Guilt free indulgence
HEALTHY DESSERTS ARE NOT JUST ABOUT BEING SUGAR-FREE AND WHOLE-WHEAT. CHEFS ARE WHIPPING UP SWEET TREATS WITH QUINOA AND PROTEIN POWDER TOO
Bollywood’s man of the moment, Ranveer Singh, is known to have a major sweet tooth and a never-ending love for Nutella. So when his chef Mohit Savargaonkar was tasked with whipping up caloriecounted alternative, he decided to eliminate the unhealthy fats without compromising on the taste. “I use sugar-free organic chocolate which is made from the extract of actual cocoa beans. Then I add some homegrown hazelnut, blending it at a specific speed and the result is a healthier version of Nutella,” he says. For a simple chocolate cake, Mohit uses quinoa powder in a batter to make it moist and spongy. Another best alternative, the chef suggests, is protein powder. “Instead of using a specific kind of flour that’s loaded with carbohydrate, use protein flour. You can mix equal amount of quinoa and protein flour,” he says and explains the key to a healthy and tasty dessert. “It is about finding the correct alternatives to the ingredients that are high in sugar and gluten. He lists three important baking elements that need to be replaced at first if attempting a healthy dessert — sugar, dairy butter and flour (maida).
With growing consciousness about ingredients, there is a gradual shift in consumer mindset towards more healthy and functional ones, which are rich in micro and macronutrients. As a result, chefs and patissiers are whipping up calorie-restricted indulgences. But for noted chef Pooja Dhingra who runs the very popular Le15 Patisserie, it was her personal commitment to eat clean and stay lean that paved the way to her healthy desserts. “Being in the dessert space can make it tough to stick to the goals. So, I wanted to create treats that are packed with goodness and still be indulgent,” says the pastry chef who specialises in macrons and an assortment of French desserts. In her decadent chocolate cake, Pooja replaces sweeteners with honey and dates and tries her best to use fresh and natural ingredients as far as possible. And to bring in the required richness, coconut milk is used along with walnuts for an added crunch. “I also use great quality Belgian dark chocolate — as dark chocolate has proven to have heart-healthy benefits,” she says.