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Happy Mother’s day with a fancy but easy dessert.

OK I’m giving in this one time to an Non-caloric sweetener or “NCS” called Stevia.

There aren’t very many sugar substitutes I would recommend in the grocery world.  But one stands out as a more organic type of sweetener from a Paraguayan plant called Stevia. The leaves have been sweetening foods for thousands years. There is no absorption in the gut thus no raising of the blood sugar, a wonderful substitute for Diabetics or wanting to indulge but want to cut the calories.. this can be it. I was impressed with no after taste trying the Stevia in the Raw product. According to the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition, their position paper has given a thumbs up to this sweetener, Stevia, for the substance minimally effects low blood sugar and insulin levels and it is non toxic.

SO DOES IT TASTE GOOD? The answer is yes as you will see in the meringue disks made with sugar almost cut in half. Do I use completely Stevia? For meringues, I feel that some sugar softens the Stevia but total substitution can be made and it has a lot less bitter aftertaste than other zero calorie sweeteners.. In this meringue ice cream sandwich cookie of sorts. We  featured it with whipped heavy cream, a compote of rhubarb and cherries.

The Meringue Disk  Recipe:

  • 5 eggs whites

  • 6 packets of stevia (depending on sweetness)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 cup of cherries pitted and halved or strawberries hulled and sliced (retain 4 or 5 cherries with stems on for show)

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

  • 2 additional packets of stevia or 1 packet of stevia and 2 teaspoon of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 stalks of rhubarb

    Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Separate egg yolks from egg whites and set aside yolks for another purpose.  In a small mixing bowl beat the egg whites with the salt, for 8-10 minutes until glossy with soft peaks forming.

    Add the sugar stevia mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until the egg whites are stiff and glossy for an additional 10 minutes and you can tip the bowl upside n and nothing moves.

  • Draw 5 inches circles with a teacup saucer on parchment paper on a cookie sheet turn over the parchment paper and smooth with a spatula the meringue mixture over the circles.

  • Bake in the oven on low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Turn oven off.  Let meringue  disks remain in the oven for another 1 hour. Take them out, let them cool and assemble.  Makes 6 disks.

Compote:

1 cup of pitted stemmed cherries or hulled strawberries

2 stal1 cup ks of rhubarb chopped

2 packets of stevia and 2 teaspoon of sugar or honey

Cook all the ingredients together on low heat until the fruit is broken down into a sauce. Let cool.

Whipped cream: use a commercial brand of real whipped cream or whip 1/2  cream for 4 minutes with vanilla extract and 1 packet of stevia, with 1 teaspoon of sugar, until soft peaks form.

Place whipped cream on the disk and pour some of the compote over the filling. Cover with another disk and place some fresh fruit over the top with additional whipped cream.

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