Makes 12 cupcakes

These flourless cupcakes puff as they bake, then immediately collapse into silky deep-chocolate treats. Serve warm or at room temperature--as is, or with fresh raspberries, or sorbet.

Per cupcake: 137 calories, 4.1g protein, 14.3g carbohydrate, 1.2g dietary fiber, 7.8g total fat (3.1g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 89mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 1

Ingredients

  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate, such as Toblerone® or Lindt®
  • 1 tablespoon trans fat-free spread, such as Smart Balance®
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup lowfat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. In a food processor or blender, process the almonds with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar until ground to a fine powder.

CHOP the chocolate; place it in a large microwaveable bowl with the spread; microwave at 15-second intervals to melt (or melt in a double boiler on the stovetop). Cool to lukewarm. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, the ground almonds, cocoa, egg yolks, sour cream, coffee, and vanilla.

BEAT the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Increase to high speed and gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until the peaks are stiff and glossy.

FOLD about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the batter (to lighten it); then fold in the remaining egg whites, just until combined. Spoon the batter into a nonstick muffin tin, or one coated very well with nonstick spray. Do not use paper liners.

BAKE until a toothpick inserted near the center catches a few moist crumbs, 18 to 22 minutes. (The cakes will sink when they come out of the oven, but the interiors will be moist and custardy.) Cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife to remove the cakes from the tin. Dust with powdered sugar.

Serves 4

Per serving: 87 calories, 0.7g protein, 22.6g carbohydrate, 2.1g dietary fiber, 0.3g total fat (0.1g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 1.5

Ingredients

  • One 16-ounce package frozen, unsweetened mango chunks
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, or more to taste
  • About 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda®, or more to taste (optional)

THAW the mangoes slightly, until still frozen, but soft enough to be pierced with the point of a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Purée in a food processor with the ginger and enough pineapple juice to make a smooth sorbet. Taste and add Splenda®, if needed. Serve immediately.

No frozen mangoes at your supermarket? Try a Latin grocery.

Serves 6

Per serving: 148 calories, 2.2g protein, 23.2g carbohydrate, 1.3g dietary fiber, 5.1g total fat (2.3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 61mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 1.5

It's not as sweet, or nearly as rich, but this simple knockoff is a lot easier to make than the famous flaming dessert. So easy, in fact, that there's no need to wait for a special occasion. Try the same technique with apples and brandy (or apple juice).

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons 80-proof rum (see note, below) *
  • 1 tablespoon trans fat-free spread, such as Smart Balance®
  • 1 pint low-fat, no-sugar-added vanilla ice cream

CUT the bananas diagonally into ½-inch pieces. Center them on a 12-inch square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon; drizzle with the rum or orange juice; dot with the spread. Pinch together the top and sides of the foil to make a watertight packet.

POUR 2 or 3 inches of water into a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer insert or a metal steamer basket. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Place the packet in the steamer and cover the pot.

STEAM for 12 minutes. Remove the packet; carefully puncture it to release any steam. (Protect your hands!)

OPEN the packet over a bowl to catch all the juices. Spoon the warm bananas and sauce around scoops (each about 1/3 cup) of low-fat, no-sugar added vanilla ice cream.

* Use orange or pineapple juice in place of rum, if you prefer.

Serves 4

Per serving: 63 calories, 0.9g protein, 16.4g carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 0.1g total fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 1.1

These tangy sorbets are a treat on a humid afternoon, or a cool finale for a seafood dinner. Experiment with other frozen fruits.

Ingredients

  • One 16-ounce package frozen, unsweetened sliced peaches
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • About 1/3 cup canned or bottled peach nectar
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda®, or more to taste (optional)

THAW the peaches slightly, until still frozen, but just soft enough to be pierced with the point of a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Purée in a food processor with enough peach nectar to make a smooth sorbet. Taste and add Splenda®, if needed. Serve immediately.

Serves 12

This rich-tasting coffeecake doesn't rise very high (about like brownies), but it's loaded with sweetness and moisture from ground fruit and nuts. Hard to believe it contains only three tablespoons of oil and two tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Per serving: 161 calories, 3.9g protein, 22.4g carbohydrate, 3.2g dietary fiber, 7.3g total fat (0.7g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 1.5

Ingredients

  • 1 small thin-skinned orange, cut in half
  • 1 cup pitted prunes (about 15)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup Splenda®
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with nonstick spray.

REMOVE the seeds from one orange half. (Reserve the other half for the topping.) Chop it coarsely; then place it in a food processor, peel and all, with the prunes and nuts. Process until finely ground.

MEASURE the flour, Splenda®, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at low speed until blended. Add the buttermilk, egg whites, and oil. Beat at low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened; then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.

STIR in the ground fruit and nuts by hand. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

MAKE THE TOPPING: Stir together the sugar and cinnamon to blend. Stir in the nuts. Evenly squeeze the juice from the reserved orange half over the warm cake; allow it to soak in. Sprinkle the topping over the damp surface of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.