Dietary Guidelines-friendly, Reduced-sugar Hot Cocoa Soufflé
The newly released 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories, or about 12 teaspoons per day. Now that I'm retired and prepare most of my foods at home, I've set out to adjust my dessert recipes to reduce the added sugar.
How I Cut Down on Added Sugar
My original recipe for Hot Cocoa Soufflés called for a whopping 13 tablespoons of added sugar in a recipe for six people. That was 6½ teaspoons per serving, more than half the added sugar allowed for an entire day. I wanted to get that down to 4 tablespoons of added sugar in the whole recipe — 2 teaspoons per serving.
- My first step was looking at the recipe's call to dust the baking dish with sugar — I eliminated that step.
- The remaining added sugar comes from the dry cocoa mix and in the sugar used to stiffen the egg whites. I used 1 tablespoon of sugar for the egg whites and 3 tablespoons in the cocoa mix.
- Finally, these baked soufflés produce a dip in the center — a perfect place for a scoop of ice cream. I wasn't going to eliminate that, but I did opt for a smaller serving of ice cream: a 2-tablespoon dollop of ice cream per serving instead of ⅔ cup.
- 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
- ½ cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- ¼ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup buttery spread
- 1 cup skim milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- Cooking spray
- ¾ cup vanilla ice cream, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine 3 tablespoons sugar, cocoa and flour in a bowl.
- Melt buttery spread in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in dry cocoa mix.
- Add milk to the saucepan. Cook and stir constantly for several minutes, until mixture turns thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg yolks by hand until combined. Gradually stir thick cocoa-milk mixture into beaten egg yolks.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Fold 1 cup of the beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture.
- Fold egg yolk mixture into the remaining beaten egg whites.
- Coat 6 individual soufflé dishes with cooking spray. Divide batter between soufflé dishes.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove soufflé dishes.
- Serve each soufflé with 2 tablespoons ice cream placed in the center. Serves 6.
- The soufflés can be made 1 hour ahead of time and refrigerated until dessert. When ready to eat, microwave for 30 seconds before adding ice cream.
Cindy Gay, RD, LD, recently retired from her job in health care. She serves as historian for the West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and blogs at Cindy's Health Meals. Connect with her on Twitter and Pinterest.
(Photo: Cindy Gay, RD, LD)