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

Deccan Chronicle - - Epicuriosity - NIRTIKA PANDITA

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.

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