Peanut Butter Snack Cake*

images (4) This is just wonderfully good. Moist, dense, flavorful.

Peanut butter.

What’s not to like here?

This is a good reduction in carbs, but not a total one. I’d say somewhere around 9 carbs per slice or less, which is certainly good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups spelt,  or 1 c spelt, and 1 c almond meal
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c stevia or other sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 9×13-in baking pan, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and sweetener, and stir very well. Set aside.
  3.  In a new bowl, whisk together the nut butter, yogurt, water, and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined (don’t over-mix), then pour into the greased pan.
  5. Bake 25 minutes or until batter has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. If you can wait, I highly recommend not taking a taste until the next day… this cake is much sweeter after sitting for a day.
  6. Frost if you like.

SERVINGS: 8

NOTES: I used a peanut butter/cream cheese frosting (posting tomorrow)

SOURCE: Adapted from Chocolate Covered Kate

 

Lemon Ricotta Cake*

images (2) This turned out so wonderfully with my changes that I think you could make this almost any flavor you want to.

I’m keen to try it as a chocolate cake perhaps.

It’s wonderful as is, and it’s great with a nice berry topping of your choice.

Keeps well in the fridge as well.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 Cup Softened Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Stevia
  • Zest From 3 Large Lemons
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
  • 3 Large Eggs, Separated
  • 1 Cup Full Fat Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Plus  All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Dash of Salt
  • Fresh Strawberries for topping

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease and flour a 7 or 8 inch spring-form pan.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the lemon zest, extract, egg yolks and ricotta cheese and beat until smooth.
  5. Mix together the flourS, baking powder and salt, and beat into the butter mixture just until combined.
  6. Wash your beaters well, and then beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
  7. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter then spoon the batter into your prepared tin.
  8. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester stuck into the center comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: As I said, you can probably make this with some chocolate, or even cut up some peaches in it, or other fruit. Change the lemon to limes if you like. You can dust the top with powdered sugar, or sliced almonds. Blueberries would go very well with this as a topping with the lemon.

SOURCE: Adapted from Italian Food Forever

Cheesecake Makeover with Coconut and BlueBerries*

blueberry_cheesecake_lg2 Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. Cleaning up the carbs by changing up the sugars works pretty good for this type of recipe.

Therefore, you can expect a pretty close taste comparison between the original and this better version for those of us cutting carbs.

Although I made this without a topping, I’d be inclined next time to take a cup of blueberries and make a syrupy compote to spoon over the top just to fancy up the top and provide a bigger blueberry kick.

But you may like it plainer. Your choice.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One almond crust pressed into a 8-inch spring form pan. Leave in the freezer until ready to use.
  • 1/2 c dried coconut (unsweetened) I used chips and then whirred them in a spice mill until they were shredded nicely.
  • 1/2 c of sugar substitute of your choice
  • 3  (8-oz) pkgs of cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c blueberries, divided

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring your cream cheese to room temperature and place in a mixer.
  2. Beat until light and fluffy, a minute or so.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in well in between.
  4. Add the sugar and mix.
  5. Add the vanilla and mix.
  6. Add half the blueberries and mix gently by hand.
  7. Pour into your crust, spreading evenly.
  8. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes, or until set. I’d start checking at 45 minutes. The top will brown slightly.
  9. Cool and refrigerate.
  10. Either cover the top with the rest of the blueberries or make a blueberry compote with a heat stable sugar substitute and ladle over each piece as served.

SERVES: 8 generous pieces

NOTES: You can just about use any fruit you would like I think in this. Or use like a combo of bananas (which I would mash and add to the batter, with strawberries. Raspberries would also be excellent.

SOURCE: Inspired by Divalicious Recipes

Crock Pot Gingerbread Cake*

Slow-Cooker-Gingerbread-4I must say that I have avoided slow-cooker cakes like the plague. I figured they weren’t very good.

But in the quest to reduce carbs, well, you try a lot of new things anyway.

This actually worked amazingly well. This cake was moist (a real problem for a lot of lo-carb cakes) and very flavorful.

About the only drawback is that it’s hard to determine the exact cooking time, since slow-cookers are so varied in size and power. Just stick to “medium” and check it every thirty minutes or so after the first hour. Experienced cake bakers know how to test for doneness with the old skewer that comes out with crumbs not gooey.

 

INGREDIENTS:
2  1/4 cups almond flour or sunflower seed flour, or any combination

1/3 c Swerve or other sugar substitute

1/3 c date puree

2 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger (or more, if you like it really gingery)

1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 large eggs

2/3 cup milk

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (if using sunflower seed flour – helps keep it from turning green)

1 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

Grease the  interior of a 6 quart slow cooker well.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour or sunflower seed flour, sweetener, coconut flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves and salt.

Stir in melted butter, eggs, milk, lemon juice if using, date puree, and vanilla extract until well incorporated.

Pour into prepared slow cooker and cook on medium low  for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until set.

Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: I used a combination of almond flour, sunflower seed flour, and whole wheat. You can use what you have pretty easily since the spices are enough to control the taste. When it has cooled in the cooker, I just inverted it onto a plate. It came out nicely in one piece.

SOURCE: Adapted from A Sweet Life

Flourless Chocolate Cake*

flourlessIf you’ve noticed, when I cook low-carb, it tends to be something sweet. The rest is easy, but not so the sweet stuff.

When I get my hands on a good one, I want to make sure I have it recorded so I can make it again.

This is pretty basic and can be found in some form all over the place. I’ve tweaked it a bit to reflect my own tastes and the desire to keep even the good sugar to a minimum

Plenty of chocolaty taste here.

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. baking chocolate (one bar)
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup best quality cocoa powder
1/3 c date puree
1/3 c Swerve or other sweetener (erythritol)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Grease a 8″ springform pan well.
  3. Place the butter and the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second increments until all is melted. Mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, eggs last stirring each in separately. Mix well.
  5. Pour into the springform pan.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until center is still a bit wiggly but edges are done.

SERVES: 12

NOTES: Watch carefully. Don’t let it get over done. It will dry out if you do. Once the edges are brown and firm, you are good to go. Serve with whipped cream, powdered Swerve shaken over, or fresh raspberries or strawberries. You can also make a ganache and frost it.

SOURCE: Inspired by Detoxinista

 

Oh Gosh, It’s Good! Chocolate Cake*

quinoacakeWith low carb desserts, there is most always a tradeoff. You just lose something. Often it’s taste, and that’s unforgivable. Often it’s texture, and that’s sad, but usually acceptable.

Well, that was until now.

This cake is actually as chocolaty as you would expect looking at it, and it’s moist too. The texture is close enough that unless you tell people, I suspect few would guess that it has no white flour in it at all. In fact it has a grain–quinoa.

The quinoa can feel a bit pebbly but if you soak your quinoa over night, that disappears as well.

I played a bit with the sugars. Be advised that I don’t use Splenda© because recent studies show that it raises glycemic indexes and it has a nasty habit of causing diarrhea in a lot of people. Aspartame and Saccharine are equally as bad. Erythritrol is natural and does not raise the glycemic index.  It is about 70% as sweet as sugar. Monk Fruit  in the Raw is also natural and is equal in sugar strength. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar so you use less, but it does have an after taste. Swerve is part Erythritrol and another process and about the same price. I used my own combination of these to arrive at a sweetness that I found perfectly fine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa. Cook according to package directions. I recommend soaking in water over night and draining well first.
  • 1/3 cup full fatted milk (use any substitute you wish if you wish)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (or any substitute you wish)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c Erythritrol
  • 6 packets Monk Fruit in the Raw
  • 1/4 c regular sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder Ghirardelli
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and then line two round cake pans (or a 9×13” pan) with parchment paper, or use a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the eggs,  milk and vanilla extract then blend for ten seconds to combine.
  3. Add the cooked and cooled quinoa along with the melted and cooled butter and coconut oil  then blend until completely smooth, about thirty seconds to one minute.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
  5. Add the wet ingredients in the blender to the bowl with the dry and mix together until well-combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: As it stands this is gluten-free, low carb. You can make it vegan by opting out of the butter for a substitute. I found the proportions of sugar worked just right for me, but you can eliminate all the sugar if you wish (1/4 c) in favor of other substitutes. Swerve I think would work fine alone. I know that Splenda if you choose it, sucks up moisture, and so the cake will lose some of it’s moistness which I find unacceptable. This was very moist and retained it through a week in the fridge under plastic wrap.

SOURCE: Adapted from Making Thyme for Health

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Cheesecake-3I adore cheesecake.

And I adore lemon.

So putting them together is a no-brainer.

This makes a delightful and easy dessert. Especially if you have some lemon curd already made and waiting in the freezer. Just defrost, and it’s ready to go.

If you don’t have any on hand, you can make it a day or so ahead with no trouble at all.

Great for company.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 2 c of lemon curd
  • a graham cracker crust, baked and cooled
  • 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Special equipment: a 9- to 91/2-inch (24-cm) springform pan

INSTRUCTIONS:

oven temperature to 300°F.

Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until combined.

Pour two-thirds of cream cheese filling into crust, then spoon half of lemon curd over filling and swirl curd into filling with a small knife. (Avoid touching crust with knife to prevent crumbs getting into filling.) Cover with remaining cream cheese filling.

Bake cheesecake until set 1 1/2 inches from edge but center trembles when pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes. (Center of cake will appear very loose but will continue to set as it cools.) Transfer springform pan to a rack and immediately run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen. Cool completely, about 2 hours, then spread remaining curd on the top, then chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours. Remove side of springform pan before serving.

Decorate with very thin slices of lemon if you wish.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: You can sprinkle with blueberries if you would like as well.

SOURCE: Adapted from Epicurious