The Cooking Cardiologist's Hazelnut Chocolate Torte

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PHOENIX -- Foods that are good for you heart don't have to be boring or bland and eating healthfully doesn't mean giving up the good stuff -- like desserts.
(Go to Hazelnut Chocolate Torte recipe)

"The philosophy is don't give up what you like to eat, just change your recipe," said Dr. Richard Collins, aka The Cooking Cardiologist®, editor of a new cookbook called "Cooking With Heart."

Collins promises the recipes in the book are not just heart healthy, they are super tasty. When it comes to making over a recipe to make it heart-healthy, Collins says it's essential to maintain the flavors and taste.

While Collins does still have a practice in Denver, he says he loves being a chef.

"I feel like we can help people in America lower their cholesterol just one dish at a time," he said. "I feel better doing this than putting band-aids on people, putting in stents and catheters and things like that.

"I'm a total preventive cardiologist," he continued.

Collins said he became The Cooking Cardiologist® after running a program to reverse heart disease with diet and exercise in the 1990s.

"We got tremendous results," he said. "I realized that we could do far better by keeping people out of the hospital than to try and fix them up on a daily basis."

"Cooking With Heart," which came about because of Collins' passion, is a collections of heart-healthy recipes from the physicians, staff and family of South Denver Cardiology Associated. Each entry contains complete nutritional information. The book is designed "to educate and empower our patients and friends to better care for themselves."

Collins will be at Eli's American Grille Thursday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., for a book signing, demonstration and question-and-answer session. Eli's is located at  7000 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale.

For more information about the Cooking Cardiologist, Dr. Richard Collins, log onto

Hazelnut Chocolate Torte

1 can (15 oz.) black soybeans or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup, 4 egg equivalent substitute such as Egg Beaters®
2 Tbsp. sugar or sugar substitute
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella®, divided into 1/4-cup portions
Reduced fat whipped cream topping if desired
Mint leaf for garnish or add fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°F or 375°F at high altitudes.

Place drained, rinsed beans in a food processor and puree until smooth. With the processor running, pour in the egg substitute. The fiber in the bean will not blend, so texture will not be entirely smooth. This is normal.

Add sugar, baking powder, vanilla and 1/2 cup Nutella®. Blend to combine ingredients.

Coat a 9" non-stick cake pan with vegetable spray. A round piece of parchment paper placed on the bottom works best to release the torte. Pour in batter.

Bake on center rack for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry. The surface should be firm yet spongy.

Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Bring the torte to room temperature. The torte tastes best cooled fully. It is more moist and dense the next day.

Warm the remaining 1/2 cup Nutella® to a spreadable consistency and frost the top of the torte.

Top with whipped topping and serve with garnishes or top with fresh raspberries.

Serves 10.

Serving size: 1/10 of the torte (analysis does not include whipped cream or fresh raspberries).

Nutritional analysis: Calories: 255, total fat 13 g, saturated fat 2g, sodium 96mg, carbohydrates 26g, protein 8g.