Category Archives: Desserts

Perfect Cake to combine with fruit

Photo: Almond Cake

A sign of spring in the Truckee Meadows is a farmer’s fruit stand on a street or parking lot near your house as some of the California growers begin bringing their spring harvest to the Reno area. We have one who sets up on the corner of the road to our house, and for the last three weeks, he’s been offering oranges, mangoes, cherries, and strawberries fresh from the farms. Nothing beats fresh, plant-ripened berries with their wonderful sweet taste. The first batch we bought could have been a little riper before picking, but the boxes from last weekend — perfection!

When you have sweet, flavorful strawberries, they just call out for cake and whipped cream. It’s a bit of an indulgence when you’re counting your carbs, but they are within limits when you mix the berries with a granulated sugar substitute, and you make a low carb cake. While not a shortcake, this recipe for an almond-flavored cake is moist and delicious complimenting the berries so well. You can use it for any kind of fruit you’d like for the topping or put a sugar glaze (with a sugar substitute, of course) over the top to serve with only a trio of raspberries and a mint leaf for garnish.

I made mine using Dixie Carb Counters Bakesquick, but the original recipe from Bob’s Red Mill called for almond flour. You can also use a combination of a low carb flour with almond flour. I changed the recipe to add in ricotta cheese, which adds to the moistness and flavor of the cake. Since it calls for coconut flour, I altered the egg option to 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites to give it more lift. You can use liquid egg whites for this.  I changed the proportions to a small cake recipe. If you want a large cake, double the amounts of all ingredients and use a 9″x13″ cake pan.

Moist Almond Cake

Based on a recipe from Bob’s Red Mill as made by Rene Averett

6 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
2 Egg Whites
2 tablespoons Cream or Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Water
2 tablespoons Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
3/4 cup Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
Pinch Salt
1 tsp. Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.). Prepare a 6-inch square baking pan by putting parchment paper on the bottom, then spraying the bottom and sides with baking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the butter and sugar substitute and use a mixer to cream together until it is smooth. Add in the egg and egg whites and beat until they are full mixed in. Add cream and almond extract and mix until blended.

In a separate small bowl, mix flour and coconut flour with the salt and baking powder. Add the flour to the egg mixture in three batches and beat each addition in until all the flour is mixed in. You will have a thick batter. Let it sit a few minutes. Coconut flour expands as it gets wet, so you may need to add a little water to have an easily spreadable batter.

Spread into your cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is done. Test with a toothpick in the middle that should out clean.

Remove to a rack to cool about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. If the cake has not pulled away from the sides of the pan, run a plastic knife around the edges, then put a plate over the pan and flip it. Remove the parchment paper if it flipped out with the cake.

Let cool, cut into slices and serve with berries and whipped cream or make an icing to top it.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. I cut it in 6 servings initially, but with the berries and cream, a smaller slice works great.

To my shame, I didn’t take a photo of the cake with the strawberries and whipped cream on top.  I will be doing this recipe again in a couple of weeks and will add a photo then.

 

Derby Cheesecake Time is Coming!

Recipe: Derby Pecan Cheesecake

I promised I would do this and here it is. Just in time for this year’s Kentucky Derby on May 4th, I adapted this decadent recipe for a fabulous cheesecake celebrating the event. I made it for Easter and can attest to the incredible flavors of the dessert. In addition to changing certain ingredients to low carb ones, I did add a couple of things to the original recipe. For those who would like the full carb version, you can find it here on the Tasty.co web site.

One thing you will absolutely need to make this is a brown sugar replacement. I used a combination of LC-Foods Sweet Brown and Swerve Sugar Replacement Brown, both of which are 0 carbs. You could use all Swerve Brown as it is most like brown sugar where LC-Sweet Brown is a powder and doesn’t have the texture of brown sugar. Swerve is available at Amazon, maybe Wal-Mart, and through Netrition.com (also LC-Sweet Brown). Truvia also has a brown sugar blend that has 1 net carb per 1/2 teaspoon but also says you use half as much as you would use of brown sugar. I haven’t tried it, but I would assume that if you use it, you use 1/4 cup of Truvia in place of the 1/2 cup.

I made a small 7″-spring-form-pan cheesecake as the larger one is too much for a two-person household. Cut into eight slices, the piece is large enough for a reasonable dessert and as rich-tasting as this is, the smaller serving is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Here’s a hint though. I made this with an almond flour crust standing in for a graham cracker one, but it would work perfectly well without the crust and save 1.5 net carbs on the total carb count. Next time, I plan to omit the crust.

