When I posted my last Cookbook Giveaway entry for a cake book, one diabetic reader felt left out. And I can only imagine how hard it must be to see recipes for rich, decadent desserts when you are not allowed to enjoy them. I have two loved ones who suffer from diabetes, and I’ll bet almost every one of us knows at least one person who is affected by the condition.
Fortunately, in this day and age, there are relatively good artificial sweeteners on the market. I have also read an article or two lately that suggested blue agave nectar, a natural sugar substitute, can be safe for diabetics, but please check with your physician about this before adding agave nectar to your diet if you are diabetic or borderline diabetic.
I have also been learning that some recipes can contain sugar but still be safe for diabetics simply because the amount of sugar is drastically lowered. The dessert recipes in Holly Clegg’s “Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking” and Tom Valenti’s “You Don’t Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook” fall into this category.
I’m going to share a recipe from each of these books. Got a wonderful low sugar or sugar-free dessert recipe to share? I’m sure some readers would greatly appreciate that.
Mint Chocolate Pots de Creme
Note: You will need four (4-5 oz.) ramekins or foil cups.
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. brewed espresso or strong brewed coffee
Pinch of coarse salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp. sugar
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
3. Heat milk in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat until just simmering. Remove the pan from heat, add mint leaves and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the mint leaves from the milk and discard the leaves.
4. Return milk to saucepan and add cream, espresso and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture just comes to a simmer. Pour the milk mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts and is incorporated.
5. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in another bowl. Whisk in the hot chocolate mixture, a little at a time to avoid cooking the eggs. Pour the resulting mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a small pitcher or measuring cup. Set aside and let cool for about 15 minutes.
6. Divide mixture among 4 ramekins and place them in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake the pots de creme until set but still a little jiggly when you gently shake them, 30 to 35 minutes.
7. Remove ramekins from the roasting pan with tongs or a pot holder and let cool for about an hour at room temperature. Refrigerate the pots de creme for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.
Variation: You can skip step 3 and instead add 1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract to the milk along with the cream, espresso and salt.
Sugars: 11 grams per serving.
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Glaze
Makes 32 servings
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. cocoa
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. boiling water (more or less)
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder. In a large bowl, blend the oil and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until creamy. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well.
3. Transfer batter to a 13×9-inch cake pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 13-15 minutes (do not overcook, it will continue to cook after it comes out of the oven).
4. Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze. In a small bowl, mix together butter, cocoa, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Add boiling water until the mixture is of drizzling consistency.
5. Remove the cake from the oven. Using a knife, carefully spread the peanut butter in a thin layer over the hot cake. Drizzle evenly with the chocolate glaze. Let cool before cutting into squares.
Sugars: 5 grams per serving.