Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Infused with Natural Mint

It's been too hot and humid to cook lately, so we've been getting by with cooler foods. (One of our favorite summer meals is BLT sandwiches made with turkey bacon.) Although we don't have much of a desire to eat, the weather has been ideal for my herb garden to go wild! Here is a dessert or snack recipe that I've already made several times this summer, or whenever it's necessary to thin out the mint patch. The mint flavor is subtle and refreshing, not overpowering like when a liquid extract is used. After you boil the milk and mint, just allow it to sit and steep until the mixture reaches room temperature, then strain and refrigerate. The mascarpone cheese adds to the creamy texture and helps to thicken the pudding. If you want a thick, mousse-like consistency, use 1¾ cups of milk. If you want a normal pudding consistency, use 2 cups. Either way, it's a delicious and COOL snack!

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Infused with Natural Mint
(Makes 4 servings)

1¾ to 2 cups skim, almond or light soy milk (original flavor)
1 cup fresh mint (leaves & stems), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
2 tablespoons Splenda granular
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
1 package fat-free, sugar free instant Chocolate Fudge pudding mix
Whipped topping and mint leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Measure the milk into a medium sauce pan and add the chopped mint. Bring to a bubbly boil, and then remove from heat. Allow mixture to steep until mixture returns to room temperature (at least 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Strain milk mixture and discard mint leaves. Add cocoa powder and Splenda to milk; stir until cocoa dissolves. Place milk mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone cheese and cooled milk mixture until cheese is completely incorporated. (For a smoother mixture, beat on medium-high with a handheld or standing mixer for 1-2 minutes.) Add pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes. Refrigerate pudding for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: 127.2 calories, 12.1 g carbohydrate, 6.6 g total fat, 3.7 g saturated fat, 360 mg sodium, 1.4 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010

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