Healthy Sweet Tooth

27 Nov
Written by Rebekah Peppler
TrufflesAs I sat down to write this article, in the weeks after a positively gluttonous holiday season, my mind immediately went to the conventional basis of low-fat desserts: fresh fruit. But I’m a pastry-arts student for a reason, I imbibe hedonistic sweets on a daily basis. A piece of fruit – as my mother has heard in various incarnations – is not dessert.

It wasn’t until I opened up Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Alice Medrich, a woman whose name has become synonymous with rich chocolate desserts through her groundbreaking chocolate shop Cocolat, in Berkeley, California.She was the first to introduce America to the luxurious cream-laden French truffle, and her philosophy on dessert noticeably reflects my own: “a little bit of something very good is more satisfying than a large portion of something mediocre.”

Medrich, who has written many award-winning dessert cookbooks (few of which can be considered low-fat in nature) won the James Beard Awards “Cookbook of the Year” for Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts in 1994. Most captivating, and admirable, is that Medrich never aims to make desserts that emphasize their low-fat nature. In fact, she strives to make the point that the dessert’s lower fat and calorie content is merely an afterthought. In the process, she creates rich, beautiful desserts that just so happen to be better for your waistline.

So, I shunned the fruit bowl once again and set out to discover Medrich’s figure-friendly chocolate creations. Paging through her book, past the “Fallen Chocolate Souffle Torte,” and “Chocolate Haystack,” I came to a mouthwatering halt at “Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles.” When my eyes scanned to the nutritional information, I was shocked to read that each contained only 47 calories. A low-fat chocolate truffle promising all the lusciousness of the pure-chocolate and cream truffle that made Medrich famous in the first place? Sign me up.

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