Comfort in a bite but without a lot of guilt ! (oh that kind of rhymes !) well this is what i am trying to acheive lately as i am on a low carb diet again and i honestly do not want to throw all the painful training hours in the gym away so here i am back to developing low carb recipes. And of course i had to start with a classic fudgy Brownie.
When i first discovered the low carb lifestyle i was chocked an thought that i will never survive it , but with time research and some twists i actually enjoy the challenge of creating adapted recipes to my new lifestyle.
To be cleare some recipes can never be adapted to lowcarb versions and its better that way because you can have an indulgence every now and then.
Low carb recipes are basically substituting the traditional flour with nuts and low carb high fat seeds flours , and nowadays there are a lot of choices available in the supermarkets . But the two most common and used substitues are almond and coconut flours, I personnaly like the almond flour because it is subtle in recipes and quite easy to integrate in classic cakes and cookies ,in comparison with coconut flour that have a recognisable coconut taste and needs more liquid generally in recipes because it literraly sucks up all the liquids in any recipe so you have to find precise recipes and/or learn how tu use it through experimentation like i did.
Here are some tips if you are going to use almond or coconuts flour in your next baking experiment:
Almond flour and almond meal are different !
And they will affect your recipe. Almond flour is finely grounded to simulate a normal wheat flour and thats why it is your best option in cakes , macarons and brownies so you can achieve the fluffiness and texture of a wheat flour cake in comparison with the almond meal which is a bit coarser and will leave tiny grains in your batter and unless that is the wished texture in your recipe use the almond flour. This doesnt mean that the almond meal is not useful , i personally like it in cookies , energy balls and bars and in brownies as well.
Be careful of the flour conversion ratios !
You can not simple replace all purpose flour with the same quantity of another type of flour and especially in the case of a lowcarb flours who generally contain much less glutin and may need more or less liquid in the recipe .
Coconut flour is like a sponge !
literally , coconut flour absorbs all the liquid from your recipe in a second and believe me i had a couple of bad experiences with it. So as a rule of thumb you only need 30% of the original recipe flour quantity , of course this is adaptable depending on the texture of cake or cookie that you want to get and whether the recipe involves baking powder or not among other factors .
When i start developing a coconut flour based recipe i start with the equal of a third of the all purpose flour quantity but i add it gradually and see if i should use it all or cut some off.
Now that you have some tips on using almond and coconut flours , lets start talking about how to substitue sugar in low carb recipes:
Let me first say Sugar is not the devil ! so yes it is addictive and not good for your health when consumed excessively but when used with moderation and in a non refined form it gives you energy. But if for a particular reason or another you have to cut your sugar consumtion to a minimum there are many natural options available, one of it is stevia which is a plant that tastes sweet but not quite exactly like sugar and can be used in your baking recipes exactly like sugar . The ratio of any sweetner to normal sugar is usually written on the package which is the best way to figure out how much you should use because sometimes it depends on the manufacturing process and concentration etc ...
When using a sweetner add an extra pinch of salt!
The sweetners do not taste exactly like sugar and i always add an extra pinch of salt to tune its sharp sweetness a bit.
I hope the above informations helped clear out some infos about low carb baking now let's start baking the best low carb fudgy brownie i ever made.
Low carb Fudgy brownie
- 50 gr Mascarpone cheese (or greek yogurt for a lighter in fat version)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 10 gr baking powder
- sweetner: equivalence of 120 gr of sugar
- 200 gr almond meal ( or almond flour)
- 35 gr unsweetened cacao powder
- 150 gr milk ( or vegetal milk )
- Optional : 50 gr dark chocolate for decoration
- Preheat the oven on 150 C with the fan on ( or 160 C without the fan).
- In a big bowl mix the eggs, mascarpone, vanilla extract baking powder and the sweetner until homogenous.
- Sift in gradually the almond meal and cacao powder and mix with a spatula.
- Add in gradually the milk to loosen the thick batter.
- Place in you baking pan already layered with a parchment paper.
- Optional: add some of your favorite unsweetened dark chocolate on top for some extra chocolaty paddles on the top when its baked.
- Bake for 20 min (Ps: the brownie should be still not all the way baked when you turn off the heat to have a fudgy melting texture).
- Leave it to cool down on a cooling rack for at least 30 min before cutting. And Voila i hope you like it ...
A full time sweet tooth foodie , foodphotographer and recipe developer who is always on the hunt of new flavor combinations and food discoveries to re-create sweet delicacies and fresh dessert recipes .