The Eating Well Dessert Cookbook

150 Recipes to Bring Dessert Back Into Your Life

Charlotte, VT, April 8, 1996—If you've been avoiding dessert or feeling guilty about dessert, America's finest healthy-cooking magazine will end all that bother right now—with the brand-new Eating Well Dessert Cookbook. This is the definitive low-fat dessert cookbook, with 150 recipes that work and don't take a master chef to prepare.

"We set out to put dessert right back into the diets of people who are concerned about health," says book editor Susan Stuck. "People who aren't satisfied with their meals end up snacking to compensate—maybe on a candy bar, which can have 16 grams of fat. Many of our rich-tasting, luscious, creamy desserts only have 3 to 7 grams."

What separates this book from all others is the backing of Eating Well's renowned Test Kitchen. Every recipe is tested and tested again under the direction of its director, Patsy Jamieson. The book is chock full of the tips and techniques the make Eating Well recipes so reliable, and the results so delicious, for the everyday cook.

And there are recipes for every day: quick ideas to get wonderful meal-ending treats on the table on weeknights. Recipes using the rhubarb of spring, the berries of summer, the apples of fall. Recipes with chocolate, eggs, butter—but used wisely so total fat content is low, flavor is high. There are fancy cakes and pies for celebrations, cookies and bars for lunchboxes and picnics, and ice creams for the heat of August. And full nutrition information to back up every healthy claim.

The Eating Well Dessert Cookbook (published by Eating Well Books, 192 pages, 35 full-color photographs, 8" X 10". Trade paperback, $15.95; Hardcover, $24.95.) marks the fourth title from Eating Well Books, following the Eating Well Cookbook, the Eating Well Recipe Rescue Book and the Eating Well Rush Hour Cookbook.


Pear-Cranberry Sampler


Serves 6

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 5 ripe pears, cored, peeled land chopped (4 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 slices firm white bread, crusts trimmed
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In an 8-inch square baking dish, stir together 1/4 cup of the sugar and cornstarch. Add pears and cranberries and stir until well combined. Place in oven to bake for 20 minutes, stirring midway, or until the fruit is tender and the juices have begun to thicken.

Meanwhile, in a large shallow dish, whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla. Cut each bread slice in half diagonally, and soak in the egg-milk mixture, carefully turning the slices for even soaking.

Remove the fruit from the oven and arrange the bread in rows on top of the fruit. Combine nutmeg and the remaining 3 tbsp. sugar; sprinkle evenly over the bread. Bake for 20 minutes more, or until the fruit is bubbling and the bread is golden. Serve immediately.


Chocolate Mousse a l'Orange

Chocolate Mousse

Serves 6

  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 6 2-inch-long strips of orange zest
  • 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tsp. Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferable Dutch process
  • 2 oz. bittersweet (no unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream or tartar
  • 1 2-oz. block bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate for shavings (optional)


In a small saucepan, heat milk and orange zest until steaming. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Discard the orange zest. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over Grand Marnier; let stand until softened, 1 minute or longer.

In another saucepan, whisk together whole egg, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, cocoa and the infused milk until smooth. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatin mixture, stirring until the gelatin has dissolved. Then add chocolate and vanilla; stir until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in a wide saucepan. In a heatproof bowl large enough to fit over the saucepan, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, 3 tbsp. water and the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar. Set the bowl over the barely simmering water and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, moving the beaters around constantly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 degrees F. (This will take 3 to 5 minutes.) Increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating over the heat for a full 3-1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the meringue until cool, 4 to 5 minutes longer.

Whisk one-fourth of the meringue into the chocolate mixture until smooth. with a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate mixture back into the remaining meringue until completely incorporated. Spoon the mousse into 6 dessert glasses and chill until set, about 3 hours. (The mousse can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

If making the chocolate shavings, place chocolate on wax paper and microwave, uncovered, at medium-low (30 percent) power for 15 seconds. Turn chocolate block over and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds longer, or just until the chocolate has softened slightly but has not started to melt. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off curls. (If the chocolate is too hard to shave easily, warm it again.) Garnish each mousse with chocolate shavings, if using, and serve.


Recipes from:
The Eating Well Dessert Cookbook
from the Magazine of Food & Health
Published by Eating Well Books
Paperback, $15.95; Hardcover, $24.95
ISBN: 1-884943-10-1
Reprinted with permission.

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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