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Free-Form Chocolate Clusters

Serves 6.


    Based on the traditional French confection mendiants, the combination of chocolate-enrobed crunchy nuts and sweet dried fruit hits the dessert spot without the calorie overload.


    Kids in action

    Hand over the job of spreading the chocolate disks and scattering on the toppings. But it’s an adult decision about who gets to clean the bowl of the last remnants of melted chocolate goodness.


    Alternative toppings can include everything from coconut flakes or pomegranate seeds to chopped almonds or sliced dried apricots.


    Free-Form Chocolate Clusters


    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) roughly chopped pistachios
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped dried figs
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) orange zest
    • 3 oz (85 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


    Per serving:

    • calories125
    • protein2g
    • fat8g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates13g
      • sugars9g
      • fibre2g
    • sodium2mg



    Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In small bowl, combine pistachios, figs, and orange zest.


    In small glass or stainless steel bowl set over pot of barely simmering water (make sure water does not touch bottom of bowl) place 2 oz (57 g) chopped chocolate. Heat, stirring often, until chocolate is about three-quarters melted. Remove bowl from heat and stir in remaining chocolate until melted.


    Alternatively, microwave 2 oz (57 g) chocolate in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring once, until about three-quarters melted, 45 to 60 seconds. Stir in remaining chocolate until everything is melted. If needed, continue microwaving at 50 percent power in 5-second bursts until fully melted.


    Working swiftly, place 1 tsp (5 mL) melted chocolate on baking sheet and use back of spoon to spread out into disks about 2 in (5 cm) wide. Repeat with remaining chocolate, spacing 2 in (5 cm) apart (you should get 12 chocolate disks).


    Sprinkle pistachio mixture over chocolate rounds and press gently to adhere. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Carefully peel chocolate off sheet before serving.


    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the Yum Yum, Gimme Some! collection.



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    Going Pro

    Going Pro

    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.