Low-carb chocolate mug cake

I was feeling experimental yesterday so I decided to try out a microwave cake. This was an old favourite in the pre-LCHF Roxy Kitchen household (although back then it was a syrup sponge with custard), so I had a go at a low-carb version.

Makes 1 large mug cake (carbs = 6 g)

Ingredients:
20 g butter (unsalted)
1 egg
10 g 85% (or higher if you like) chocolate
10 g almond butter (about 1 heaped tsp)
30 g ground almonds (about 3 tbsp)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp 100% cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Place the butter in a large mug (or small cereal bowl) and microwave for 10 – 20 s until the butter has melted. Break up the chocolate and add to the butter. Microwave for a further 10 s and stir until the chocolate has melted. Add the egg and mix well. (At this point you could also add some sweetener/sugar/honey/syrup if you like)

Now add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place in the microwave for about 90 s (ours is a 900 W), or until the cake is springy to the touch (and doesn’t squelch when you prod it).

Serve immediately, with lashings of cream!

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Sugar-free* chocolate pots

Sometimes you just need a little treat. These little chocolate pots certainly fulfill the brief, and at a mere 7 g of carbs per pot, they can certainly be incorporated into a low-carb regimen.

(*My pedantic husband has pointed out that these are not, in fact, sugar-free. So, in the spirit of correctness, let the record show that bananas and chocolate do contain sugar.)

Mixture fills approx. 7 x 60 ml espresso cups

Ingredients:
250 ml double cream
1 small banana
40 g (about 1 heaped tbsp) crunchy almond butter
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp salt
100 g dark chocolate (I used 85%, but by all means go higher!),
100 g unsalted butter, cubed

Chop up the banana and mash well with a fork. Place the cream, banana, almond butter, vanilla and salt in a pan and heat gently, stirring frequently, until you start to see tiny bubbles forming.

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Take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate and the butter. Stir well until the chocolate and butter have melted and everything is mixed together. You shouldn’t need to heat the mixture again to melt everything, just be patient and keep stirring! Have a taste of the mixture and add more salt if the chocolate flavour doesn’t “pop” enough. At this point you can blend the mixture so that it is completely smooth, but I like the added texture of the occasional bit of crunchy almond. Divide the mixture into espresso cups or small ramekins (but bear in mind the finished product will be very rich, so only a small amount is needed per serving).

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Place the cups in the fridge until the chocolate has set. This should only take a couple of hours, but you can prepare them in advance and leave them in the fridge for a couple of days (if they last that long). They take on a lovely fudge-like texture after 24+ hours in the fridge, yum. Enjoy!

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Sugar-free grain-free fruit crumble

I seem to be cooking far more frequently than I’m posting, and as a result I have a bit of a back-log of recipes! Thankfully, I have been taking notes, so I don’t have to try to remember what I did from the hundreds of pictures of food I seem to have amassed. So, here’s a pudding from the archives for you. I know this isn’t a very summery dessert, but it is currently winter elsewhere, so this is one for my Southern-hemisphere followers!

Ingredients:
2 nectarines, sliced
2 small bananas, sliced
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp baharat spice mix (or use 1/2 tsp nutmeg & 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
Pinch of salt
50 g butter, cubed

For the crumble topping
50 g coconut flour
25 g almond flour
40 g butter
40 g pecans, crushed
Pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan).

Place the fruit into an oven-proof dish, sprinkle over the spices, vanilla and salt, and mix. Place the cubed butter around the fruit.

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Now prepare the crumble topping. Mix the flours and together in a bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, and mix in the pecans. Spread the crumble over the fruit.

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Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until the crumble is golden. Serve with lashings of double cream!

