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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feature: Healthy Dessert Ideas

Whether you're tiring of sugary sweets or looking for healthier dessert ideas (for Valentine's tomorrow and beyond), or just a chocolate addict looking for a fix minus the guilt and the feeling of heaviness from eating too-rich desserts (you know who are you!), we're sure to have something up your alley.

To start off, we have the recipe for homemade ice cream from our Ice Cream Making workshop, but we've also got ideas for truffles, cookies, and cake!

So, why make your own ice cream?

Not only is homemade ice cream cheaper (as little as $2 per litre), you can minimize use of chemicals and food additives and better control amounts of fat, cholesterol, and calories compared to conventional store-bought ice creams. You can also use local, seasonal ingredients and there are unlimited options -- so get creative and have fun!

Dessert minus the, um, "guilt"

Still not convinced that dessert can be this simple (or even good for you)? Check out some of these recipes -- maybe surprise a special someone -- and let's see if we can't change your mind!

Cake for breakfast, cake for... any time? Chocolate Mug Cake (The Wannabe Chef)

Candy that's good for you but doesn't taste like it... Avocado Cream Ganache Truffles

A delicious way to spice up your day! Almond Meal Ginger Snaps (Julie Daniluk, Chatelaine)

Try blending in some dark chocolate or cacao nibs for a chocolate version reminiscent of Oreos -- you won't regret it... No-Bake Coconut Bars (Chocolate Covered Katie)

Homemade Ice Cream
From 52 Scoops.

To email, print, or text this recipe, click here.


2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
pinch of salt
flavourings (click here for the Flavourings Guide, with ideas and measurements)


1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.

2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half and the salt.

Credit: Rebekah Mahaffey

3. Cook the half-and-half mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you have a candy thermometer, use this. The temperature should reach 170 F (77 degrees Celsius).

Credit: Rebekah Mahaffey

4. Once the mixture reaches 170 F, remove from heat and add the remaining cup of half-and-half to stop the cooking. Stir and place the saucepan into an ice bath (a large tub or sink filled with ice and water) to cool rapidly cool the custard.

Credit: Rebekah Mahaffey

5. Stir in any flavourings from Column A, if using the Flavourings Guide.

6. Chill the custard mixture overnight in the fridge.

7. To turn the custard into ice cream, follow the steps from one of the following options.

Pictured: Cranberry Ginger Compote
Credit: Rebekah Mahaffey

For ice cream maker: Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions. In the last few minutes of churning, add any flavourings from Column B, if using the Flavourings Guide.

Credit: Rebekah Mahaffey

For food processor: Pour the custard into ice cube trays and freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm. Place the cubes of frozen custard into a food processor and process for about 30 seconds, until soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Stir in any flavourings from Column B, if using the Flavourings Guide.

Credit: Karin Hung 

For hand mixing (using hand mixer, immersion stick blender, whisk, or wooden spoon): Pour the custard into a shallow, freezer-safe container to freeze. A glass Pyrex dish works well for this. Every half an hour or so, for the next 2 to 3 hours, stir the mixture vigorously, making sure to break up any ice crystals and frozen sections that are forming. In the final round of mixing, stir in any flavourings from Column B, if using the Flavourings Guide.

8. Scrape the ice cream into a storage container and freeze until it reaches serving consistency.

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