apricot pancakes

That’s a really old recipe and really old photos, but I have a fondness for these apricot pancakes. Recipe comes from a recipe book from the 80’s. I’ve made them years ago, but still when I look at these photos it reminds me of hot Summer days when life was a bit more gentle. Not that I feel like life would be more harsh than ever, it’s just different than it used to be. But you know that feeling when you come back to some of your old memories – they always look happier and more colourful in your head (than they’ve really been, most probably). I guess everyone has these kind of memories, and mine are often somehow connected with food. Photos are not the best ones, but I still like looking at them, and they always make me smile inside.

That was the days when I was exploring recipe world, there was no one day with the same meal. It’s a really great recipe – 80’s were masters of making something out of nothing. The pancakes came out plump, delicate and I think that even without the addition of apricots (because there are no apricots in the original recipe) they would be delicious. I love apricots. I like all nutty flavours of fruit, and apricot has such a slightly nutty flavour for me. In addition, they have a beautiful colour – probably even peaches are not so pretty.

Pancakes are not the meal I would make often. First of all because I’m not a fan of frying (oil splashing everywhere, smell of frying, lots of cleaning after), second of all I try to avoid high carb foods. Although this recipe requires only couple spoons of flour, so it’s not a crime. These pancakes are going to be amazing as a treat yourself weekend breakfast or Summer dessert.

Being able to cook from scratch and make for yourself (and your loved ones) something you really enjoy eating is a great value. On the other hand eating something you don’t even like or enjoy makes me feel a bit sad. Eating good things it’s such a simple thing that can add value to your life, just try to spend some time and little bit of effort and you can make your life more pleasurable.

That’s why I want to encourage you to start cooking from scratch if you didn’t tried it yet. There’s a whole word of flavours, and I’m sure you’ll find the ones that will bring you instant joy and make your gut happy.


apricot pancakes


INGREDIENTS for about 10 pancakes:

  • 250 g curd cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp powder sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • few apricots
  • vegetable oil for frying

DIRECTIONS

Separate egg whites and whip them with a pinch of salt. Add sugar and curd cheese to egg yolks and mix it until smooth. Next add flour and baking powder, and combine (it will be very thick) at the end add whipped egg whites. Mix it gently using a spatula or spoon with folding motion. If it’s still to thick add a little bit of water or milk.

Now it’s time for apricots: wash them, separate seeds and chop them. Add them to pancake mix. Heat the pan with some vegetable oil. Using a spoon make small pancakes. Fry on a small heat until golden-brown on both sides. They are pretty gentle and might be tricky to flip, so better wait until one side gets nicely golden brown then flip it.

I made about 10 pancakes from that amount of ingredients – it’s definitely to little, because they were delicious!

🙂 Enjoy!

lazy oat and carrot bake

I saw this baked oats dessert idea so many times on Instagram that I could not resist and finally tried it as well. It’s a kind of TikTok recipe, where you put together couple ingredients, that sometimes doesn’t really go together, and prepare in a way you usually wouldn’t choose (like making mash potatoes from potato crisps). And I didn’t even plan to post this recipe (it’s even hard to call this a recipe), especially that I really dislike the photos I’ve made. But came out that this dessert or breakfast idea is actually quite tasty and we’ve ate all in one and a half day.

So if you’d need to choose between buying a pack of oat bars (or pack of doughnuts), and making a little bit more healthy (and definitely cheaper) choice, I think this kind of oat bake is perfect. Especially that you can add whatever you like to this combination: nuts, raisins, peanut butter, fruits, chocolate, you can either use any plant milk you like or cow’s milk if that your choice. And it literally took me couple minutes to mix all ingredients in a baking dish. So even though it’s not my “go to” food choice, as I try to avoid lots of carbs, if I would like to treat myself with some home baked goodies I would choose this one.

I chose a mix of carrot and cinnamon, and all my sweetness comes from carrots, one banana and raisins that were already in my oat mix. For me that was just enough and I didn’t need any addition of any sort of sugar or sugar replacement. For you though it might be different, so don’t feel restricted by that. You can either add more banana or after baking drizzle it with some honey. Seriously this recipe gives you so many options, that each time you can make absolutely new taste with changing only one or two ingredients.

Because this kind of “recipes” usually doesn’t tell you the exact amounts of ingredients, I was just eye-balling the amounts of milk and oats. So feel free to experiment. From the amounts I’ve added my oats were quite dry – more like an soft oat bar, than actual porridge. But it was nice and crispy on top – especially when hot straight from the oven. If you add much more milk, you’ll get more loose and moisture texture.

