No Pudge my fat white a**s
I think by now we have all dispensed with the notion that “fat free” foods have any value at all as a weight control vehicle. They don’t taste good, inevitably fail to satisfy, lead to over eating, and when purchased as processed foods contain substances better suited to house cleaning than eating. And you know how I feel about cleaning.
Still, there are times when we want a little something, so we whip up a batch of brownies, or cookies, or a full size jelly roll with whipped cream, chocolate ganache and sour cherry jam, then proceed to consume not one portion, but the lion’s share, if not the entire thing. A la mode. Admit it. It’s the first step to recovery, or so I am told.
This is why there’s a place for the single serving sweet, if only we could find one that satisfies. Imagine: you nuke it up, consume it standing over the sink, throw the dish in dishwasher and are able to immediately back away from the kitchen, smug in your self-control and secure in the knowledge that this will be worked off as soon as you start using that very expensive gym membership you bought last year. (Some say that just having the membership burns the odd calorie, but I have so far been unable to prove that, try as I might.)
Anyways, it was with this in mind that I spontaneously grabbed a box of No Pudge! brownies off the shelf at the market the other day, despite the strange and off-putting cover image of the pig being cinched to death by what appears to be a psych ward restraint. According to the package I picked up, they are “all natural,” and in truth the ingredient list contains nothing I can’t find in my own pantry, other than wheat gluten, and that’s hardly cause for concern. They also can be made one serving at a time, so I cranked up the Slattern test kitchen and gave it a whirl.
The verdict: The instructions call for two tablespoons of brownie mix and one tablespoon of non-fat vanilla yogurt per serving. I only had plain 2% Greek yogurt on hand, but having long ago dispensed with the whole fat-free canard, figured it would be fine. In the end I added more like two tablespoons of yogurt just to get it blended as the Greek stuff is a bit stiff. The result was predictable: so over sweetened that the chocolate flavor (and isn’t that the point?) was lost. I imagine the addition of artificially over-sweetened vanilla yogurt would have made matters even worse. In short, it sucked.
So I had an idea, and I gave it another go, this time adding sour cream (one tablespoon) instead of yogurt. This vastly improved both the flavor and the texture of the brownie, though it was still nowhere near the quality of a homemade brownie, which as we know can be a transcendent experience when done right.
Footnote: My clever daughter recently found a recipe for single serving chocolate cake over at Food.com and insists it’s quite tasty, though I have yet to try it out. Of course things being what they are on my cravings landscape, it’s probably only a matter of time. I also notice that Johanna over at Notes from a Messy Kitchen has put up a similar single serving cake recipe (Splenda sweetened for those of you who have yet to give up on your appearance), which looks delicious.