The Berkeley Beacon

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Valentine’s sweetie-pie

By Melanie Lieberman / Beacon Staff
February 7, 2013 at 12:27 am

Have your pie, and a second slice, too. This guilt-free dessert is the perfect way to give your Valentine’s Day a sweet ending.

Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Pie

What you’ll need:

• 1 ounce box of sugar-free, fat-free instant pudding mix

• 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk

• 1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed

• 3 cups fat-free whipped topping, thawed

• 1 cup chocolate cereal

• 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, for garnish

On Valentine’s Day, people across America have an excuse to order an extra glass of wine and guess the filling inside every piece of chocolate in the box. It’s an occasion notorious for encouraging superfluous sweets and expensive dinners, whether you’re celebrating with a sweetheart or distracting yourself from the romance on every television channel and street corner.

This February 14, revise the way you indulge your sugar crush with a delicious dessert you can feel good about eating. One serving only sets you back 100 calories — nearly a quarter of what you’d find in an average single slice of store-bought pie.

Easy to make and no baking required, try this out with your date or get a whole group together to enjoy a healthy confection.

Get started by crushing one cup of chocolate cereal. This will serve as your pie crust. When the cereal is a fine, consistent powder, sprinkle the crumbs evenly along the bottom of a lightly sprayed pie pan, approximately 10-12 inches in diameter. Feel free to add more to coat the sides. Overall, the crust should be 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick.

Whisk together the dry pudding mix and the milk to prepare the filling. While the box calls for 2 cups of milk, using less will help keep your mousse thick and creamy. Picking a pudding flavor is a great opportunity to customize the recipe for your date. Traditional chocolate or white chocolate pudding work extremely well with the strong raspberry flavor. Or, you can try experimenting with chocolate fudge, vanilla, or cheesecake-flavored puddings, all of which are available in sugar-free and fat-free versions.

To prepare the raspberries, beat the thawed fruit until it is muddled. Some whole berries can remain intact. Combine the mixture with the pudding and slowly fold in the whipped topping. Continue mixing until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Fill the pie dish with the mousse, smoothing it flat. Garnish with a generous helping of the fresh raspberries, and this no-bake pie is ready to serve.

If you have the time and patience, turn on your favorite romantic comedy and let the pie sit for 45 – 60 minutes in the freezer. If you’re using a mini-fridge, be prepared to leave the pie overnight before it sets completely. Once frozen, the mousse will firm up and take on a melt-in-your-mouth texture similar to frozen yogurt. Freezing also helps harden the crust-like layer of cereal.

Freshly mixed or frozen, skinny mousse pies are a low-calorie, cost-effective way to end your evening on a sweet note. What’s more, you can easily transform this recipe to fit any holiday occasion. Next Thanksgiving, swap the raspberries for canned pumpkin, use cinnamon cereal instead of chocolate, and incorporate a few traditional pumpkin pie seasonings.

Julia Child, the queen of French cuisine, once said, “I think…cooking is like love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.”

This year, remember what Valentine’s Day is about. Make a healthy and simple treat to show the people you love how much they mean to you. And because this recipe serves eight, that’s a lot of love to go around. 


Lieberman can be reached at melanie_lieberman@emerson.edu.