Derby Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

Original Recipe by Matthew Johnson
Low Carb Adapted by Rene Averett

Crust:
1 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup Butter, melted

Filling:
8 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Almond Milk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
3 teaspoons Bourbon Whiskey, divided
1 Egg

Topping:
1/2 cup LC-Sweet Brown or Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Egg Yolks
1/3 cup Sugar-free Maple Syrup,
1/4 cup Cream, warm to the touch
2 tablespoons Butter, cold
1 cup roasted Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Prepare the spring-form pan with parchment paper over the base. Spray the pan with baking spray.

Prepare your ingredients and have them ready ahead of time. This actually goes together pretty quickly.

For the Crust:

In a small bowl, add the almond flour, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, and melted butter. Mix together with a spoon, then spoon into the bottom of the spring-form pan and press it to cover the bottom and about half-way up the sides.

Bake for about 10 minutes to set up and lightly brown the dough. Cool.

For the Filling:

Add the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup sugar substitute, and almond milk into a large bowl. Beat until blended and fluffy-looking.

Spoon in the sour cream, low carb flour, teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of Bourbon (more if really want to taste it), and two eggs. Mix on low until the filling is smoothly blended.

Pour the mixture over the almond flour crust in the spring-form pan. Bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and let sit for 30 minutes in the oven.

While the cheesecake is sitting for 30 minutes…

Make the Topping

Add egg yolks, sugar-free Maple Syrup, and warm cream to a bowl and stir together.

In a medium saucepan, add brown sugar substitute, cornstarch, and salt then stir together and put it on a low heat setting on your stove. Add the egg and cream mixture to the pan.

Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens to a pudding texture, around 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the cold butter and a teaspoon or two of bourbon, depending on how much you prefer.

Fold in the chopped pecans, mixing them through. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake while it is still in the spring-form pan. Spread to make an even layer over the top. (Mine dipped in the middle a little so that well of pecan is thicker.)

Photo: Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake
You can see where I didn’t quite get the topping spread all the way to the edge. Not that there wasn’t enough of it, but I just missed it. The topping is quite thick on the cheesecake.

Put in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours and allow the topping to set up firmly. Remove the spring-form pan and slide the cheesecake off the parchment paper onto a serving plate if you want it for a formal presentation.

Serve either chilled or let come to room temperature if you wish. Sometimes the higher temperature will bring the flavors out more.

Makes eight delicious servings.

Note: A word about the roasted pecans. These are easy to roast in the oven ahead of time by spreading them out on a layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour melted butter (about 1/4 cup over the top) and put in a 300 degree (F.) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
However, it isn’t necessary to roast the pecans unless you really want the roasted taste. You can just use raw pecans chopped up.

Photo: Nutrition Information

If you try this, let me know how you like it.  I’d love the feedback.

Irish Cream Ricotta Cheesecake Tops St. Patrick’s Day

Photo: Irish Cream Ricotta Cheesecake

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Oddly, it’s one of those holidays that tons of people celebrate whether they have even an ounce of Irish blood or not. That’s because it’s fun! Irish music can get your toes tapping or move you to tears. Then you toast the Irish and have another beer or an Irish Coffee or whatever floats your boat. The point is, people get together and have a good time.

The same thing applies to eating some great Irish-styled food on March 17th. Sure, lots of it isn’t actually Irish food, but it’s the spirit (sometimes in actuality) that contributes to the festivities.

While I’ve made an Irish Cream Cheesecake before, here’s a different version drawing on the ricotta-style cheesecake.  I adapted this from the basic recipe and used a combination of real Irish Cream and sugar-free Irish Cream Syrup to give it the yummy flavor. You could make it with all Irish Cream (add about 1 net carb per slice) or with all sugar-free Irish Cream syrup (subtract about 1 net carb per slice). While it makes six good-sized slices, I find that one-eighth of the cake is enough to satisfy me, but I’ve given the nutrition information for both size options.

Irish Cream Ricotta Cheesecake

Adapted by Rene Averett

8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 cup whole milk Ricotta Cheese
3/4 cup Sugar Substitute
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Irish Cream
2 tablespoons sugar-free Irish Cream Syrup
2 tablespoons Low Carb Flour, Almond Flour, or Soy flour,
or 1 tablespoon Coconut Flour
3 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/4 cup Heavy Cream or Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 6″x6″ spring-form pan and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until well mixed. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon mix, vanilla, flour, and butter. Mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in the heavy cream or sour cream last.

Pour the mixture in the cake pan and smooth.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for another 30 minutes. Let sit to cool about 10 minutes. Remove from spring-form pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool before serving.

Makes six to eight servings.

Irish Cream Chocolate Sauce

2 tablespoons Sugar-free Irish Cream Syrup
2 tablespoons Sugar-free Chocolate Topping (Walden Farms)

Mix together and drizzle over the top of each slice as you serve it. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

To make your own sugar-free chocolate syrup, add 2 tablespoons unsweetened chocolate, 2 tablespoons sugar substitute, and 2 tablespoons hot water together, add a bit of vanilla extract and stir until you have a syrup. To thicken it a little, cook in microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir again and let cool.

