Chocolate-Dipped Almond Thins (LCHF)

I’ll cut right to the chase: there’s Splenda in this recipe. I already know what you’re going to say, so don’t bother…yes, I have used a food analog. And you know what? I don’t even feel guilty.

Up until last week, I would sooner have pulled off a toenail than created a recipe that used an artificial sweetener. But that was last week. This week, I’m a little less judgy, a little more antsy to play around with the sweeteners available to people who–for one reason or another–prefer/have to limit carbohydrate intake.

Now, don’t think for one minute that I condone simply swapping out sugar for sugar analogs just so you can feed your sweet tooth willy-nilly. I don’t. In fact, I would urge you to learn how to live with fewer sweets. It’s possible. Really!
I made this for those times when you just want a bite or two of something sweet, not a planned-for special indulgence. (In those cases, I would recommend this or this.) This is a small, satisfying sweet that won’t pump you full of insulin and make you feel like you not only fell off the wagon but got run over and dragged by it too.

If you want to try this but don’t mind the carbs or you just don’t want to use Splenda, you can sub out a tablespoon or two of cane sugar or granulated sugar for the Splenda.

FYI ~ you’ll see in the picture that my chocolate is a little bloomy. Eh. You can temper your chocolate for this, but that kind of defeats the purpose, which is to have a bit of deliciousness with no fuss and no insulin spike. Never mind the bloom–it’s harmless and a non-issue unless you’re serving dessert to, say, Daniel Boulud. (In that case, I would recommend tempering your chocolate so you don’t look like a chump.)

Chocolate-Dipped Almond Thins ~ low carb, high fat; gluten-free

  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated Splenda
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (liquid)
  • 1 egg white
For Chocolate Dip:
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 11/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, Splenda, and salt until combined.
2. Add vanilla extract, coconut oil, and egg white to dry ingredients; mix until moistened and dough comes together in a ball.
3. Roll dough out between two sheets of baking parchment until about 1/6-inch thick. Remove top sheet of parchment and slide bottom sheet onto baking pan. Use a cookie cutter or pastry wheel to cut out shapes.
4. Bake at 325F for 12 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden. 
5. Let sit on baking sheet till cool, then separate cookies from scraps. Crumble scraps and reserve.
6. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir until smooth. Dip cookies into chocolate and place on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. Garnish cookies with crumbled scraps. Place cookie sheet into freezer for 30 minutes, or until chocolate coating is solid. 
7. Serve immediately. Keep frozen to store.
 

LCHF Chocolate Peanut Butter Pots de Creme

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LCHF Chocolate Peanut Butter Pots de Creme

This is my first weekend experimenting with the metabolic efficiency training diet, and since weekends call for dessert, I took to my kitchen. What I came up with is this little number–a silky smooth dark chocolate pot de creme with a hint of peanut butter. It’s gluten-free and almost dairy-free (the darker the chocolate, the smaller the amount of dairy).

Honestly, I would have no trouble serving this to dinner guests and not telling them it meets any certain dietary specifications. Even though it’s LCHF, no one would ever guess it’s anything other than a rich, decadent chocolate pot de creme. You can take my word on it (pastry chef here). And the best part? It takes about 5 minutes to throw together. True story.

Give it a try. You know you want to.

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LCHF Chocolate Peanut Butter Pots de Creme

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (full fat, not light)
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I like Perugina or Ghirardelli, 63% or higher)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated Splenda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream whipped with 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon granulated Splenda (Optional)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
  1. Bring coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Place chocolate, Splenda, vanilla, and peanut butter in the bowl of a food processor*.
  3. Pour hot coconut milk over chocolate (et al.) in the food processor. Fasten the lid and process until smooth and completely blended, about 1 minute. Pour into ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 3-4 hours, until firm.
  4. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder, if desired. Serve cold.

*If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this with a good blender. Follow your blender’s instructions on processing hot liquids–most blenders have a removable insert in the cap to vent steam. I hold a folded dish towel over the opening when operating mine with hot liquids.

Filed under: LCHF, Recipes, Runner Fuel, Sweets Tagged: chocolate, coconut milk, dessert, LCHF, low carb, peanut butter

Chocolate Velvet with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Chocolate. It heals all wounds. Stops time. Says “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “it’s Tuesday” in every language. Chocolate doesn’t judge, it just offers it’s broad shoulders for crying on or hoisting to celebration.

