San Francisco pastry chef David Chesarek is a chocoholic so dedicated that he eats the sweet stuff even after a run, although he learned the hard way not to reach for something too rich. “Pounding brownies after a run isn’t smart, trust me,” says Chesarek, the owner of the specialty company My Friend the Chocolate Cake in San Francisco, US. Instead, the 42-year-old gets his fix with this chocolate and banana smoothie spiked with espresso. “It gets your blood sugar up and rehydrates,” he says.
Chesarek earned his pastry stripes at restaurants in New York City and San Francisco and developed the habit of post-workout smoothies while a student. “It became my way to reward myself after a run,” he says. Great smoothies, like great cakes, are all about quality ingredients, he says. Besides chocolate, he makes smoothies using guava or passion-fruit juice blended with whatever fruit he has on hand – strawberries, white peaches, mango – and a little maple syrup and ice.
Chesarek, who qualified for the 1988 US Olympic Trials in the 400-metre hurdles, logs 25 kilometres a week. He runs along San Francisco’s waterfront, but he also loves to venture up the city’s 15 per cent grades. “In 20 minutes, you can pretty much kill yourself,” he says. “It’s perfect.” Especially when followed by chocolate.
How To Make It: Chocolate-Espresso Smoothie
225g chocolate yoghurt
1 large banana (browned and frozen)*
2 shots espresso, chilled
2 cups ice (about 14 ice cubes)
1 dozen chocolate-covered espresso beans
Place half of the yoghurt plus all of the remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add remaining yoghurt and pulse until smooth. (If you add the full container of yoghurt at the beginning, the mixture is too thick to blend easily.) For a thicker smoothie, blend in up to a cup more ice. Serves two.*Any ripe banana will work, but a browned and frozen banana lends better flavour and texture.