Chocolate Indulgences

What’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate? For most of us, chocolate is as much a part of the holiday as lacy red hearts.

Fortunately, studies suggest cocoa may have heart-healthy benefits. In fact, recent research suggests eating chocolate once a week may reduce the risk of stroke, although additional investigation is necessary.

But this news doesn’t free us to polish off that box of nut clusters and chocolate butter creams. Chocolate candy is usually high in saturated fat. But many lighter recipes incorporating cocoa can satisfy your chocoholic cravings.

Last Valentine’s Day I tried this recipe for Individual Chocolate Souffle Cakes from Cooking Light, using dark cocoa. The souffles were warm and decadent — just perfect for a chocolate fix without the guilt. I plan to make them for dessert today, pairing each with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

Another favorite is Hershey’s “Especially Dark” Chocolate Cake, which uses oil instead of butter or shortening. However, I make a few substitutions:  Instead of 1/2 cup of oil listed in the recipe, I use 1/4 cup of canola oil and 1/4 cup of applesauce; skim milk rather than whole milk; and, sometimes, egg substitute rather than eggs. Because substitutions can affect baking times, I check the cake for doneness 5 minutes early. We skip the frosting,  surrounding  each serving with a swirl of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup and a scoop of frozen yogurt.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

3 responses to “Chocolate Indulgences”

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