Valentine's Day

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Enjoy a low-calorie Valentine’s treat


Decadent treats have become a staple of Valentine's Day. But not all Valentine's celebrants want to indulge in high-calorie treats with their significant others. For those who want the decadence without all those extra calories, try the following low-calorie recipe for "Rockin' Red Velvet Trifle" from Lisa Lillien's "Hungry Girl 200 Under 200: Just Desserts" (St. Martin's Press).

Rockin' Red Velvet Trifle

Makes 8 servings

1 packet hot cocoa mix with 20 to 25 calories

2 tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1⁄2 cup moist-style devil's food cake mix

1⁄2 cup moist-style yellow cake mix

1⁄4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute

1⁄2 tablespoon red food coloring

Dash of salt

4 ounces fat-free cream cheese

2 tablespoons Jell-O Sugar-Free Fat-Free Vanilla Instant pudding mix

2 tablespoons Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)

1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 8-ounce container Cool Whip (thawed)

4 cups chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

Place the cocoa mix and 1 tablespoon chocolate chips in a glass. Add 1⁄4 cup very hot water, and stir until mostly dissolved. Add 1⁄3 cup cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mixes, egg substitute, food coloring, and salt. Add cocoa mixture, and whisk until smooth.

Pour batter into the baking pan, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate chips.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, 26 to 28 minutes.

Let cool completely, about 30 minutes in the pan and 30 minutes out of the pan on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth. In another medium bowl, combine pudding mix with Splenda. Add vanilla extract and 1⁄4 cup cold water, and vigorously stir until mostly smooth and slightly thickened. Add cream cheese and 1 cup Cool Whip, and stir until uniform. Cover and refrigerate.

Cut cake into 1-inch cubes.

In a large glass bowl or trifle dish, evenly layer half of the cubed cake. Spread all of the pudding mixture over the cake layer. Evenly top with half of the strawberries.

Continue layering with remaining cubed cake, Cool Whip and strawberries.