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Sweet & Skinny: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Life's Sweeter Side Without Tipping the Scales Paperback – June 7, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Recipe Excerpt: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Serves 4
Per serving : 220 calories , 12 grams fat

My mother used to make individual chocolate cakes for me and my playmates. Each having our own made us feel extra special. Years later, I dusted off her recipe to prepare for old friends, adding a peanut butter center for a sweet-salty twist.

Ingredients
Nonstick pan spray
1⁄3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon liquid egg substitute
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 egg whites from large eggs
1⁄3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons reduced-fat peanut butter, smooth or chunky, preferably natural style

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position. Coat four 4-ounce ramekins or muffin cups with pan spray. If using ramekins, set them on a rimmed baking sheet.

Melt the chocolate, butter, and 1 ½ tablespoons water in a double boiler, or in a microwave oven, until you can stir the mixture smooth. Whisk in the salt, yogurt, egg substitute, and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and flour.

Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they are foamy. (Alternatively, use a handheld electric mixer.) With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar, a few teaspoons at a time. After all of the sugar is in, continue to mix until soft, glossy peaks form, curling over when you lift the beater.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites until mostly combined. Sift half of the cocoa mixture over the top and fold it in with a spatula. Once it is mostly incorporated, sift the remaining cocoa mixture over the top and fold until it is incorporated.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the batter into each prepared ramekin. Place 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter in the center of each one, and cover the peanut butter with a heaping tablespoon of batter.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the center) comes out clean. Set the ramekins on a wire rack and let them cool for several hours. To serve: Serve the cakes in the ramekins. If you used muffin cups, unmold them before serving.

Store any leftover peanut butter cups, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

Make ahead! The filled but unbaked cakes can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days before baking. Place in the preheated oven directly from the refrigerator and increase the baking time to 20 minutes.

Review

“Filled with tips and tricks for making baking less difficult and less caloric, Sweet & Skinny leads the reader through the potential minefields that so often pepper dessert books. Absolutely recommended for any lover of baked foods, and especially for those who battle needless guilt and anxiety. Brava.” 
—JAMES PETERSON

“Only Marisa Churchill has been able to integrate low-fat recipes while still using traditional technique, and more important, without sacrificing flavors. A must!”
—HUBERT KELLER

“I always loved Marisa’s desserts—they were perfectly balanced and never too sweet but full of flavor. With the added bonus of lower fat, this book is sure to please all dessert makers”.
- ELISABETH PRUEITT, Chef/Co-Owner of Tartine Bakery & Café and author of Tartine
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307719200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307719201
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jenny on July 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I will admit to being a bit skeptical. I have seen too many low-fat or low-calorie dessert cookbooks that take abundant advantage of tasteless items like Cool Whip Free and artificial sweeteners. Instead, Marisa Churchill plays with texture and flavor and freshness and creates elegant, tasty desserts that you wouldn't even have to excuse to your guests.

First I made the Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Berries. I used local blackberries I bought at a market in Brevard, NC, that were just dying to be treated with respect. I also finally accomplished my goal of substituting agar agar powder for gelatin with a good result. Gelatin is a pretty frequent ingredient recipe throughout the book to help with mouth feel without adding fat, but as a vegetarian I don't eat it. Luckily there are sea-vegetable substitutes.

The second recipe I made was the Deconstructed Key Lime Pie. I tweaked a few things there too, since I had a whole bottle of key lime juice, I went straight (and it was tart!). I don't miss the crust. Would anyone? I also just left the gelatin out of the egg whites for the topping, since I was going to be serving it right away.

I had my eye on several recipes in the cookbook that I plan to make at a later date, and was largely constrained by a feeling of seasonality, but damn if that pear and chocolate gingerbread upside down cake from the holiday section not call my name! The recipe I have dogeared to try in the not too distant future are the strawberry-black pepper meringues.

I'm looking forward to making more out of this book, and adopting some of the tricks in some of my usual recipes.
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My husband and I recently started a life changing eating regime to reduce calories but not deprive us of deserts or sweets. This cookbook fulfills this desire with some terrific desert recipes that are easy to make and lite on calories.
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I got this book after hearing the author on an NPR radio story. I tend to like to cook and bake but try to take a reasonable health approach (i.e. I'm not vegetarian and enjoy butter and chocolate in moderate amounts!). I've made the chocolate fudge cake, the Bombay brownies and the peanut butter cups so far. All have been relatively easy and fun to put together. Plus when you share the treats it's fun to talk about how it's healthy...b/c it doesn't taste any less fufilling. The choclate fudge cake uses grated beet and yogurt for example.
I definitely will bake more with this book b/c it won't be such a diet buster to cook from here for a quick sweet treat. Some really great pictures and ideas for hosting as well.
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By Dee on August 10, 2011
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This cookbook is wonderful! I am so glad I got it. I even mailed it to the author for an autograph! The condition was great as promised and it was delivered in a timely manner. Altogether, I am very pleased with my experience!
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This is the book that serial "snackers" should keep in their kitchen. Sweet tooth? Crave that post-dinner snack? Who says it has to be laden with fat and calories? Marisa does an amazing job of starting simple with enough background material on the ingredients and techniques (with lots of beautiful photographs) and then proceeds to give you a bunch of classics (skinny style of course) and a number of amazing "show off" deserts for parties and the holidays. Being completely honest, I am not much of a baker. Nonetheless, the pictures and descriptions in the book made me actually prepare a number of these dishes to share with friends and family (a numer of whom are diabetic). This is a great book for guys who want to impress the women in their life as the recipes are easy to follow and you can tell your date that she won't be blowing her diet when she indulges in your "creation"... Thanks Marisa!
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"Sweet and Skinny" is a great cookbook, and not just for those looking to eat healthier! When it first arrived, the beautiful photos of the desserts made me hungry before I had skimmed halfway through the book. After making, and truly savoring, several of the recipes, I ordered several more copies of the book to give to my three daughters and a few girlfirends. I just made the oatmeal sour-cherry cookies (p. 47), and they were out-of-this-world. My husband and I couldn't believe they were healthier and low-calorie, as they are one of the best cookies we have ever eaten. The taste combination of sour cherries, chocolate and nuts is brilliant. The only discrepancy with the recipe is that we didn't end up with 18 cookies: the dough was too heavenly to resist! I highly recommend this book to dessert-cravers (low-calorie or not) everywhere.
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Imagine combining the mission of creating luscious and low calorie desserts!!! A dream come true for me. Love the recipes and the the photos to walk you through the steps.
Elegant, fancy choices and fun quick treats. PERFECTION in a cookbook!!!!
Carol Scribner
Sedona, AZ
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This book is amazing - I love sweets but I'm very picky about what I eat because I want to feel good too. With these recipes I can have both! I can enjoy the sweeter side of my eating and not have to feel crappy afterwards. I love to stay healthy and I'm also often finding myself intimidated by the world of cooking. The pictures and the step-by-step layout really make me feel comfortable. I love it and am eagerly awaiting the sequel!
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