Kara's Keto Plates

Fatty Food Blogging

Month: March 2015

German Chocolate Icing

For my birthday, I decided to do the brownie cupcakes I did for Michael’s birthday but to make my own German chocolate icing. German Chocolate Cake (not actually German) includes an icing that is essentially a caramel with coconut and pecans mixed in. It is a glorious icing, but the traditional recipe definitely smacks of the era it came from: the caramel is made using a can of sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and butt loads of sugar (most recipes even called for the use of sweetened shredded coconut). It’s straight from the unapologetic, over the top 50’s: can’t you just picture the ashtrays, bomb shelters and rocks glasses?

I decided to keto-ize the icing, which consisted of me mostly shaking my head at the other low carb and paleo versions I could find. To wit: caramel flavor is not browned butter, it’s browned sugar.  So, what do you do when you can’t use sugar (and sugar substitutes won’t brown)? You find the one ingredient which best approximates the richest, most delicious brown sugar flavor. That ingredient is… molasses. I’m an unapologetic molasses fiend, I used to drink molasses + apple cider vinegar + hot water every morning when I was vegan. I used it as a nutritional supplement but the fact is that I just really like molasses. It tastes good. It has a beautiful color. It’s packed with minerals and vitamins. The best part? You don’t have to add much molasses to get a nice, rich caramel flavor. You can add enough that it hardly adds many additional carbs per serving, but it will add flavor and color.

German Chocolate Icing

German Chocolate Icing

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Erythritol
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon Blackstrap Molasses
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Liquid Splenda or Stevia, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Arrowroot Powder
1 cup Pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup shredded, unsweetened Coconut

Directions:
Place the butter, erythritol, cream and molasses in a saucepan over medium heat . Stir as the butter melts, until all the ingredients are mixed together. Add the vanilla extract, salt and liquid splenda or stevia to taste. Keep in mind that the caramel will need to be super sweet (since the coconut and pecans we’re adding will not be sweetened). Bring the mixture to a boil, adding the arrowroot powder as the mixture comes to a boil, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Keep stirring the mixture as it cools – it should thicken a bit but still be liquid (the sauce will come off a spoon in a thick ribbon). Add the pecans and coconut, stir to coat all the pecans and coconut and then top your cake/cupcake/brownies. I actually cored each cupcake (maybe halfway down) and filled the core of each cupcake with the icing, and then topped with additional icing. I set the cupcakes in the fridge to cool and then added some liquid ganache on top (and garnished with a pecan half). The ganache was very simple: 1.75 ounces of chocolate and 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream melted together, sweetened with liquid splenda to taste and then stirred in an ice bath to cool. Once the ganache was sufficiently cooled, I spooned a bit (maybe a teaspoon) on top of each cupcake. You can keep the cupcakes in the fridge for probably 3-4 days, but they are nicer to eat when they are a little warmer, so set them out at room temperature for maybe 30 minutes or so before serving. The icing makes 12 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving, icing only):
Total Calories: 112 kcal
Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Total Carbohydrate: 3 g
Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 1 g

Net Carbohydrate: 1.5 g

German Chocolate Cupcake

Peanut Butter Maple Candy

You know that feeling when you get back from vacation and your house is still clean and lovely (and still smells like Fenugreek because you eat butter chicken like three times a week)? You sigh deeply and feel so ridiculously at home again. That’s how getting back to keto feels after a week of eating whatever I wanted on vacation. Donuts. Waffles. Beer (oh, I missed beer… I may have to start making hop tea or something to take the place of beer). Calamari. Fried fish (so much fried fish). Chocolate chip cookies. Cheese danish. Nachos. On the plus side, at least we did a bunch of walking (several miles, at least) pretty much every day.

While we were in Orlando, I happened to find out we were a few miles from a Sanrio store. So we made the jaunt. I bought a bunch of cute things but was most excited about a Hello Kitty chocolate mold. I had to have it the moment I saw it. I have been wanting to pick up chocolate molds, anyway, so I could do the sugar free candy and chocolate making that I’ve been starting to do more regularly in an easier and cuter way. Of course, I had to make up a new recipe today to put the mold to the test. The mold is supposed to be dishwasher safe (don’t know if I trust that) but it held up to nearly boiling candy and the freezer very well. And the candies popped out so easily and look so cute… it’s perfect.

Peanut Butter Maple Candy

Peanut Butter Maple Fat Bomb

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (solid at room temperature)
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened, Smooth Peanut Butter (I use Kirkland brand – the only ingredients are peanuts and salt)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Maple Syrup (I use Maple Grove Farms brand)
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Liquid Splenda or Stevia, to taste
Salt, to taste

Directions:
Melt the coconut oil and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to make sure the coconut oil and peanut butter are completely combined. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Taste to see whether the sweetness and salt levels are good – I added probably 5 drops of liquid splenda and maybe a quarter of a teaspoon of additional salt. If the peanut butter you use isn’t salted, you may need even more salt. The mixture should be smooth and pretty liquidy. I decanted the mixture into a measuring cup and poured it into my chocolate mold, then stuck the mold in the freezer for about half an hour. By that time, the candies were hard enough to pop out of the mold. I’m storing them in a container in the freezer.  This made 16 pieces of candy for me, I’d call it 8 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 70 kcal
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 1 g
Fiber: .5 g
Protein: 1 g

Net Carbohydrate: .5 g

Lime Mug Cake

Blimey, it’s lime-y. I happen to have a bunch of limes on hand… I went a little nuts at the grocery store because they were on sale. And then I drank a couple margaritas this weekend (inspired by Archer: shot of silver tequila, 1/2 oz of Cointreau, juice of one lime, ice and kosher salt on the rim of my glass). But I have limes leftover after the weekend… thus enters this mug cake. If you’re not out and about in the world of the internets (which leads to the question of what you are doing here?), a mug cake is basically a simple cake you microwave instead of baking. Energy efficient and it means you can eat cake in five minutes… for when you really, really, really need cake. And fast.

