Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chocolatey Baked Apples With Good Stuff

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

"All millionaires love a baked apple."
--Ronald Firbank, novelist

It's snowing outside. I'm fantasizing about warm and spicy baked apples with a taste of dark chocolate amid fresh, cold grapes. I read that bakeresses claim you cannot use Fuji apples but one rouge said "yes"--that's enough for me, the one who doesn't like to follow the crowd. I am craving these old-fashioned apples with a 21st century touch. And tomorrow afternoon they will be inside the oven...

Sunday Afternoon: I just took three apples out of the oven. Two are Fuji, one is Red Delicious. Yep, the latter wins. It is soft and mushy like a baked apple should be, whereas the Fuji is too crunchy. Live and learn. Here's my tried and true healthy European-style remake of mom's baked apples I ate when I was a kid.

Chocolatey Baked Apples With Good Stuff

2 Red Delicious Apples, slice tops, core
Divide for each apple:
2-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips, 60 percent cacao
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2-3 tablespoons hazelnuts
1 teaspoon butter or extra virgin olive oil

Stuff apples with sugar, chocolate, and nuts. Place apples in baking dish full of shallow water. If your apples tilt, slice a thin piece off the bottom. Sprinkle with allspice.Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or till tender. Pour the apple juice over apple mixture. Serve right out of the oven. Top with a spoonful of all-natural dark chocolate low-fat yogurt for breakfast; all-natural chocolate ice cream for a snack. (Vanilla will do, too.) Store leftovers and warm up in the microwave.
An apple a day means fewer doctors to pay. Eighty percent of teh fiber found in an apple is soluble fiber--or pectin, which may be of help in lower blood cholesterol levels. Also, apples are a good source of potassium, which helps keep you heart healthy. And like most other autumn fruits, they're also lower in sodium (for better blood pressure), calories (for staying slim), and fat. Plus, you're getting good monounsaturated fat from the nuts, and chocolate is chockfull of good for you compounds, nutrients, and antioxidants.
It was a fun experience. Eating a warm chocolatey baked apple garnished with purple grapes (a seasonal fruit) was different. Sitting by the fireplace, overlooking the snow-topped pine trees and ground while munching on the soft apple with crunchy nuts covered in a distinct gooey dark chocolate taste spiked with spices and topped with a small scoop of gourmet vanilla ice cream hit the spot. One more thing: Save the fuji apples, my fave of all apples, to savor as is.

1 comment:

  1. Hold the phone. Don't toss out the fuji apples. Actually, this a.m. I tasted one and the crunchiness is refreshing if you like crunchy. I say warm it up and enjoy. It's all good.