Friday, July 31, 2009

TESTING RECIPES

My friends know that I LOVE to eat out almost as much as I LOVE to cook, so that ends up making food one of the centerpieces of my daily life. Recently, however, I've challenged myself to try to loose some weight and it's really hard because I do like food so darn much.

So I've made a concious effort to try healthier versions of my favorites and when cooking at home to bypass the unhealthy stuff for better stuff (just like the Snapple commercial!). I located a great website that allows me to calculate nutritional values of the recipes I use and it's sure been an eye-opener. But I'm learning that it's not terribly difficult to make a few substitutes and still end up with tasty food that's better for you.

However, that said....there's still room for the really calorie-bulging, chocolate-laden, over-the-top stuff that comes around once in a while. Last week I had the opportunity to do a test recipe for America's Test Kitchen and they were attempting to recreate the ubiquitous Hostess cream-filled cupcakes that come in those little plastic packages. Normally I pass up their recipe testing requests because they are just too calorie packed for my liking these days. But I couldn't pass up the cupcake challenge and I'm really glad I didn't. YUM! The cake was moist with an intense chocolate flavor that Hostess couldn't possibly match. I failed to recreate the cream filling found in the original, but my attempt was still very good. I must not have been following directions accurately or it might have something to do with the marshmallow cream I used. In any event, it tasted great, just didn't match the consistency of the original as I recall them. And at a little under 300 calories these cupcakes were a great treat. I'm not going to post the recipe since it may change by the time they publish, but here's what the end product looked like.

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