I’ve popped couple pieces of organic raw chocolate – they’ve melted nicely over the hot oats. Also added some pumpkin and sunflower seeds to make it more nutritious and filling. I had a mix of oats, nuts and raisins, but if you have plain porridge oats they will work as well. Enjoy making your own mix of your favourite flavours.

lazy oat and carrot bake

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups of oats (mix of oats, nuts and raisins)
  • 2 cups of plant milk of your choice (I had almond)
  • 1 banana
  • 3 small carrots
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • coconut oil or butter to grease the baking dish
  • optionally: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate (I used 85% organic cacao chocolate)

DIRECTIONS

Grate the carrots, finely chop banana. Smear coconut oil or butter all over your baking dish. Add oats, grated carrots, banana, cinnamon and seeds if you have them. Give it a good stir, so all ingredients will combine and spread evenly in a baking dish. Pour over with plant milk. Texture of my bake was quite dry – like soft oat bar, if you’d like more porridge like consistency add more milk.

Preheat the oven to about 170-180°C, bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, add pieces of chocolate. Serve hot or cold. Although I think tests the best when hot and crunchy on top.

Enjoy!

chocolate chia pudding

Really low carb themed dessert today, not sweet for most of the people, for me sweet enough to be a dessert 🙂 Obviously you can alter this recipe to your liking and needs. Personally I love combination of chocolate (cacao) and raspberries, and warmth of pudding mixed with frozen fruits, that’s melting over it. Add some chocolate on top and you don’t need anything else.

You can use various types of milk to prepare it, I had almond, but I think hazelnut would taste delicious, kind of nutella flavour. If you don’t mind regular cow’s milk, you can use it as well. The same with sweetener. I use xylitol, but if you have other sugar substitutes you like, feel free to add as much as you like.

I also used raw cacao powder, which in my opinion is much less bitter than regular cocoa powder, so you don’t need to add as much sugar or sweetener to balance the bitterness.

From this amounts of ingredients I got two quite large portions, but you can easily make four smaller ones.

Chia seeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, and also other nutrients, so if you’d like to balance your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids, chia is a great source. If chia seeds are not available to you, flaxeeds or linseeds are great substitute. Although I feel like soaked linseeds make slightly different consistency, more gel-like, kind of slimy. If you don’t mind (and I know lots of people do) you can use linseed to make this pudding. It’s also full of Omega-3 fatty acids, and one of the best foods that reduces inflammation in your body according to the researchers.

I would recommend eating your pudding when it’s still warm, with piece of dark chocolate melted on top. Sound good, isn’t it? 🙂

chocolate chia pudding

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 500 ml plant milk of your choice (or cow’s milk if you like)
  • 4 tsp raw cacao
  • 8 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp xylitol or other sugar replacement of your choice
  • handful of raspberries (I had frozen)
  • couple bits of dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS

Heat up the milk in a saucepan adding cacao powder and sweetener. Combine using a whisk. When milk heats up add chia seeds and whisk again until it starts to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes stirring repeatedly. Switch off the heat and set aside to cool down.

Transfer your chia pudding to smaller bowls or other dishes, place some raspberries on top, and couple bits of dark chocolate. You can either eat it warm or cold. I like it warm with chocolate melting on top.

You can store your chia pudding in the fridge for 2 days.

Enjoy! 🙂

pleasure, but not guilty – raspberry pavlova

I remember making my first Pavlova – the one you can see on the photos. I was excited and terrified in the same time. I’m a master of making baking mistakes, just because I never stick to the recipe and tend to “simplify” the methods if I feel like something can be done easier or quicker. And most of the times in baking recipes all the methods are not used without a reason. That’s why I always thought I’m just not good with baking. And it’s not truth, I’m just not bothered to stick to the recipe (if you’re curious what baking mistakes I always make, and maybe you make them as well, have a look here).

So when I was making my first pavlova I kept telling myself: for God’s sake stick with the recipe! Came out not perfect, but it was perfect for me as I was making it for the first time. I love pavlova. I love meringue that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy and creamy on the inside. And that’s how this one came out. I could say that the shape is not the best, and slightly beige in colour. But thanks God it’s not Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay won’t come to smash my freshly baked piece of art.

