Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, the joy of home ownership and the occasional rant!


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Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes! Oh yes I did!

It has been a while since I posted a recipe.  I do have a couple to share but will start with the cupcakes I made today!

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As always… a recipe caught my eye, but I changed it a lot.  Added, removed, increased, etc. until it bears no resemblance to the original version.

The recipe that I saw was for a cake with walnuts… I hate walnuts.  Also, didn’t want a cake, cupcakes keep and store easier in the freezer.  I also don’t use powdered sugar substitutes.

Up until last week I wasn’t using ANY sugar substitutes at all, but I discovered that saccharine is available in the pill form here.  My granny used to use it and as kids we would try it… never had an aftertaste for me.  So… I bought a bottle of Hermesetas tablets.  The only thing I’ve used it in so far has been ice cream I made last week (I will post about that later!) and this recipe.

I just dissolve a few tablets in about 1/8 tsp of boiling water and add to the recipe for a touch of sweetness. Each pill is equal to a teaspoon of sugar.  I am not adding the amount called for in the recipes as I don’t need it to be really sweet, but felt the ice cream could use a some, and then this recipe was an experiment to see if it would work.  It did.

So here is the recipe I came up with today for Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes.

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Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes – LCHF, Gluten Free, Sugar Free

Makes 6 large cupcakes (or one 8″ cake if you prefer.)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cream cheese

1/4 cup coconut oil

3 eggs

4 saccharine tablets dissolved in 1/8 tsp of boiling water (you can substitute whatever sweetener you want and increase to make this more of a regular sweetness level.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup almond flour

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup cream

1/4 cup of chopped pecans (or any kind of nut you like) – completely optional BTW.

Topping: Lindt 85% Cocoa Chocolate bar – 6 pieces.

Instructions:

  1. Line a muffin tin with paper liners (or grease an 8″ cake pan in your preferred manner.)
  2. Measure all the dry ingredients together and stir, except for the nuts.
  3. Cream the coconut oil (I did not melt it first) and the cream cheese with an electric mixer, add the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla, and dissolved saccharine, and continue mixing on high.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and the cream about a third at a time, alternating between additions.  If the batter is too thick add a little more cream.  It should be thick but pourable like regular cake batter.
  5. Add the nuts and mix until combined.
  6. Divided batter between the six cupcake liners.
  7. Bake at 350F on the centre rack for 20-25 minutes.  They are done when a toothpick comes out clean. Ovens vary so it might take a few minutes more or less.
  8. Take them out of the oven and immediately place a piece of the Lindt chocolate on top of each cupcake, when it has melted spread it around.
  9. Let cool completely.

I like to freeze them once cool and eat them frozen!

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I am very pleased with how these turned out!  Ate one and the rest are in the freezer. Tomorrow I am making more ice cream and intend to have cake and ice cream!  Who said you have to give up treats when you are a diabetic who follows LCHF/HP??? Not this girl!

 

 


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Cake… Chocolate Cake… I’m in Heaven

I am sitting here trying NOT to have a third piece of my happy accident of a chocolate cake.

It actually started out as a recipe for Brownies – I saw a recipe for Almond Butter Brownies that was described as Paleo and I had the main ingredients so figured I’d throw it together as there was nothing really on television I was interested in.

Of course I left out the maple syrup that was in the original recipe (I don’t use any sweeteners) and then misread and used baking powder instead of baking soda, also added marscarpone cheese to add some level of sweetness.  I was also a bit short on the almond butter  so figured the cheese would compensate for that.

O.M.G.  I did not make brownies… I made a moist, tender, fluffy DELICIOUS chocolate cake!  When the toothpick came out clean I took it out – it had risen quite a bit more than I expected but I anticipated it would fall as it cooled.  It didn’t.

When I cut a piece to try, the texture was perfectly cake like, not brownie like at all. It was so good!  The marscarpone and the almond butter had a sweetness and the added 70% chocolate chips also added some.

