Although the Food Network and I aren't really friends anymore, since they seem only want to teach me how to use processed food or to host reality television, I have found a new friend in the Cooking Channel. Actual chefs, making things from scratch, and I've been learning things.
One show I adore, even if I only watch the beginning to get the general idea most of the time, is Brunch at Bobby's. Bobby Flay is the real deal. Even when he made strawberry shortcake milkshakes, he starts
by making shortcakes from scratch. No excuse about not being a baker, no time-saving tricks like buying pre-made shortcakes with a kitchen-sponge texture, just a quick demonstration of how easy biscuit making can be.
Anyway, one day he made what looked amazing - Chocolate Blintzes with Chocolate-Whipped Ricotta Almond Filling and Warm Cherry Sauce
. The entire episode was about a chocolate lovers brunch, and I started thinking how I could adapt this recipe to a lower-sugar version. And I did. And it was good. So now I share it with you. The only regret I have is that had I had frozen unsweetened cherries on hand, it would have been easy to make a lower-sugar sauce version, but since I didn't, I used thinly spread jam inside the crepes. And honestly, this was one of the rare moments in our lower-sugar eating that didn't feel like a big sacrifice. If you start with a good flavor profile with a lot of layers of texture and flavor, the way Bobby Flay always cooks, then it is easier to bridge the gap even when you are having to pull back on a few ingredients.
I started with the lower carb crepes recipe
that often finds its way onto our weekend menu, and made a few tweaks. I added 1/3 cup cocoa powder and 3/4 cup-1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (to partner the almonds in the filling), and gave it a go. The crepes were a little thicker than normal, but tasted chocolatey and were still rollable.
I used Bobby's ricotta filling recipe, but added a few tablespoons of almond flour, 1 tbsp of chocolate chips, and used splenda instead of powdered sugar.
I already said I used a thin layer of jam inside, whipped cream on top, and these were great. Next time I'll make a fruit sauce or add fresh fruit.