April 24, 2009

With many chocolate desserts coming in at 800 calories or more, it's no wonder many women feel they should shun these treats. But it may surprise you that the chocolate itself isn't usually to blame for their high calorie and fat count. The real culprits are the copious amounts of butter, egg yolks, and cream in many recipes. "Dark chocolate and cocoa have a complex flavor, so it's possible to use less of them, as well as to cut down on fattening ingredients, without compromising taste," says Alice Medrich, author of Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales From a Life in Chocolate. The following recipes are all low in calories--two of them have fewer than 200--yet they're rich enough to satisfy even the most discriminating sweet tooth. Still need a reason to indulge? Consider chocolate's health benefits: Recent studies show that the type of antioxidants (flavonols) in cocoa help cut your risk of heart disease by improving blood flow and may also protect against cancer. Armed with all this good-for-you detail, we hope you'll serve and enjoy these desserts regularly.