I don’t know if anyone else has such a deep affection to pavlova as I have, cause it’s just egg whites whipped with sugar, some whipped cream and fruits, and it’s simply sweet as hell. But for me mix of textures and sweetness braked slightly with sour fruits, makes the best dessert I could think of. And unfortunately I can’t see keto replacement for this. And I think I mentioned about this before, but as you can try to replace some of the foods with their keto substitutes, but in most cases you won’t get the same results. Keto pizza won’t taste like real pizza, cauliflower rice won’t taste like real rice (if you like the taste of rice) and so on. So for me it makes no sense to try to make keto food that will pretend to be not keto. At least it doesn’t work for me. So my special occasion sugar bomb dessert – will be pavlova. No regrets, no guilt 🙂

But remember – stick to the recipe, do not make short-cuts and don’t rush her, pavlova is a quite sensitive girl and if you don’t treat her right she might show you the middle finger. So read the recipe couple times, prepare all the ingredients in advance and keep your fingers crossed when it will be in the oven.

And if somehow something goes wrong, always have a plan B. Eaton mess for example 🙂

raspberry pavlova

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for quite large meringue:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1½ cup fine sugar
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt

INGREDIENTS for toppings:

  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 200g fresh raspberries
  • about 2 tsp potato starch
  • wee bit of water

DIRECTIONS

Separate egg whites from the egg yolks, be very careful with that, as if accidentally some egg yolk stay in egg whites, you might not be able to whip it properly.

Set the oven to 180°C so that the the egg whites won’t need to wait too long. Prepare baking tray and a piece of baking paper. You can use a bowl or a plate to draw a round shape, so it will be easier to form the egg whites.

In a large bowl or pot beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt using a handheld mixer, starting with low speed, and then increasing until egg whites become stiff. Be careful not to over-beat the egg whites. Then start adding sugar, little by little, and mix until all sugar is dissolved. Egg whites should become more white, shiny and creamy, and you should get stiff peaks. At the end add a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of potato flour.

Using a spatula transfer the egg whites to a baking tray and try to make a nice round mountain with a slightly flat top.

Place baking tray in the oven and set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 140°C and set the timer for 90 minutes. I have to say that’s for me the most difficult part, as the rest depends of the oven. And depending of how it distributes the heat, if you have top and bottom heater or only top, if you have a fan or not – everything can happen. If you know your oven well, it will be easier to control the heat. So depending of your oven you might need to adjust the starting and drying temperature and drying time. If you see that meringue starts getting gold quickly it meand your temperature is to high. During baking it will also start breaking – that means that the outer surface is ready. If you’re not sure if 90 minutes was enough, in my opinion it’s alway better to wait a little bit longer, rather than switch off the oven too early. If meringue is not baked enough inside egg white might become liquid when it cools down. So it’s better to keep it another 15-30 minutes drying, than switch it off too early.

Another thing – do not open the oven straight away. Wait couple minutes so the temperature will start dropping slowly. Slightly open the oven and let it cool down completely.

If you’re lucky enough you’ll get crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, nicely white or creamy in colour decent piece of meringue.

Now only the simple things left. Whip the cream with two tablespoons of powdered sugar. Choose couple prettiest raspberries and set them aside. Put the rest in a saucepan adding two tablespoons of water. Dissolve potato starch in a little bit of water and pour it over the simmering raspberries stir it quickly. If you find it too thick or too thin, you can either add a little water or tiny bit more potato starch mixed with water. Let cool down completely.

Spread the whipped cream on the meringue, then add raspberry “jelly” and fresh fruits on top. Now it’s ready to be served.

Store it in the fridge for about 2-3 days maximum. It’s the best when fresh as it becomes soft in the fridge and easily catches other smells.

Instagram vs reality: crepes roulade with mascarpone & cream (#low carb #keto friendly)

I saw this post on Instagram and decided I need to make my version of this dessert. Because I was only guessing what it’s made of (apart from crepes), there is no information how it’s called or what ingredients they used, I decided that my go to ingredients will be mascarpone and cream. Whipped cream seems to be to light and unstable for this dessert, so mixing it with delicious and creamy mascarpone was my first thought. Also I guess that someone uses crumbled Oreo, but you’re not going to find it in my version 😉

Also instead of making regular crepes I’ve made keto version. Keto crepes are slightly thicker and less flexible comparing to regular crepes, so my roulade is not as elegant and delicate. With regular crepes you can make them very thin, and they will roll easier then keto ones. Thanks to flour they have completely different texture, so if you use regular flour to make these crepes you’ll possibly achieve prettier results.

