DARK CHOCOLATE RECIPES: Caramelized Pears with Dark Chocolate Sauce . . . Cocoa Chicken . . . Dark Chocolate Truffles
By: Herald Staff and Wire Reports,
Caramelized Pears with Dark Chocolate Sauce
3 firm but ripe pears, not peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup sugar, divided
½ cup fat-free half-and-half
1 3.5-ounce bar dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups frozen fat-free or low-fat vanilla yogurt
Cut pears in half vertically. Gently cut or scrape out core. Dip cut edges in lemon juice. Sprinkle about ½ tablespoon sugar over the cut edges of each pear half.
Place each pear, cut side down, in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar in skillet around pears. Cook 7 to 9 minutes or until sugar is melted and golden and cut surface of pears is golden. Remove pears from skillet.
Meanwhile, heat half-and-half in a 2-cup glass measuring cup in microwave oven on high (100 percent power) 45 to 60 seconds or until steaming hot but not boiling. (Watch carefully so it does not boil.) Immediately add chocolate to hot half-and-half. Allow to stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate melts. Stir to blend and melt chocolate. (If necessary, return to microwave oven and heat on high power in 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted.) Stir in vanilla.
Place a small scoop of frozen yogurt in each dessert bowl. Place pear halves on yogurt. Drizzle any collected caramelized sugar over pears. Drizzle with dark chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per ½ pear, ¼ cup frozen yogurt and about 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce: 214 calories, 21 percent of calories from fat, 5 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 43 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 44 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Buttery Spread Original
Combine cocoa, brown sugar, salt, paprika and cayenne in a small bowl and mix; set aside.
Pound or slice chicken breast into ¼-inch thick fillets. Sprinkle cocoa mixture over fillets until well-coated. In 2 batches, cook chicken in buttery spread over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet until browned on both sides and cooked through. Slice and serve on a bed of rice.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 178 calories, 6 grams fat 1 gram saturated), 143 milligrams omega-3 fatty acids, 1,330 milligrams mega-6 fatty acids, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 357 mg sodium.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
1¾ cups 60 percent cocoa bittersweet baking chips
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add butter and stir until melted. Add chocolate to saucepan. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl. Cool, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours.
Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in cocoa or nuts.
Yield: 30 truffles.
Approximate nutritional analysis per truffle: 86 calories, 61 percent of calories from fat, 6 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 4 milligrams sodium, 8 grams carbohydrates
Source: Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.