ice cream

Hot Cocoa Souffle with Vanilla Ice Cream

(Serves 6)

Mix 3 tablespoons sugar, cocoa and flour in a bowl.
3 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not the Dutch-processed kind)
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
Melt buttery spread in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in dry cocoa mix.  
1/4 cup vegan buttery spread

Add the milk to the saucepan.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat.
1 cup skim milk

In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until combined.  Gradually stir thick cocoa-milk mixture into beaten egg yolks.
4 egg yolks

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the 1 tablespoon sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.  
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
Fold 1 cup of the beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture.  Fold egg yolk mixture into the remaining beaten egg whites.

Divide batter into individual souffle dishes (greased with olive-oil spray).

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 F.  Serve each with 2 Tablespoon ice cream.

Refrigerated other souffle until ready to eat.  When ready to eat, microwave for 30 seconds, then add the ice cream. 

It's important to note that the sugar in some recipes cannot be reduced to 2 teaspoons per serving.  Caramelized and iced confections require more sugar.  I'll choose to eat a small serving on occasion when I'm eating out-rather than have a whole dessert in my home. On the weekend, my spouse and I purchased one piece of iced cake at a local restaurantThe piece was high and big-we shared half of it in the restaurant and brought the other half home to enjoy the next day.  1 restaurant serving = 4 senior citizen servings.

Have a warm and cozy day! 

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