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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Chocolate Mousse with Splenda

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granular
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or Curacao, Triple Sec, or brandy)
1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Place chocolate and milk in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until chocolate melts. Set aside.
  2. Stir together egg substitute, SPLENDA® Granular, cornstarch and Grand Marnier in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Add to chocolate mixture. Stir constantly.
  4. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken (approx. 3-4 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend or process briefly (10-20 seconds) to make a more creamy texture.
  6. Pour into medium bowl and cover.
  7. Refrigerate chocolate mixture approx. 2-3 hours or until cool. Whip cream until stiff and fold into chocolate. Refrigerate overnight to set. Will keep refrigerated for 3 days.

Five Minute Ice Cream

1 (10 ounce) package frozen sliced strawberries (or other frozen fruit)
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream


  1. Combine the frozen strawberries and sugar in a food processor or blender.
  2. Process until the fruit is roughly chopped.
  3. With the processor running, slowly pour in the heavy cream until fully incorporated.
  4. Serve immediately, or freeze for up to one week.

Makes 4 servings.

All About Rhubarb

The robust flavor of rhubarb inspires equally robust opinions: most people either love it or hate it. If you have a rhubarb patch or you know someone who does, you are abundantly aware that rhubarb season is reaching its height in most parts of the hemisphere.

What's it Good For?
Botanically speaking, rhubarb is considered a vegetable, but it's most often treated as a fruit -- though it's rarely eaten raw. Just like fresh cranberries, rhubarb is almost unbearably tart on its own and needs the sweetness of sugar, honey or fruit juice added to it to balance out the acidity. Rhubarb's nickname, the "pie plant," won't leave you guessing as to the most beloved use for these tart stalks.

Apart from pies, crisps, crumbles, tarts and cobblers, it's wonderful in quick breads, cakes, ice cream or sorbet. Rhubarb sauces or chutneys taste marvelous on desserts of all kinds, as well as on breakfast breads like pancakes, crepes, waffles and French toast, not to mention main dishes like fish, pork chops, ham, chicken and duck. Rhubarb pairs up delightfully with other fruits to create a complex sweet-tart flavor. Some rhubarb matches made in heaven are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, apricots, pears or raisins. If you've got some favorite fruit dessert recipes already, try substituting up to half of the fruit with chopped rhubarb (you'll probably want to add some extra sugar). Looking for more ideas to spice up your creations? Rhubarb is especially well enhanced by ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, orange, lime and mint.

Picking and Preparing
Different varieties of rhubarb will be deep crimson, rosy pink, or even pink-streaked green when fully ripe. If you're selecting rhubarb in the grocery store, choose medium-size stalks that are firm and blemish-free. Avoid anything that's limp, shriveled or spotted brown. The stalks are the only edible part of the rhubarb plant; the leaves and roots are poisonous. If there are any bits of leaf or root still
remaining, trim them off completely and throw them away. Rhubarb stalks are stringy like celery, and some people prefer to peel off the strings. However, most of the color is in the strings, and the texture will break down during cooking anyway, so de-stringing is not necessary, especially if you like that distinctive bright pink color in your rhubarb concoctions.

Surprising Reactions
Rhubarb is highly acidic - in fact, some people swear the best way to clean a stained pot is to cook rhubarb in it. However, you probably want to eat your rhubarb rather than clean with it, and in this case, you should use a non-reactive pan to cook it in: either stainless steel, glass or something with an enamel or nonstick coating. If you use an aluminum or uncoated iron pan, your rhubarb will turn an unfortunate shade of gray.

Saving it for Later
Fresh rhubarb will keep for up to a week if you store it carefully. Wrap it tightly in plastic, put it in the refrigerator, and don't wash it until you're ready to use it. If you've got a bumper crop of rhubarb and want to freeze it to use year-round, prepare it by washing and cutting it into 1-inch pieces. Drop the pieces into boiling water for 1 minute, and then stop the cooking by scooping it out with a slotted spoon and plunging it immediately into ice water. Drain the cooled rhubarb pieces, spread them out on baking sheets and transfer them to the freezer. Once the rhubarb is frozen solid, you can store it in heavy-duty plastic bags for up to a year. Sound like too much hassle? You can skip this process entirely if you make that fresh rhubarb into
coffee cakes, muffins, sauces and the like, and freeze it in ready-to-eat forms instead. That way, all your favorite rhubarb delights will be just on the other side of the freezer door all through the year. That is, if they last that long.

From Allrecipes.com.