197 of 198 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2002
I am a chef and am more than a bit skeptical that anything that is low-fat not to mention low sugar could taste like a real dessert. Then I saw the review saying there was too much sugar so I figured the answer to the good reviews was that the author used sugar only to "call" the desserts low sugar. But because my mother has diabetes, my wife is on a diet and my chef association mentioned splenda was a good product I ordered the book. Here is what I found:
1. The desserts really do taste tremendous. In fact had I not made the "Heavenly Cheesecake" myself I would never have believed it had NO sugar and was so low in fat. My wife was thrilled at the meager 180 calories for a real piece.
2. I found MANY of the recipes actually did not have ANY sugar. The ones that did had teaspoons or tablespoons. When you bake regular dessert recipes you use CUPS. To have the appearance and taste of these with so liitle is unbelievable.
3. Portion sizes are real.
4. A few chocolate chips, a little lite topping - these are the ingredients that make these desserts taste great, not dietetic or weird like health food stuff. And still the calories are low.
Last, I have looked at many books for desserts for diabetics. Some use other no-cal sweeteners which don't taste or cook well. Some use fructose and apple juice but those are still sugar. These recipes taste great and are truly low in carb (and sugar).
I intend to use them for all my "special" clients (and me too)
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2001
This is the best book I have EVER found for desserts low in carb!
I HAVE DIABETES AND I LOVE SWEET TREATS! It is soo hard to limit the cookies, cakes and other goodies, especially this time of year. In the past I tried (and usually failed) eating just a small amount of the usual treats so I could keep my blood sugar in check because most low sugar recipes taste too dietetic. (It is no fun watching everyone else get the good stuff!).
I got this book on a recommendation from a diabetes educator just before Thanksgiving and I have been baking happily ever since! I saw the review about the lack of taste in the Cheesecake and had to write. My whole family loved it! They did not know it was low-fat or low in sugar and thought it was rich and creamy and sweet! I have also made the Pumpkin Custard, also great and REALLY low in carb and am addicted to the Deep, Dark Hot Chocolate. I have never had a better low sugar Chocolate Cake (great for birthdays) and the Applesuace Snack Cake has become a staple in my home. I look forward to a happy holiday eating my Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake - a real piece (1/10 NOT the usual 1/16th of a cake) for only 22 gms of carb and 190 calories. To me that is a sweet and merry Christmas treat. I HIGHLY recommend this book to ANYONE looking for real tasting, WONDERFUL treats that are good for you without all the sugar and fat.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2002
I bought this book last fall and HIGHLY recommend it. The desserts are very tasty (I used some of them for the holidays) and one of the things I liked most about the cookbook was that she goes into some details as to HOW she developed the recipe. This is invaluable to me because it shows me how to tweak my own family favorites.
I appreciate that she found a good balance of maintaining taste and texture. One reviewer complained that a lot of the recipes still had sugar. Well, yeah, but the quantities are very very small amounts for a recipe (a tablespoon or two for an entire batch of cookies, for example) and is necessary to maintain the *texture* of the dessert--which keeps it from that icky dry fake taste that a lot of no-sugar/sugar-substitute recipes have. And best off all, she explains WHY she left it in there.
I liked this book enough that I used it as a christmas gift to a diabetic family member.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2001
THIS IS IT! 10 years on Weight Watchers and I have never had a cookbook like this. For the first time I can bake all the things I love, have them taste and look great AND be low in points!
I have an incurable sweet tooth that I have satisfied with lots of things like skinny cows and low fat ice cream but sometimes you just need real homebaked goodies! Especially for the holidays or birthdays. This book with over 75 recipes has it all!
Chocolate cake that mixes up in 5 minutes and tastes great. A big piece with strawberries and whipped topping is only 3 1/2 points! It has coffee drinks like the ones in the shops for only 1 point and loads of cheesecakes - all that average about 200 calories - unheard of for a good size , not tiny, piece that tastes so great. I have tried the Pumpkin Streusel and the basic "Heavenly" and they were both sweet, creamy and very rich tasting. My hat's definitely off to this author. A real bonus is that she doesn't skimp on the portion sizes to get the calories low.
Other great info: the book gives you a lot of great nutrition information, baking and serving tips, and all the nutrition information to figure out the points. If you are diabetic the diabetic exhanges are included and the carbohydrate is very low. My sister has diabetes and is even more excited than me about the book. (She says these are very easy to fit into her meal plan.)
Especially great is the secrets of low sugar baking. I am looking forward to adapting my own recipes now - I was to unsure before but now feel confident that I too can get great results.
With the holidays coming I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to eat great desserts and sweets without all the calories (and POINTS). I also plan to give it as a gift to many of my friends who love to bake. it is certainly a high quality , one of a kind book.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2002
Unbelievable Desserts With Splenda is a godsend to diabetics, weight watchers, and all healthy eaters who still have a sweet tooth and a yearning for the occasional comfort of a homey dessert without the subsequent negative nutritional and health consequences. Written by a culinary nutritionist who is also a skilled cook, Unbelievable Desserts With Splenda contains page after page of carefully crafted recipes for treats adapted to low fat, low sugar profiles, using Splenda instead of sugar. There are beverages, breakfast breads, scones, cookies, pies, crisps, cobblers, cakes, puddings, sauces and (my favorite) cheesecakes to die for. In addition, Parts. I and II contain Nutrition and Baking Information to help answer a variety of questions.