I watched this video about a million times and I can’t figure out how the crepes are rolled, so there is no overlap, like on the side of my roulade. Possibly they roll it much smaller so the last crepe wasn’t overlapping, but it’s hidden inside. Look at the darker side of my photos and you’ll see the ending of the last crepe. Also I placed quite a thick layer of mascarpone, so maybe that’s why my roulade was thicker and that last crepe couldn’t hide under. Keep it in mind while rolling.

One thing I would change: I would add some fruits, like cherries, or blackcurrants or a thin layer of sugar free forest fruits jam. This would break the soft and sweet flavour of mascarpone. If I will be making it again, which is possible, because it’s very quick and easy, I’m going to add some fruits.

Preparing this dessert is very simple: basically all time you need is time to make three crepes and to whip the cream. You decide if you want to decorate it or leave it plain like on Instagram.

It is typical keto dessert (or very refined keto breakfast), which means you’ll eat one slice and you feel full. Mascarpone and cream – that’s plenty of fat. As a decoration I placed couple small pieces of handmade dark chocolate with freeze-dried raspberries and apple. But as I said you can keep it simple and sprinkle with cacao powder.

crepes roulade with mascarpone & cream

(#low carb #keto friendly)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3 tsp raw cacao powder + extra for dusting
  • 300ml double cream or whipping cream (I used whipping cream)
  • xylitol or other sugar replacement – to taste
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • optionally: chocolate or fruits for decoration

DIRECTIONS

First prepare keto crepes, if you’ve never done this before, have a look here for some tips and tricks that will help you.

You will need one egg for each crepe. Take a cup and using a fork whip together one egg, 1 teaspoon of cacao powder and 2-3 teaspoons of whipping cream (I used about 6 teaspoons for crepes and the rest for whipping). Heat the crepe pan adding a teaspoon of clarified butter or coconut oil. I always do it with regular crepes, because the first crepe is always a tricky one. After the first one I don’t use anything to grease the pan.

When the pan is hot pour the mixture on, and spread out the batter evenly holding the pan and making circular movements. When you see that the edges of the crepe starts to pull away from the pan, take the spatula and very gently flip it over. If it folds , no worries just gently unfold it and try again. It’s quite tricky as the crepes are delicate, but if you have some experience with making regular crepes, you’ll manage with these as well. You can also give the pan a little shake to make sure that it doesn’t stick to it (if it does, shake a bit more or help yourself with a spatula), then make a circle with your hand, tossing crepe into the air. If you’re lucky enough, your crepe should land on the pan with the other side. It should work well with shallow, crepe pan. If you have a regular deeper one, the high edge of the pan might not let you flip crepes easily. This method requires a little bit of experience, so don’t give up if it doesn’t work. If your crepe folds, just unfold it and try one more time.

Choose the best method for you, after couple times you’ll feel more confident.

Prepare fresh batter for each crepe, mixing one egg, 1 teaspoon of cacao powder and 2-3 teaspoons of double cream.

Set the aside to cool down completely.

Take the remaining cream and whip it using handheld mixer, add sweetener of your choice. When cream is whipped add mascarpone and beat until combine. Add also some more sweetener if needed.

Now place 3 crepes as it’s shown on the video, place layer of mascarpone (you can do it with the spoon) and roll just as they did. I dusted mascarpone layer with some cocoa powder.

If you’re not able to see the video, simply place 3 crepes in the way they overlapping each other. Spread the layer of mascarpone and cream in a rectangular shape leaving the edges clean. Now fold the sides of crepes inside and roll starting from the thin side.

Place on a plate, dust with some more cacao powder and serve. I’ve been left with some leftovers of mascarpone filling, so I made small decoration on the top of my roulade using piping bag and a special tip (that’s my second time I used it, so bare with me). Placed couple pieces of dark chocolate and voila!

You can eat it straight away or place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

summer party desserts / kids party desserts

I don’t know if you make any summer garden parties in this crazy 2020, but if you do, check out this idea. It’s hard to call it a recipe, because there’s no specific set of ingredients or preparation, but it was published on my old blog couple years ago and it was very popular, so I thought I will refresh the idea and place it here as well. You don’t need to choose this set of ingredients, you can take other fruits you like, add some granola or chocolate chips, as long as it’s not highly processed 😉 This desserts are very simple and easy to make, and the result is quite impressive. Isn’t it something we all like? You’re spending minimal time and effort and you get this pretty looking desserts.

