Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chocolate Cravings

Yesterday, I heard on the news that chocolate prices are expected to increase. A hedge fund manager has bought up most of the supplies of chocolate in Europe which may cause a shortage on the market forcing the price to go higher. Prices were already on the rise due to a decline in production in Africa. The growing season is almost over for the year. People who use a lot of cocoa powder and chocolate chips might want to stock up. Most baking chocolate and chocolate chips can be stored for about 18 months at 60-68 degrees if properly sealed. An opened can of cocoa can be stored for about a year on a cool, dry, dark shelf.

As you probably know, I adore chocolate. I have a “chocolate problem”. Sometimes I crave it and eat too much. Usually I just don’t allow it in my house but now I am experimenting with eating low fat chocolate in order to try to satisfy my cravings without gaining a lot of weight. I eat chocolate fat free pudding and have tried several of the 100 calorie packs of cookies. I have also found two new low fat chocolate recipes. So far, it is working well for me.

The first recipe is really easy and has only two ingredients: a cake mix and a can of diet coke. Simply mix the two together and spread in a greased cake pan and bake according to the directions on the box. I use a Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil’s Food Cake Mix and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. It is a delicious, moist cake and when cut into to 16 pieces has only 120 calories per piece. It tastes even better the second and third day. It can be topped with frosting (more calories), fruit, or fat free whipped cream. You do this with a brownie mix also. You can experiment with different kinds of cake mix and diet soda. Diet cherry soda and yellow cake mix is very good.

The second recipe is a healthier version of the 5 minute chocolate cake in a mug recipe from Spark Recipes. Here is my version:

Mix evenly together in a microwave safe 4 cup bowl:

4 tbsp. flour
5 packets aspartamine (equivalent to 4 tbsp. sugar)
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. baking powder

Add to dry mixture and combine evenly:

2 egg whites
3 tbsp fat free milk
3 tbsp. applesauce
1/8 tsp vanilla.
Cook for 3-4 minutes in microwave until set. Cool and eat.

Makes 2 servings but the whole cake is about 286 calories. I like to add a few walnuts and chocolate chips which push the calorie count significantly up. It tastes kind of like a chocolate sponge cake but the melted chocolate chips give it more of a lava cake taste. It satisfies my cravings and is actually quite filling.

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