As summer approaches, most of us think of vacation, the sun, the beach or sitting poolsi – wait, that means I need to put on a bikini? Crap.
If I am being honest, over the last 2 years I have slowly gained some weight since moving to France – guilty. Nothing crazy but truth be told I have put on about 8-10 pounds. (Don’t judge me, you try living in the food capital of the world where delicious things surround you daily and not gain a few pounds!)
The past few weeks I have been trying to get back into the habit of being conscious of what it is I am eating, working out more, and taking recipes I love and altering them to their “lighter” versions. After all, as I said, summer is approaching.
When I was younger I was pretty chubby and then at 19 I said “enough”, mustered up the courage to work hard and lost about 25 pounds. I was eating well and working out, and I kept it off for 4 years. Then I moved here…. so I think it is about time to get back on track.
If there is one thing I have learned in my years of eating well, it is that “dieting” does not mean depriving or starving yourself, but making smarter choices and cooking up lighter versions of your favorite foods. Now I am not saying you can have “lightened up” pasta or cheesecake everyday just because it is a lighter version, but I am saying that these things can be included in your meal rotation. Oh, an by the way, I have already lost 2 1/2 pounds this week… :)
Now, most would say the hardest thing about dieting is missing out on desserts. So to kick off the “lightened up” posts that will be featured here for a while, I have altered one of my favorite French desserts to a lighter, low fat version: Fondant au Chocolat - Chocolate Fondant. (What, you were expecting a salad? Baby steps, people, baby steps).
This version is flourless and uses low fat/fat free milk and cream, majorly cutting back the calories and fat. However, it is so packed with delicious, chocolatey goodness that you would never guess :)
Lightened Up Flourless Chocolate Fondant (adapted from Les Desserts Bistrot)
240 grams of dark chocolate (60-70%), broken into pieces
4 fl. oz. of low fat or fat free heavy cream
4 fl. oz. of 1% or skim milk
50 g of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
40 grams cocoa powder (optional)
Heat cream and milk over medium heat until it just starts to simmer.
Meanwhile, beat eggs and sugar in a small bowl. Pour cream mixture over egg mixture and stir. (Note – you don’t want to “shock” the eggs with a blast of heat as they can cook, so add a small amount of the hot liquid and slowly stir, then pour the rest in). Pour the egg and cream mixture back into the pot and cook over low heat while stirring for at least 2+ minutes. DO NOT let the cream mixture boil. The mixture is ready when it starts to lightly cling to the spatula.
Place the chocolate pieces into a bowl and pour cream mixture over the top. Stir until well combined and chocolate is fully melted. Pour the batter into a medium sized non-stick pan or into small individual ramekins/cocottes/etc. (Tip – I prefer the small individual sized servings because pre-portioning helps the urge to eat too much!)
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Just before serving, lightly sprinkle cocoa powder over the top and serve with fat free whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!