This idea can also work great at children’s parties, and even the preparation of desserts can be a part of it – prepare ingredients in advance, each in a separate bowl, and let the kids to combine them according to their own fantasy – good fun, and the desserts are definitely healthier than crisps and biscuits or ready made desserts. Just instead of wine glasses prepare bowls or cups for smaller kids. I’m sure they will be happy to prepare their own dessert with the fruits and other ingredients, to make it more fun you can give them more variety, but try to stay away from processed and unhealthy food. You can prepare small paper flags on a toothpicks with the name of each kid, so they can stick it into their dessert like a cocktail umbrella.

What ingredients you can use to prepare this kind of dessert?

All the berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, red and black currants.

For more tropical vibe: pineapples, melon, tangerines, mango, papaya, kiwi.

Also grapes, nectarines, peaches or apricots.

Take greek or coconut yogurt, mascarpone, ricotta or whipped cream. Everything that’s low in sugar will be great. Fruits have enough natural sugar to make it sweet and tasty.

You can add some granola, oatcakes, halva, peanut/almond butter, chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews) raisins or dates, sugar free chocolate chips, good quality grated chocolate, homemade crumbled cookies or biscuits.

For adults version…

If you like a bad boy desserts, you can add some advocaat or other liquor on top of each dessert, it will be more fun but not as healthy any more 😉

MIx and match the ingredients you like in all sorts of combinations, enjoy making and enjoy eating!

summer party desserts / kids party desserts

INGREDIENTS (for about 6 portions, depending of the size of the glass):

· 1 fresh pineapple
· 300 g strawberries
· 2 handfuls seedless grapes
· piece of halva
· couple oatcakes
· handful hazelnuts
· 450 g greek yogurt
· 450 g coconut yogurt

Cut off the skin from pineapple, slice in quarters and cut off the hard inside and dice. Rinse the strawberries, cut off the stems and also dice in small pieces or slices. Rinse the grapes, keep some for decoration, the rest slice in half.

Finely chop hazelnuts or use a blender to grind them. Crumble couple oatcakes with your fingers, do the same with halva.

Prepare your dishes – glasses, cups or bowls – preferably something transparent in which the dessert will look nice. Make the layers, just like fantasy and taste tells you. In various combinations. Thus, we get several different desserts and flavors. Decorate the top with fruit. Eat immediately or put it in the fridge to chill. Have fun! And enjoy!

simple and easy strawberry trifle

This dessert reminds me the ones that all the mums were making for kids birthday parities when I was a child. Simple, easy to make with basic ingredients (apart from mascarpone that didn’t exist in my childhood), looking kind of fancy and extra in the same time. Any of the kids party couldn’t have been done without jelly (inevitably in at least two different colours), whipped cream and fruits dessert, served in separate glasses one for each guest. And I think it’s still great idea for kids parties (and obviously adults too).

So I decided to make this kind of jelly and whipped cream based dessert with strawberries, adding pack of mascarpone for a nice twist (I love mascarpone). You can serve it in separate glasses or in one big glass dish, as I did. I have to admit I didn’t think this through, I thought I will be able to place more than one layer of jelly. But when I placed strawberries on the bottom and covered it with mix of whipped cream and mascarpone, I’ve noticed that I don’t have that much space left. While I still had quite a lot of jelly. So I decided to make this elegant jelly blob on top. In this case maybe don’t follow my layering process in exact same way, or do it if you don’t mind this cute lump of jelly on top. And also because my glass dish isn’t that big, I’ve been left with some leftovers of jelly and whipped cream mix, but thnat’s not a problem. I’ve used another fancy small glass dish and made a small portion with jelly on the bottom then, couple spoons of cream and chopped strawberries on top.

For this recipe I’ve used no sugar jelly and some xylitol, so I could keep it keto appropriate, but obviously you can use regular jelly and sugar if you don’t mind your sugar intake. Although no sugar version won’t make your insulin levels jump up to the sky. After eating sweets, the level of sugar in our body increases rapidly. The level of insulin, which ‘digests’ sugars, also increases rapidly, and just as they have risen, they drop so quickly and when sugar suddenly drops we feel hunger for sweets. This creates a vicious circle and each piece of something sweet drives another. The effect of “energy injection” appears but is very short-lived. If you eat a lot of sweets and you think you might be addicted to them (which you might not know until you actually stop eating them) it’s a great idea to challenge yourself and give yourself a month of being sugar free. You will be surprised when you see, that when you will dishabituate from eating sweets, that they actually may not exist after some time. Also you might notice after some time that that if you’re fancy of something sweet, not every sweet thing you’ll like. After longer period of time your taste might change and not only some of the sweets will be too sweet for you, but also they might not taste good at all.