So, what, exactly, is Chocolate Velvet? “Velvet” is not an actual pastry term. It’s a little like saying “Chocolate Surprise,” but more descriptive. To me, this dessert is something like the love child of chocolate mousse and a brownie: creamy and smooth, it melts in your mouth, but it’s dense and intensely chocolaty. You can eat it warm or chilled. You can eat it plain or capped with a snowy mound of vanilla ice cream. You can share it with a loved one, but you probably won’t. Better make enough for everyone to have his or her own.

Chocolate Velvet

Yield: 6 servings

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I like Perugina)
  • 1.5 ounces butter, room temp
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional flavorings:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coffee, almond, or hazelnut liquor
Vanilla bean ice cream to serve (optional)
Chocolate syrup to garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease six 6-ounce ramekins with nonstick baking spray. Place ramekins in a 13×9-inch glass baking dish or roasting pan. 
  2. Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave or in a double boiler; stir until smooth. Allow to come to room temperature.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar until light and foamy–about 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract and additional flavoring, if using; beat 1 minute more. 
  4. Fold about 1/4 cup into cooled chocolate mixture to lighten; add chocolate mixture to beaten eggs and fold gently to combine completely.
  5. Divide batter among the six ramekins. Pour very hot water into baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F 20 to 25 minutes, until velvets are set and the top is no longer glossy. Remove from water bath and allow to cool 10 minutes on rack. Eat warm or let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill. You can eat them cold or rewarm in a microwave for 20-30 seconds.
  7. Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup to garnish, if desired.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chunk Crumb Cake

This is not a tea cake. This is a deep, dense, baby-gimme-somma-dat coffee cake. It’s dense. And deep. I emphasize this, because I don’t want complaints about how heavy this is. It’s not HEAVY. It’s moist, delicious, flavorful, and dense. And unlike in men and souffles, in this cake, that’s a great quality.

But why so dense? Well, first of all, the streusel. It’s in the middle, it’s on top. And no one has ever accused a good streusel of being delicate. So it’s not.

Second, there’s a lot going on here: peanut butter (dense), bananas (dense), chocolate (dense), and sour cream (dense). Think about it.

Third, I use a deep pan. A real deep pan. Why? Because I didn’t have a shallow pan on hand when I was originally developing this recipe, and my chief taster liked it pretty well just this way. And I agreed. So I stuck with it. If you like your crumb cake a little more ladylike, use an 11×7-inch baking dish. I won’t judge you. It takes a while to work up to this much badonkadonk.

A couple of words on the actual cake . . .

Regarding streuseling: Don’t just sprinkle. Get in there like you mean it. Grab yourself a handful of streusel, make a nice clump, and break it up ~ a little ~ then drop that onto your batter. That’s what’ll give you those gorgeous take-me-home-to-mama chubs of streusel on your cake.

Regarding flours: I used Hodgson Mill white whole wheat flour for this (and all of my other recipes requiring whole wheat flour). I originally developed this recipe for a contest on their site via my dearly departed baking blog (which is a sad/angry/frustrating story for another day). So I would like to give a shoutout to HM for their consistently good products. I’m a big fan of their white whole wheat and their whole wheat pastry flour, specifically.

And that’s it. Go make it. Give yourself plenty of time; it’s a big prima donna and it’s going to take a while to bake. I’m not exaggerating. If you use the deep pan like I’m telling you to, plan on sticking around for at least an hour and a half. But all feedback so far suggests it’s worth it.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chunk Crumb Cake

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For Streusel:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 ounces butter, softened
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×9-inch glass baking dish with nonstick pan spray and set aside. 
  2. Make Streusel: In a bowl, combine brown sugar,  flours, peanut butter, and butter. Mix with a pastry blender or fingertips until butter and peanut butter are fully integrated.Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and smooth; add peanut butter and cream until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate; add vanilla and scrape down the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Add bananas and sour cream and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Top with half the streusel. Add remaining batter. Don’t worry if the streusel layer isn’t covered ~ things will work themselves out. Top with remaining streusel.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, then check. If browning fast, cover loosely with a sheet of foil and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, check, repeat until a toothpick inserted in the center of the crumb cake comes out clean. 
  7. Let cool on a rack and dust with powdered sugar if you’d like.