Here are more recipes on this site for more St. Patrick’s Day dining options:

Not Quite Traditional Corned Beef Hash

 

 

Photo: Corned Beef Pie Corned Beef Cottage Pie

 

 

Photo: Irish Benedict Irish Benedict Brunch

 

 

Photo: Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Corned Beef and Cabbage

 

 

Photo: Irish Soda Bread Irish Soda Bread – low carb

 

 

Photo: Irish Apple Cake Irish Apple Cake

 

 

For even more foods for St. Patrick’s, type in Irish in the search box to get more recipes. Erin go Bragh to you all!

A Norse Viking Apple Cake for Your Sweetie

Photo: Viking apple mini-cake.

Back in 2014, I copied down a recipe for a Viking apple cake that was called Mandel Eplekake, which is apparently Norse for it. I filed it away and hadn’t tried it. Last night, I had half an apple left over that needed to be used, so I adjusted the recipe down to make two mini-cakes and made it low carb. The recipe called for almond flour so I used that although mine is the coarse raw almond flour with the skins ground into it, so it has a darker, more whole wheat type appearance, but tastes very good. I also added sugar-free honey, cinnamon, and cloves to the recipe.

Now, the Vikings probably didn’t have cinnamon and clove, but I am pretty sure they used honey. No matter, I put them in to enhance the flavor of the apples. The result is a delicious little cake with slices of apple and a light seasoning that is not too sweet. I added a heaping tablespoon of whipped topping and served it warm. You could top it with more of the sugar-free honey or just a little heavy cream. It’s simple to make and makes a satisfying quick dessert. I suspect it would work equally well with pears and peaches.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it. It would be a nice capper after dinner for your sweetie.  I would love to get the feedback on it.

Viking Apple Cake

Two mini-cake low carb version

1/2 medium Apple, cored and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
1 Egg
3 tablespoons Almond Flour
2 tablespoons granulated Sugar Substitute
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Honey (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
2 dashes ground Cloves
1 tablespoon Butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) prepare two 1/2-cup ramekins or custard dishes by greasing them with butter. Alternately, and to remove from the cup easier, put a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom in each of the cups, then butter or spray with cooking spray.

Put apple slices and 2 tablespoons of sugar substitute (liquid or granulated) in a small pan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook about 5 minutes. Drain. You can also do this step in the microwave by covering the slices with water in a microwavable bowl and cooking for 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, add the egg and the remaining two tablespoons of granulated sugar substitute. Whisk until they are well mixed and frothy. Add the honey and whisk again. Add the almond flour and stir it into the egg mix.

Put the apple slices on the bottoms of the cups, dividing them evenly. Sprinkle half the cinnamon and cloves over each one of the ramekins. Stir the batter again and use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture into each cup so that they are even.

Put the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

Let sit about ten minutes, then serve with whipped cream or just heavy cream.

Makes two servings.

Photo: Nutrition Info Viking Apple Cake

Goes with Coffee: Apple and Pecan Muffins with Streusel

Photo: Apple Muffins

I had an apple that needed using so I decided to try this delicious-sounding recipe from AllRecipes.com user NMARIEA, but I adapted it to a low carb version. The result is delectable, especially when heated up before eating. It works well for a quick breakfast and also for a light dessert.

I put a light streusel topping made with almond flour and brown sugar mix on top, just enough to give it a little sweetness. For the flour, I used a combination of different brands, such as Carbolose, Bakesquick, and Carbquick in it. Each one has a different texture and taste so together, you get a nice mixture.

Apple and Pecan Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel

1 cup Low Carb Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup white Sugar Substitute
1 Egg
1 Egg White
1 teaspoon Vanilla or Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped Apples
1/3 cup Pecans pieces

Topping
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar Substitute
1 tablespoon Almond Flour
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.) Prepare 10 muffin tins by spraying them with cooking spray or put paper liners and spray those.

In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar substitute and mix together until creamy. Add the egg, egg white, vanilla or almond extract and cinnamon. Mix until combined.

In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Mix into the butter and egg in small batches until combined. This will be a fairly stiff dough. Stir in the apples and pecans.

Put about two tablespoons of the dough in each muffin cup. Because of the apples, they will nearly fill the cup.

In a small bowl, put in the brown sugar substitute (I used the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, or you could use Sweet Brown from LC Foods and add a little more butter.) Add butter and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cut together until it is crumbly. Sprinkle a little over the top of each muffin.

Bake 11 to 14 minutes. Use a toothpick to test if they are done. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

Makes ten average-sized muffins.