If you’d like to challenge yourself with cutting the sweets, I recommend not replacing them immediately with sugar free sweets. Having a break from sweet taste for some time can actually change your taste and attitude to sweeties. Also very important – if you have any kind of health issues, especially diabetes or other health problem consult with your doctor first if you want to stop eating sweets. I don’t recommend any extreme changes in your diet if you have any health issues without consultations with a doctor of dietician. If you have sugar addiction you might notice some unpleasant symptoms being on sugar detox like:

  • lower mood and low mood or a lack of enjoyment in things you once found pleasurable
  • feelings of anxiousness may also be accompanied by nervousness, restlessness, and irritability
  • you might find it hard to fall asleep
  • you may find it difficult to concentrate
  • you might have a headache
  • you might feel dizzy
  • you might feel tired

All or some of these symptoms may or may not occur. Withdrawal symptoms can last from a few days to two weeks. The longer your body goes without sugar, the less intense your symptoms and cravings for sugar will be. I know it sound unpleasant, but in my opinion is worth trying to give yourself freedom from sugar that’s appropriating not only your body, but also your wallet. but However I have to say it again: if you have any health issues, consult with your doctor first, to get the confirmation that it’s safe for you.

OK, now let’s go to the recipe.

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simple and easy strawberry trifle

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 sachet sugar free strawberry jelly (to make about 500ml of jelly)
  • couple handfuls of strawberries
  • 3-4 tsp xylitol or other sugar replacement (you might need to adjust the amount to your taste)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare jelly according to instructions on the packaging. Leave it to completely cool down and place in the fridge.

When you jelly starts to set, but you are still able to kind of pour it, start whipping the cream. Add xylitor or other sweetener of your choice and when it’s whipped add mascarpone and again mix to combine.

I’ve thinly sliced couple of strawberries and attached them to the sides of glass dish, added some more chopped strawberries on the bottom and a layer of cream. Then very gently started adding jelly layer. I’ve used a spoon to place the jelly, because whipped cream and mascarpone mix is quite fluffy and delicate, so if you pour it straight you’ll make a hole in it. You can see that my jelly layer is “contaminated” with cream.

After placing the layer of jelly put the dish to the fridge so it sets. Then add some more chopped strawberries and attach some strawberry slices on the sides, place the cream and finally strawberries on top. And if you want to make a “cute” blob with already set jelly on top, as I did – go for it. Or make your own layering process, because I didn’t think it through to be honest 🙂

You can also instead of placing all ingredients in one big dish, use glasses or other small fancy glass dishes to layer the ingredients.

Enjoy!

simple keto courgette cake (gluten free, low sugar)

Isolation, in spite of all, has also some good sides. One of them is plenty of time for some baking experiments. I have to admit, that during our six months strict diet, I was only covering the basics. Now when I don’t feel as restricted as before, and I have some more time to play in the kitchen, found a perfect moment to explore ketogenic baking world.

I decided to get some inspiration from more experienced, because I have to say I’m not a master of baking. I’m a “more or less” person, and this rule doesn’t apply to baking theory. I’ve managed to make some many baking disasters in the past, that I had to learn my lesson. Nowadays I at least try to stick to the recipe, measure exact amounts of ingredients, hold on to directions, and don’t go too…lets call it creative (sounds better than reckless). Although still happens to heedlessly combine ingredients, hoping that something’s going to come out of it.

Fortunately this cake has resisted to all my… creativity, and comes out great, each time I make it. And I’ve made it definitely too many times in period of last few weeks. There’s three great things about this cake:

» quick and easy to make

» delicious

» versatile

Last one is its biggest advantage. Because using it as a base, you can go creative (yes, this time really creative) with adding different ingredients, to make as many cake options as you want.

keto courgette cake

 

Inspiration comes from The Big Man’s World with my adjustments. Thank you Arman Liew for this recipe – it opened a whole new baking world for me 🙂

I did some changes to the original recipe: I add smaller amount of sweetener (1/2 cup is far too much for me), add butter instead of coconut oil (we are a bit tired of coconut taste, also I feel like butter always give some extra flavour) and I also added bit of vanilla extract. I also beat the eggs with xylitol first, before adding the rest of ingredients. I beat them with handheld mixer until they get thicken and light in color. I feel like it makes the cake more fluffy and lightweight. I was also experimenting with the amount of courgette – more you add, more moist the cake will be. One is absolutely perfect. You should get about 1/2 cup of squeezed from the juice courgette. I don’t know where I saw that, maybe in the other recipe, but I squeeze most of the juice from the courgette.

