By Dr. Julia Nordgren
Because I am a pediatrician who loves healthy cooking, I have a reputation as the local food police. People are always amazed to see me out with my family for ice cream. And when I am out to dinner with friends, there is always an uncomfortable silence when the waiter asks if anyone wants dessert.
But the truth is, I love dessert. And in every healthy diet, there is room for the occasional indulgence. Life should be delicious, and sweet treats are so enjoyable!
My tastes have changed a lot over the years, and I find now that I really enjoy smaller portions of more intensely flavored treats. So rather than eat a huge piece of cake with ice cream, I am far happier with an ounce or two of dark chocolate. This helps me keep portions reasonable, and I never feel deprived.
So this recipe came together as I was learning to work with chocolate in culinary school. It can seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple! It is my standby recipe when I want to bring a hostess gift, or if I am bringing dessert to a dinner party. It is always so elegant. People think I slaved in the kitchen all day. Who am I to correct them?
We call this recipe “The Chocolate Galaxy” because swirling white chocolate into the middle of dark chocolate looks like the Milky Way Galaxy. And my kids were quick to add peanuts, coarse salt, marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles to be the stars and the planets. It is so much fun to make, and so easy to customize with whatever toppings you like.
Give it a try the next time you have a dinner party to go to. It is sure to impress!
For each chocolate, you will need a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Set them side-by-side on the stovetop so you can melt them at the same time.
Set out a sheet pan with parchment paper. You will need to set the chocolate in the freezer, so make sure the pan fits before you get started!
Place the dark chocolate and the white chocolate in separate stainless steel bowls. Place the bowls over pots of water that are simmering, but not boiling. Stir the chocolate occasionally until it is all melted.
First, take the melted dark chocolate and spread it onto the sheet pan with parchment. Next, take the melted white chocolate and drizzle it through the middle of the dark chocolate. Swirl it gently with a rubber spatula, but don’t completely mix it together. You want it to look like the Milky Way galaxy!
Sprinkle the chopped peanuts evenly over the melted chocolate. Repeat with the finishing salt, chocolate sprinkles, and mini-marshmallows.
Place the pan in the freezer (or outside, of it is below freezing!). Allow chocolate to set for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Once set, break apart into bite-sized pieces and arrange on a serving plate.
Enjoy right away, or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Nutrition information per serving:
Saturated Fat: 7g
Julia Nordgren, MD has the unique distinction of being a physician and a trained chef. Her years of treating patients for cholesterol disorders and childhood obesity motivated her to inspire people to make healthy eating part of their daily lives. Dr. Nordgren received her medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School and graduated in 2013 from the Culinary Institute of America with honors. She currently lives on the Connecticut Shoreline and tests many of her recipes on her husband and two boys, who luckily have adventurous appetites and honest opinions.