One of the best things about Unbelievable Desserts With Splenda is it gives you a model of ways to adapt traditional high fat, high sugar recipes so they can be healthier but still good. One of my favorite recipes for Fresh Peach Custard Pie reminds me of an old favorite called "Peaches and Cream Pie", of course, much higher in fat, sugar, and calories. Another wonderful old treat reborn is Gingerbread Coffeecake, with 130 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving. Although the taste of the baked product varies slightly from my original recipe memories, they are indeed excellent in themselves, and quite luscious.
I recommend this cookbook to anyone who likes to cook "inclusively." No one need feel they cannot indulge in a serving of Unbelievable Chocolate Cake (160 calories, 7 grams fat), or Heavenly Cheesecake (180 calories, 8 grams fat), or Chocolate Chip Cookies (80 calories, 3.5 grams fat). Use this cookbook, enjoy it, and be healthy!
Nancy Lorraine, Reviewer
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
In this book of desserts low in fat, sugar and calories Ms. Koch gives the reader information on diabetes, fats, ingredients, and what she calls "low sugar baking secrets" in addition to the actual recipes. These include hot and cold beverages, muffins, coffeecakes, breakfast breads, cookies, pies, crisps, cobblers, puddings and specialty desserts, sauces and toppings, "cakes for any occasion" and finally cheesecakes. In a chapter entitled "Cheesecakes to Die For" she includes 9 recipes including Chocolate Cheesecake, Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake and Key Lime Cheesecake.
Wanting to bake a cheesecake for a relative with type 2 diabetes, I tried the "Heavenly Cheesecake" on page 102. I was sure it would be inedible, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The cheesecake has a very nice texture, cuts beautifully and convinces you it is the real thing. The secret to Ms. Koch's success seems to be (1) a mixture of low-fat and no-fat cheeses rather than only no-fat cheese and (2)unlike other sweeteners, Splenda has no bitter aftertaste. At any rate, this is one fine dessert. Additionally you get about 200 calories in one piece of cheesecake rather than the usual 600. As the author says, she wants to create desserts to die for, not from. While I can only attest to this one recipe, I suspect the others are just as good.
This book is a valuable edition to healthy cookbooks.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2003
I'm very glad to have discovered this book, as I don't want to be on a long-term diet and not eat any desserts at all. I have made many of the recipes. Most are easy to make and taste delicious. (The cheesecakes are outstanding.) The author has avoided the current trends of reducing/replacing sugar _or_ reducing/replacing fat--her recipes reduce sugar _and_ fat.
I do have two comments/suggestions about this book. First, the author routinely uses semisweet chocolate chips for recipes that simply require melted chocolate. I would much rather have the chocolate quantity stated by weight. Frankly, if there are any chips left over--and there always are--I eat them till they're gone. (Not a great way to reduce calories.) I don't do this with block chocolate. In any case, it would be convenient for all cooks who don't keep chocolate chips on hand.
Second, the author gives choices between using fresh egg whites and commercial egg substitutes. Although the substitutes are convenient (and don't require throwing out egg yolks), the substitute I tried made baked goods horribly rubbery and rather strange tasting. I recommend using real egg whites.
Oh, and one last request--I'd like to see a recipe for diet chocolate mousse! Surely it can be done?
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2001
Two different groups of discriminating dessert lovers gobbled up the pumpkin cheesecake with exclamations of how wonderful it tastes. Using the recipe from this new cookbook, I first presented this amazingly low fat and low calorie cheesecake to a gathering of eight neighborhood couples. Then a week later, a second pumpkin cheesecake was contributed to an office potluck lunch. Both times, everybody raved about how good it tasted, how rich and creamy the texture is, and how unbelievably low the calorie and fat content are. Actually, the men in the crowd didn't focus much on the tiny sugar and fat tally: They REALLY loved the flavor of this luscious sweet.
I plan to recommend this new cookbook to my friends who cook for family members coping with diabetes. Now they can bake special treats for all the people they love.
Other big pluses: The author carefully provides a wealth of information about Splenda. The recipes are clearly laid out and easy to follow. The notes that go with each recipe give the reader comfort that the author thoroughly tested everything to make sure the results turn out terrifically. I especially liked the section on baking principles and adjustments when using Splenda. It really expands the usefulness of this book. You could quickly start adapting favorite traditional recipes based on the author's many tips.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2002
We have tried quite a few recipies from this book, and enjoyed them all. They are, however, not for the person that wants quick and easy treats. But, if you like to cook, and are not easily intimidated in the kitchen, this is the book that can cater to your sweet tooth and your health at the same time.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2001
I have tried three recipes so far. The Pumpkin Streusal Cheesecake is outstanding and the Pumpking bars are excellent. I didn't care for the apple muffins. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to or has to lower the sugar in their diet. This is excellent for people who have had gastric bypass surgery.