To make this cake which is on the photos I used 3 small courgettes and doubled the portion of the remaining ingredients. It came out very moist, even too much I would say, but still delicious. Less courgette is better though.

And last but not least – the topping. For my taste, full spoon of mascarpone and few raspberries does the job. I don’t add any sweetener to mascarpone. Sweetness of the cake and fruits is enough for me. But feel free to add some extra sweetness to it, if it sounds like your jam.

low carb zuccini cake

 

simple keto courgette cake (gluten free, low sugar)

INGREDIENTS (for 9 inch round baking trey)

I use 250 ml glass as my measuring cup.

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup sweetener of your choice (I used xylitol)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 small courgette
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp clarified butter
  • 3 tbsp liquid of choice coconut milk, almond milk etc. (I use almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optionally for topping: mascarpone and berries (I love raspberries)

DIRECTIONS

First melt the butter and let it to cool down. Shred courgette and leave it for now, we will come back to it later.

Beat the eggs with handheld mixer. First only eggs, after 2 minutes add sweetener and beat until fluffy. Then add baking powder, baking soda, butter and vanilla extract and beat for few seconds so everything combines. Now add coconut flour and 3 tbsp of milk. Stir – you can do it using mixer or with spoon.

Now it’s time for courgette. Squeeze excess juice and put it to your dough. Again stir thoroughly. The dough will be quite thick, but if you feel like it’s too much add a spoon or two of milk, as Arman said.

Grease baking tray (I used silicone one, so there’s no need) and pour the dough. Bake for about 30 minutes in 180°C (or 150°C with fan). Check the cake with toothpick or wooden skewer. If there’s no remains of dough on it, it means it’s ready. Always keep an eye on the oven, because eachnone is different, and we don’t want any unwanted surprises 😉

After baking keep it in the oven to cool down, just slightly open the door.

You can eat it just as it is, or pop some mascarpone on top and decorate with raspberries. It’s seriously good 🙂

low carb cake

 

zuccini cake

wild blueberry cheesecake #ketofriendly

Looking for some inspiration I decided to go through my old recipes and see if I can find something ketofriendly. And I found this purple guy here. It reminds me this hot summer day I’ve made it. I remember this creamy, almost velvety texture and deep blueberry flavour melting in my mouth while sitting in my friend’s garden.

This beautiful, deep purple colour comes from wild blueberries. Wild blueberries are generally much smaller in size than cultivated. They also vary in color from different shades of blue to almost black. And the taste…if you have never tried wild blueberry, you should definitely do it. That’s the taste of summer and my childhood, when my grandma was making blueberry dumplings with loads of cream on top. You had to watch yourself eating them, because dumpling could splash blueberry juice all around your clothes. After eating a plate of grandma’s dumplings everything was purple, your mouth, tongue, lips and hands, everything was blueberry…

What’s the difference between cultivated and wild blueberries? They both are great and full of nutrients, but seems like wild ones have higher quantities of minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium and zinc. Although cultivated have more iron. Blueberries are known from the great source of polyphenols, but the wild blueberries again have more than cultivated ones. That makes them extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health. Studies also show that they are protective against DNA damage, and can make a significant improvements in memory problems. They are great source of vitamin C and K1, and fiber, helping to grow healthy gut bacteria.

So actually, I could say that this cake is kind of a treatment 🙂

 

wild blueberry cheesecake

INGREDIENTS (26cm round cake tin):

· 500 g wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
· 200 ml whipping cream
· 1 kg cream cheese
· 6 tsp gelatine
· xylitol or other sweetener of choice, to taste

DIRECTIONS

If you use fresh blueberries just rinse them under cold water and leave to drain. If you use frozen ones, defrost them first.

Blend them using hand blender, then put aside couple of spoons – we will use it as a topping. Mix the rest with cream again using hand blender. Then add cream cheese and sweetener and mix with hand mixer until combine.

Dissolve gelatine in a couple spoons of hot water (or according to directions on gelatine). Add 2-3 teaspoons to blueberries that you’ve set aside, and stir. Pour the rest slowly to your cheesecake and keep on mixing, so gelatine can dissolve properly. Put it to the fridge for a whole, so it will set a bit.

