Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cups

I must be on a chocolate kick, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because raw cacao has so many health benefits! (Or maybe I'm celebrating a recent Maine-Syracuse study that showed that dark chocolate helps with insulin resistance and improves kidney function.) Whatever the reason, I was playing around with my microwave Mug Cake recipe and wanted to change it up to be more like a brownie and bake it in the oven. The result was SO GOOD! I like it even better and plan to serve it for dessert this Easter. It's rich, decadent and gooey--just the way I like it.  I topped it with a dollop of coconut cream that was sweetened with stevia and vanilla, which slowly melted over the warm brownie as I savored every fudgy bite. (If that description doesn't have you running to the kitchen to make this right now, I don't know what else to say.)  Enjoy!

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cups
Makes 3 servings

5 tablespoons almond or cashew flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1 tablespoon LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener (or omit and increase stevia powder to taste)
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter), melted
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease three oven-proof ramekins.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, sweeteners, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in the melted butter, egg, vanilla extract and water.  Stir until well combined and no lumps remain.

3.  Divide batter evenly between the three greased ramekins and bake for 14-16 minutes or until puffed and not quite set. For gooey brownies, they should be soft-set and the center might jiggle when shaken. If you like firmer brownies, cook a couple of minutes more until completely set.

4.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Top with whipped coconut cream or whipped cream that has been sweetened with stevia and vanilla (optional). Serve warm.

Nutritional Information per serving (no topping): 171 calories, 8.2 carbohydrate (3 g dietary fiber, 0.6 g sugar, 4 g sugar alcohol), 15.5 g total fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 193 mg sodium, 154 mg calcium, 191 mg potassium, 5.7 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 5.2 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sugar-Free Magic Shell Chocolate Coating for Frozen Desserts

My probiotic-rich, delicious kefir ice cream is still a favorite and I usually have some on hand in the form of ice pops. (Pictured is my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream, click for the recipe.) Here's a welcome addition to any frozen dessert that you may remember from childhood: a hard-shell chocolate coating. It makes eating ice cream even more fun! (This mixture also makes yummy fat bombs if divided into lined, mini muffin cups and chilled.)  I feel like a kid again as I bite into the crunchy, chocolate shell that immediately melts into creamy deliciousness in my mouth. This turns any frozen dessert into a nostalgic treat!

Sugar-Free Magic Shell Chocolate Coating for Frozen Desserts
Makes 6-8 servings (about 1 to 2 TB each)

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons nut butter of choice (almond or peanut butter are nice)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw cacao)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.  Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons over frozen ice pop, homemade kefir ice cream or other frozen dessert.  The coating will set up almost instantly.  Serve immediately.

To make fat bombs, line a mini muffin tin with silicone cups or paper liners.  Place 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture in each cup and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 10 minutes until firm.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve because they melt quickly at room temperature.

Nutritional Information per 2 TB serving: 77 calories, 2.3 g carbohydrate (1.1 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 7.6 g total fat (4.9 g saturated fat from the coconut oil, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 3.5 mg calcium, 42 mg potassium, 1.4 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 1.2 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016