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
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
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