You can put some cling film or aluminium foil into your cake tin, to make sure that it’s not going to leak (or you can use silicon form, it will leak-proof for sure). Cheesecake should by slightly set, but still runny enough to easily transfer to the tin. So just pour it in and eaven the surface with spatula. And now it goes back to the fridge. After about an hour or two, spread on top the remaining blueberries and put it back to the fridge. The best would be for 6-8 hours if you manage to wait so long. (That’s why the best idea is to make it in the evening, and leave in the fridge for a night)

Properly set will be easy to slice in portions. There’s nothing left than just enjoy the treatment 🙂

 

no egg raspberry tiramisu #lowcarb #glutenfree #ketofriendly

I could not resist to try prepare this dessert in keto option. Tiramisu has always been one of my favorite desserts, and this raspberry version is as delicious and traditional one. Traditional tiramisu is made with egg yolks, this version is much easier to make. I’ve tried to cut the carbs as much as I could, to make it as keto friendly as possible. I’ve skipped one layer of gluten free biscuits, and added a layer of cacao nibs instead. You can also crush some 95% cacao chocolate and use is as a layer. If you don’t mind the carbs so much, you can make two layers of gluten free biscuits.

Important thing – don’t fool yourself that it’s going to taste exactly the same as regular tiramisu made with sugar and amaretto. Because it won’t, but it’s definitely a better choice if you’re on diet, but you don’t want to restrict yourself from eating anything that’s considered as sweets. C’mon we’re only humans, and we should have a right to enjoy the things we like. So you don’t need to feel guilty if once for a week you’ll have keto appropriate tiramisu 😉 Because as Merry Berry said: Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice.

So enjoy your portion of raspberry tiramisu like it’s the last portion you’ll ever eat. Taste each spoon with pleasure. Notice how cream is soften in your mouth. Spot the bitterness of cacao nibs, sweetness of raspberries with every chunk. A bit sharp taste of alcohol mixed with coffee, and when all these tastes are melting together in your mouth. Take your time, and don’t rush yourself.

I can guarantee you, that if you pay attention to the process of eating, you won’t need to eat a lot to feel full. Especially that with this amount of ingredients, you’ll get quite a big portion, so don’t forget to share with your family, or give some to your neighbor – I’m sure they will be happy with such a yummy gift 🙂

 

 

no egg raspberry tiramisu #lowcarb #glutenfree #ketofriendly

INGREDIENTS

· 250 g full fat mascarpone cheese
· 500 ml whipping cream
· sweetener of your choice: erythritol, stevia, xylitol or monk fruit
· 250 g raspberries
· any gluten free biscuits of your choice
· 100ml strong coffee (I’ve used 4 tsp of instant coffee)
· low carb alcohol like martini (9.8g carbs in 100ml) or no carbs whisky
· a little bit of cacao
· optional: handful of cacao nibs or crushed 95% cacao chocolate

DIRECTIONS

Prepare coffee first by dissolving 4 tsp of instant coffee in 100ml of hot water (you can also use espresso if you have a coffee machine). Let it to cool, then add alcohol of your choice. The amount is your choice – you can do 100ml of coffee and 50ml of alcohol, but feel free to add a bit more or a bit less. But be careful, so the alcohol won’t dominate gentle taste of tiramisu.

Whip the cream, at the end add sweetener of your choice, spoon by spoon up to the moment you feel it’s enough. On keto your levels of sugar taste are different than other people, at least I’ve noticed that even the low sugar sweets are very sweet for me.

When your whipped cream is ready add mascarpone and whip it again, until you get a smooth, creamy texture. Divide the mixture in two equal parts. Leave one half plain, add about 3 small handfuls of raspberries to the other half, and mix using hand mixer.

Dip your biscuits in coffee and alcohol mixture and place them on the bottom of the dish. Make a layer of cacao using a sieve, then spread the raspberry cream. Instead of another layer of biscuits I’ve put a layer of cacao nibs, but if you want you can skip the nibs and put another layer of soaked biscuits. Next is the plain layer of cream and mascarpone mix. Spread it evenly and arrange the rest of raspberries on top.

Tiramisu is ready, now you only need to be patient and wait 3-4 hours for it to set in the fridge. Which is not very easy 😉 I sprinkled my tiramisu with tiny bit of powdered sugar, just for purposes of the photo.