Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Tale of Two Sauces

For a friend's birthday, I made her a chocolate-peanut butter swirl cheesecake, and I promise I'll share that recipe with you in a later post.  What I want to talk about today are the sauces I made to go with it.  Not content with just the cheesecake, I wanted a chocolate sauce and a peanut sauce to serve with it and make it look pretty. Luckily, I knew where to look.

A few years ago, I got a book called The Flat Belly Diet, which I should probably follow at all a little more religiously. I liked the book so much that I also bought the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook when it came out a little later. Honestly, when I was following the program and using the recipes, I actually did lose weight. But the reason I liked it was because most of the recipes had ingredients I was already buying anyway.  I'm not going to preach about one diet or another, because I don't think dieting in terms of short-term weigh loss works at all.  What one eats (one's "diet," as it were) needs to work with how your body metabolizes food and your lifestyle, and what works for one person may not work another.  Plus, as your body ages, it's going to have changing needs as well.  Like, cutting out carbs almost all together after you turn 40. It sucks.

But this is not the point of my post.  The point is, in the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook, there are recipes for a Sweet Peanut Sauce and a Decadent Dark Chocolate Sauce, which was exactly what I was looking for. Not only are they tasty, but they are super easy to make and versatile.

The peanut sauce can be served with apple slices, over ice cream, folded into whipped cream (scroll down to see pics), served over chocolate chip pancakes (oh so yummy!) or stirred into plain (or vanilla) yogurt for breakfast. The chocolate sauce can be used the same way (dip bananas in it, then swoon). I found it's also really tasty drizzled over a fig and nut cake that I bought at Wegmans, my favorite grocery store.  The sauces definitely taste better when it's warm, rather cold.

Ummm, yeah, those are finger marks in the sauce.  Quality control and all.  Because I care.  :-)

Folded into whipped cream...

And, below, is the chocolate sauce drizzled over the fig and nut cake from Wegmans.  Essentially, the "cake" is just dried figs pressed together with various nuts into layers.  It was so, so good!

So, without further ado, there are the recipes for Sweet Peanut Sauce and Decadent Dark Chocolate Sauce:

Sweet Peanut Sauce (from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook):

1/2 cup creamy, natural, unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. honey

Heat the peanut butter, milk and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth.  Serve warm. (8 servings, about 2 Tbsp each)

Decadent Dark Chocolate Sauce (from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook):

4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

Heat the chocolate, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Serve warm. (4 servings, about 3 Tbsp each)

What did I tell you?  Super simple, yet very good.  You'll want to keep these on hand for when you just need a little something sweet!

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