Stand aside, vanilla. Move over, lemon. Wait your turn, strawberries. Valentine’s Day is coming and we’re interested only in chocolate.
Here are three recipes for chocolate treats to make for someone you love or perhaps would like to get to know better.
Double chocolate pudding
With this dessert, you get a creamy chocolate fix that manages to keep saturated fat and calories low, using antioxidant-rich, high-quality cocoa powder and a modest amount of sugar. A chunk of dark chocolate melted in at the end doubles the chocolate flavor.
Make ahead: The pudding needs to set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours; it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Recipe by Ellie Krieger via The Washington Post.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably not Dutch-process
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups cold low-fat milk (1 percent)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ounce dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao), finely chopped, plus optional chocolate shavings, for garnish
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream for serving (optional)
Whisk together the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in a medium saucepan (off the heat). Gradually add the milk, whisking until smooth. Place over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble at the edges, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low; cook, whisking frequently, for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and the dark chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the salt. Transfer to a serving bowl, individual dessert bowls or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Serve garnished with a small dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate shavings, if desired.
Per serving: 180 calories; 4 g fat (3 g sat.); 5 mg chol.; 230 mg sodium; 32 g carb. 2 g fiber; 26 g sugar; 5 g protein
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes standing time
Bake time: 45 to 50 minutes
This Bundt cake recipe comes from “Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook,” 2011 edition.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
Combine cocoa and chopped chocolate in small bowl. Pour boiling water over cocoa mixture, stirring until chocolate is melted. Whisk together buttermilk, oil, egg, egg white, and vanilla in large bowl; stir in cocoa mixture. Add flour mixture, stirring just until no longer visible. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert and remove pan. Let cool completely.
Per serving: 150 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat.); 9 mg chol.; 123 mg sodium; 24 g carb.; 14 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 3 g protein; 6 SmartPoints
Chewy chocolate ginger molasses cookies
Makes 24 cookies
This chocolate-y twist on a gingersnap comes recommended by Linda Cicero, who writes for The Miami Herald. Recipe from “Martha Stewart’s Cookies.”
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with brown sugar until combined. Add fresh ginger and mix until combined. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Slowly add to butter mixture, mixing until well combined. Add baking soda mixture and molasses; mix to combine. Stir in chocolate; transfer to refrigerator. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto baking sheet, 2 1/2 inches apart. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and return to baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake until surfaces crack slightly, about 18 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.