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LCHF Gluten Free Almond Butter & Marscarpone Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond Butter

1/3 cup Marscarpone Cheese

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1/2 cup Whipping Cream (33% fat)

3 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/8 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Chopped Pecans or other nuts (optional)

1/2 cup 70% Cocoa Chocolate Chips (or higher if you find them) (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the Almond Butter, Marscarpone Cheese, Coconut Oil and blend them together till they are smooth.
  3. Then add the Whipping Cream, Eggs and Vanilla and mix well with an electric hand mixer.
  4. Sift the Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder and Salt together, then add a bit at a time to the wet ingredients mixing well before adding more.
  5. Continue to mix, increasing to the highest speed on the mixer for a minute or so – ensure there are no lumps in the batter.
  6. Stir in the Pecans and Chocolate Chips by hand.
  7. Spray an 8×8″ baking pan with non-stick spray and dust with a teaspoon of coconut flour, shake the flour around to coat the pan and then knock the excess out.
  8. Scoop the batter into the pan and spread out evenly.
  9. Put on the centre rack of the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the centre, if it comes out clean it is done.
  10. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

I didn’t top it with anything but I’m sure a drizzle of melted chocolate and/or whipped cream would be awesome.

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p.s. It is great for breakfast too!


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Finally nailed a cookie recipe!

I’ve been trying to find a recipe for cookies without sugar or carbs without much luck.  I tried a few recipes but they were god awful.  Experiments continued…

I tried a peanut butter cookie recipe without flour, butter or sugar… wasn’t horrible but they turned to dust if you just looked like you were going to pick one up.

I bought some coconut flour but made the mistake of assuming it was about an equal replacement for wheat flour.  NOPE!  It is massively absorbent and about a teaspoon of coconut flour replaces a cup of wheat flour.  I had to keep adding things to the dough… like two cups of milk, in order to get it to a consistency that could be worked.  The cookies were hard and dry… then softened up overnight.  It was like eating coconut dust.

Not wanting to waste the last two failed experiments I ground them up in the food processor to use as the “flour” in the next experiment – ground nuts/nut flours are very expensive!

I tried a sugar substitute called SteviaSugar – holy crap the after-taste is vile. I followed directions for amounts and even used less than suggested as I don’t need things super sweet.  I tried a couple of the cookies (chocolate coconuts drops) which weren’t horrible, but then… the after-taste kicked in and wouldn’t go away.  I brushed my teeth to get rid of it… and woke up in the morning with it still in my mouth.

So I continued to search for recipes that didn’t use sugar or sugar substitutes.  Found some but they weren’t carb free.  I don’t HAVE to be carb free, but need to keep it to a minimum.

I found a recipe that had oatmeal, almond flour and brown rice flour.  So decided to sort of follow it… actually, I changed it a lot.  I replaced banana with apple sauce, almond butter with peanut butter, added an egg, increased the oatmeal and removed the 1/4 c of maple syrup and several other unnecessary things…

I’m an experienced baker/cook so recipes are usually just to get an idea of proportions and ingredients and inspiration for different combinations.  But I’m not familiar with a lot of these new ingredients so need to see the combinations and ratios.

So, the results are in and this one was a SUCCESS!

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They are Oatmeal Blueberry.  They are a bit … “rounded” as I didn’t flatten them.  I was expecting them to spread due to the butter, but they stayed the way they were dropped. (I’d already had a few when I took the photo.)

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They hold together, the blueberries are a nice pop, and they are plenty sweet enough with the apple sauce and blueberries.  I can’t even taste the peanut butter.

Here’s my recipe if you want to try it.

No Sugar Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 F (my oven runs hot, so I turned it down to 335 F after I put them in.)

1/3 cup butter. softened

1/2 cup unsweetened smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (one snack sized container)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

(Optional: you can add maple syrup or honey if you want them sweeter – 1 tsp up to 1/4 cup depending on how sweet you want them.)

2 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dried blueberries OR craisins, raisins, or whatever you want

Cream the butter and peanut butter together, blend in the apple sauce, egg, vanilla (and syrup if you are using it.)

Combine all the dry ingredients together and add to wet, blend until mixed well.  Add the blueberries and mix until combined.

Drop tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  As they won’t spread, you can flatten with a fork or your hand if you want to.  Mine weren’t and baked fine.

Bake for 15-20 minutes – until browned on the bottom and no longer give when touched. If you flatten them, check at 12 minutes as they may bake faster than mine.

Makes 2.5 dozen.

Let cool completely before putting in a sealed container.

I’m really pleased with these – they taste like normal cookies!

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