Lime Mug Cake

Lime Mug Cake

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Almond Flour
2 Tbsp Erythritol
1 tsp Baking Powder
Dash of salt
Zest of one lime
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, liquid
1 Egg
Juice from one lime

Directions:
Mix dry ingredients (Almond Flour, Erythritol, Baking Powder, Salt and zest). Set aside. In separate bowl, lightly beat egg with a fork. Add oil, still mixing with the fork. Then add the lime juice (again, constantly mixing with the fork so we have a lovely emulsion). I added a couple drops of liquid splenda to the liquid mixture, but that is totally optional. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix together. Divide the mixture into two microwave-safe mugs (mugs are important because the cakes will climb up the sides of the mugs), Microwave each mug separately for a minute and thirty seconds. The mugs will be hot – I let mine cool for a few minutes and then dumped it onto a plate to feel dignified.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 395 kcal
Total Fat: 37 g
Saturated Fat: 14 g
Total Carbohydrate: 9.5 g
Fiber: 4.5 g
Protein: 12 g

Net Carbohydrate: 5 g

Birthday Celebrations and Recipe Testing

Birthdays when I was a kid were awesome because in my family you got to choose what we ate for dinner and dessert and you could choose *anything*. You could go out to eat or order in (which we almost never did normally) and choose to eat anything you wanted. Some people ordered in Chinese food or subs or pizza. I had a particular sandwich restaurant I loved (which is now closed, shame) and we would even order appetizers there (very special to me as a child). The youngest forced us to McDonalds for many, many years. But dessert was always, always homemade, because my mom was an amazing baker. One year she made these sculpted piano cakes (recipe from Jacques Torres, I think) for my birthday, complete with keyboards made of white and dark chocolate and raspberry sauce for drizzling. So, birthdays for me have always been wrapped up into this impossible extravagance that somehow becomes possible, magically, for 24 hours.

All that being said, a birthday is just another day. A magical day but a day. Normally, Michael and I would probably just skip the diet for a day and eat whatever we wanted – but we’ll be traveling soon and we’ve made up our minds not to worry about the diet for that week. So, we decided to stay keto for his birthday last  week. Dinner was Italian Sausage with onions, bell peppers and mushrooms and this breadsticks recipe. The breadsticks turned out pretty good – we cooked them on foil and they stuck mercilessly, but once they cooled for a few minutes, it was easy to pull off the foil and eat the breadsticks. They were surprisingly breadstick-like. I spiced up Contadina canned sauce (3 g net carb per 1/4 cup serving) with a couple fresh garlic cloves, oregano, crushed red pepper to serve on the side. It was a well-received meal.

For dessert, I made this recipe: low carb salted caramel brownie cupcakes. I made the brownie cupcakes a day ahead of time and despite my worry about the recipe (so many eggs! so little almond flour!) the cupcakes turned out great. I used King Arthur super finely ground almond flour (which I recommend for baking recipes) and the grain of the cupcakes was really good for such dense, chocolate-y little beasts. This recipe will make it into my dessert rotation. The salted caramel became an issue though – which I should have figured out before even making it.

I use Erythritol, plain Erythritol as my sweetener. The author uses Swerve. Swerve is mostly Erythritol but they add oligosaccharides (ie, starch, like Maltodextrin) to make it behave more like sugar.  The problem with Oligosaccharides and Maltodextrin is that they do spike blood sugar and insulin. Hence, why I choose to use Erythritol (no blood sugar or insulin spike at all) instead of Swerve or Granular Splenda in recipes.

So where does this affect the salted caramel? Plain old Erythritol will not brown (it crystallizes instead). Oligosaccharides and Maltodextrin will brown. I put my butter and my erythritol in a saucepan and heated it and heated it. It kept forming a skin (crystallizing), so I couldn’t even tell if it was boiling. After a while, I figured the solution must be hot as hell. I touched it with a fingertip because I am a glutton for punishment. It burned like a bitch. I put my finger under cold water and then found my infrared thermometer. The solution was 259 degrees Fahrenheit. I figured that was as caramel-y as I was going to get and took it off the heat. I still finished the recipe and used the “salted caramel” in the icing but it was kind of a bust. Cupcake recipe good, icing recipe only really works if you’re willing to use a sweetener with a starch (and possibly spike your blood sugar/insulin levels). The cupcake still looked pretty, though:

Brownie Cupcake

And we had a solid keto birthday dinner and dessert for Michael’s birthday. There was also an enormous Pokémon banner and streamers and fun presents. The cat stole and ate so many ribbons, and then barfed them back up for us. All in all, it was a good experience and proof that we can do a birthday right, even on keto.

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