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LCHF Blueberry panna cotta

This is such an easy dessert to make – the hardest part is waiting for them to set – and there’s no need for sugar. However, if you want to make them sweeter you can just add a couple of tablespoons of sugar or some sweetener to the cream mixture.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
140 ml can coconut cream
300 ml double cream
100 g blueberries
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla pod
4 leaves of gelatine

Cut up and soak the gelatine leaves in 2 tbsp cold water for 5 – 10 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, place all of the other ingredients into a pan over a medium-low heat and bring to the boil. Blend the cream mixture with a stick blender, or in a liquidiser, until smooth. Whilst the mixture is still warm, add the gelatine and stir/blend until it is fully dissolved.

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Pour the mixture into four ramekins, or panna cotta moulds, and leave in the fridge to set. Mine were set after 2 hours, but it could take longer. To serve, turn out the panna cottas onto plates and garnish with some mint leaves (you may need to heat the outside of the moulds to free them – just use some hot water for this). If you’re pressed for time you could just set the mixture in glasses or bowls and serve the panna cottas without turning them out.

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No-sugar-no-grain banana & pecan cream tartlets

Well I can’t believe it has taken me this long to realise how sweet bananas actually are (thanks for awakening the taste buds, LCHF). Certainly, no sugar is required for this satisfying pud!

Makes two 12cm tartlets

Ingredients:
1 quantity coconut flour pastry
2 small bananas (about 150 g), sliced
30 g pecans
50 g butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
100 g double cream whipped with 1/4 tsp vanilla powder

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Roll out the pastry in between two sheets of cling film and line the tart cases. I had a little left over so I made some little biscuits as well. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cases are lightly golden.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and add the sliced bananas, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fry for a few minutes, until the bananas are golden and the pecans are toasted. Set to one side and allow to cool to room temperature.

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Divide the banana mixture between the two tartlets, top with the whipped cream, and decorate with a couple of pecan halves.

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Sugar-free grain-free pear upside-down cake

We’ve been relaxing the LCHF diet over the last couple of weeks. Sort of. We’re still grain, sugar and starch free, but we have introduced some extra fruit (aside from the berries) as it’s good for you and all that. I’m more of a cake person than a fruit person, however, so I made some cake that was a vessel for the fruit (hold the sugar, of course).

Makes one 23 cm round cake

Ingredients:
For the sponge:
200 g ground almonds IMG_0529
3 eggs
50 g butter, melted
1 small eating apple, grated
1/2 tsp vanilla powder

For the pear:
1 large pear (although it could have had some more in)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
Pinch of salt
50 g butter

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

Peel and slice the pear into eighths, and coat with the spices and salt. Heat the butter in a frying pan and add the pear slices, frying gently for a few minutes until they are soft and slightly golden. Remove from the heat and arrange the pears on the bottom of the pan such that they will look nice on top of a cake (so, a bit better than I did). I used the frying pan as a cake tin, but if you haven’t got an oven-proof pan, just arrange the pears in the bottom of a tart/pie/cake tin, not forgetting to add all of the butter from the pan!

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Meanwhile, whisk the eggs for about 5 minutes until they have quadrupled in size (almost to soft peaks). Gently fold in the almonds, grated apple, melted butter and vanilla.

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Pour the batter onto the pears and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the sponge is golden and springs back to the touch. Turn-out onto a serving plate, and serve with a big dollop of clotted cream.

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LCHF Spiced banana muffins

I created these muffins as a treat for the husband, who ran his PB in a 50 mile race at the weekend: 7hrs30, 15th place! He’s attributing it to our LCHF diet, so I’ve made these grain-free and sugar-free, and with 1/4 of a banana per muffin they’re pretty low carb too!

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
120 g butter, melted
1 tsp baharat*
150 g ground almonds
30 g coconut flour
2 eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

*baharat = paprika, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves. You could substitute mixed spice with a pinch of paprika and some black pepper.

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

Melt the butter in a bowl, add the bananas and mash together.

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Add the eggs and baharat and whisk together. In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds, coconut flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and xanthan gum. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients.

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Fill the muffin pan using an ice-cream scoop or other implement, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the muffins are golden and springy to the touch.

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Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before placing them on a wire rack. Whilst the muffins are still warm, brush the tops with melted butter, for an added treat.