Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cakes

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RD LDN

So I just bought Martha’s new Cakes & Cupcakes special edition magazine last week. Clearly I was done for. Remember Monday’s post? My addiction to all things cheesy and embarrassingly domestic? Well pair that with a magazine addiction… (People, Glamour.. Cooking Light, I don’t discriminate) – andddd you get little individual heart cake for Valentine’s Day! And they are freaking adorable. These are the cakes that are featured in my heart healthy February Magazine issue :) Low cal, lower fat… portion controlled… perfect way to say I love you to your sweetie! And make sure he’s still kicking on your 40 yr anniversary.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day and all things chocolate I asked one of my best friends, Amber, and registered dietitian extraordinaire to give us the real sweet deal on the health benefits of chocolate! She’s joining Ashley and I on our mission to bring you the latest health buzz, we’re both so excited for you to meet her! She’s one of the funniest girls I know, and one of the absolute smartest chicks out there.

Amber grew up in Chicago with me, going to high school and college together (with Ashley too!) – after that she took off to Boston to spend a year as a dietetic intern at a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. She currently works at the hospital as an inpatient and outpatient dietitian, providing nutrition support to critically ill patients staying at the hospital, and medical nutrition therapy counseling to outpatients to improve their health and well-being through diet.

 

Take it away Amber!
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Back in our college days…yikes.

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Amber (on the left) & her roommate in Boston! Work hard play hard :)

 

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Amber Scherkenbach, RD LDN

 

In honor of National Heart Month (and Valentine’s Day), Kristina and I thought it would be fun to discuss the heart healthy benefits of one of our favorite foods, chocolate! If you’re like me, chocolate is a daily necessity. That’s why I keep a bag of dark chocolates in my freezer. Just one (alright, sometimes two) square is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth and is a real treat after a long day of work.

There’s been so much buzz around chocolate lately and whether or not it’s good for you. Well thanks to one of chocolate’s main ingredients, cocoa, some types of chocolate do offer heart healthy benefits. Cocoa is full of flavanols (also found in red wine!) which help lower blood pressure, improve vascular function, and may help lower cholesterol. It also has antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage associated with heart disease. Yay!

Click through slideshow below

Health Benefits of a Little Valentine’s Day Chocolate Lovin’! 

Which Types of Chocolate Should I Choose?

Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage of cocoa compared to other chocolates. It can range from 35-99% cocoa so be sure to look at the package before purchasing.

To make sure you’re getting the most benefit, choose dark chocolate that contains at least 65% cocoa or an unsweetened cocoa powder (100% cocoa) when baking. While milk chocolate is equally yummy, it’s cocoa content is much lower at 15-34% cocoa.

How to Choose a Cocoa Powder

Raw cocoa is naturally very bitter and goes through much processing before it becomes chocolate.

In processing, some of the flavanols (remember, the part that makes it healthy) are lost. Chocolate producers have made many changes in the last few years to processing practices to reserve the flavanols in the chocolate.  When it comes to choosing a cocoa powder, choose on that has not undergone Dutch processing, as this will significantly decrease the chocolate’s antioxidant properties. Dark chocolates are typically made with less sugar than other chocolates giving it a stronger flavor. Because of this, dark chocolate is also referred to as ‘bittersweet’ or ‘semisweet’ chocolate

How to Get the Real Benefits

 

While dark chocolate may help improve your cardiovascular health, it is still important to consume in moderation. The fat in chocolate makes it high in calories, so limit your intake to about 1 ounce of dark chocolate a day.

 

Chocolate is only as good as the products used to make it so check the ingredients list for a chocolate that does not contain palm or coconut oil, has ZERO hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and contains at least 65%.

Like anything, overeating chocolate may lead to weight gain, a risk factor not only for heart disease, but high blood pressure and diabetes (kind of defeats the purpose of eating chocolate in the first place). To prevent overeating, enjoy a piece after a satisfying meal. Pair it with a piece of fruit for added sweetness to a mid-day snack. Buy individually wrapped bite sized pieces. Or mix a teaspoon of cocoa powder into a bowl of hearty oatmeal!

 

This month, really take the time to make healthy decisions- eat well, stay active- to improve heart health. And if chocolate is the way to your Valentine’s heart this Valentine’s Day… make it dark!
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Nutrition Information (for approximately 6 heart cakes); Calories: 346, Fat: 11 grams

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Comments

  1. These are adorable!! Perfect for Valentine’s Day dessert :)

  2. YAYYYY CHOCOLATE HEALTHY BENEFITS *happy dance* My kind of post :D

    And these lil cakes are just adorable and I’m not gonna let Michael see them or he may threaten to leave me for you, lol. (raspberry+chocolate=Michael heaven).

  3. Beautiful cakes! I love that these are “healthified.” :)

  4. These look good! Chocolate and raspberry go so well together. :)

  5. Cute cakes! My tastes have changed lately and I am starting to lean away from the purely sweet, chocolatey, buttery things and towards the more naturally sweetened and rich foods. Strange, I know. I must be getting old or sensible or something but I love what you do to recipes!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Haha same here, I love dark chocolate now and I use to swear by my milk chocolate hersheys bars :) ha and I’m glad our palettes are just changing their minds on types of chocolate and not totally giving it up!

  6. Wow, those look so rich and delicious! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  7. Aw. Sooo cute! I love all the info about chocolate – I am a chocoholic, the darker the better.

  8. These cakes are beautiful! I like that they are somewhat guilt free too!

  9. These mini cakes are just too cute! :) Love the recipe for a lighter chocolate frosting as well!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Ooo ya! The chocolate ganache is my favorite :) I used the extra like fondue… dipped bananas in it, SO yummy!

  10. Aw such a cute post!

  11. I love all things in small portions. This cake look fantastic. You cannot go wrong with a little chocolate now and then. Love it!

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