I love baking, and since I’ve been home from uni for summer, I’ve been experimenting with new recipes, instead of remaking the same Victoria sponge recipe over and over. Finding a ‘healthy’ sweet treat can be tricky. This can be made even trickier if you add carbs and sugar to the list of things you can’t bake with. This knocks out pretty much any type of flour, gluten, sugar (obviously!) etc. Unfortunately, for a diabetic, this is the reality, and although eating a cookie wouldn’t kill you on the spot, eating high levels of carbohydrates and sugar can be detrimental for your health in the long run.
There are several diets that focus on cutting carbohydrates, one of the most popular being the Keto Diet. As such, when I saw the magazine Keto Baking in the newsagent, I picked it up, hoping to find something I could bake for Ed that he could eat guilt-free. And sure enough, there was a huge selection of recipes for me to try out! From cakes, biscuits, breads and sweet bites, the magazine has given me a bunch of ideas for for experimenting with.
To start off, I tried making some cookies, as I haven’t made a batch of cookies in years and I have been baking quite a few cakes recently, so this sounded different and fun! Ed loves chocolate and he loves chilli even more, so I had no doubt he would like them! Here’s the recipe and how my Keto baking adventure went!
340g Unsweetened Chocolate/ Dark Chocolate of a high percentage
115g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract/Paste
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Chilli Flakes
144g Almond Flour/Coconut Flour
A note about the ingredients:
I swapped a couple of my ingredients (listed next to originals) such as the almond flour, as when I was making these, I didn’t realise that almond flour is the same as ground almonds so I couldn’t find any. However, there is nothing wrong with using coconut flour, it will just taste slightly of coconut and it may have the slight ‘gritty’ bite to it that often comes with coconut flours or dessicated coconut.
Most recipes for Keto baking will be using a lot of eggs, and I mean a lot. But don’t worry, the finished product doesn’t taste ‘eggy’ and you can take special measures such as cooling it in the tin for about 10 minutes and then removing it- this helps with the possible ‘eggy’ flavour.
Be careful which sweeteners you use. For example, I use Xylitol or stevia. However, something like Truvia (a brand of stevia sweetener) claims that 1/3 tsp of Truvia = 1 tsp of sugar. Meaning, if you use 1 tsp of Truvia that’s the equivalent of 3 tsp of sugar! In Keto recipes, the amount of sweetener will often be quite high, because you require more sweetener than a normal amount of sugar because it isn’t as sweet. But, as I mentioned, some sweetness are sweeter than sugar, so you won’t need as much. If you’re not sure, just ask Google, but sweeteners like Xylitol are readily available at most major supermarkets.
Firstly, preheat your oven to 180°C and line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment or reusable liners. Put the trays to the side until later.
Next, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl with the butter. You can either do this by heating it over water in a saucepan using a hob or in the microwave. I used the microwave and did 30 second intervals, keeping an eye on it once it begins to melt.
In large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt and spices and give them a quick mix so they are all incorporated together. Whilst doing this, let your chocolate cool slightly, no need to put it in the fridge, it just needs to be cool-‘ish’.
Once the chocolate is cooler, add one egg at a time, whisking them into the chocolate and butter mixture between each addition. Then add the sweetener and mix together into the chocolate. A word of warning- the mix is going to get noticeably thicker when you start adding the eggs, so just be prepared for a little arm workout!
Next, add the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl. Mix these together and scrape the bowl, making sure all the dry ingredients are mixed in thoroughly. You will be left with a thick cake-like batter, but it is so liquid that it won’t hold its shape.
Lay a large sheet of clingfilm over your kitchen worktop or table and place the batter in the middle. Wrap the batter up, I double wrapped mine to prevent leaking, and leave in the fridge for an hour to harden.
After an hour, remove your batter from the fridge and unwrap it. The mixture makes 12 cookies, but if you want to make them smaller or bigger, then that amount will change. For 12, section off the batter either using a spoon or just grabbing a handful of dough and mould/squash into a rough cookie shape with your hands. Repeat this for each cookie. This can be messy so I’d recommend taking off any jewellery!
Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes. I put mine in for 10 and they were still a tiny bit too soft when I put a skewer in, so I gave them another 3 minutes and they were perfect. Baking time will vary depending on oven strength etc. but they should be harder at the edges and still slightly soft and gooey on the inside.
Leave them on the baking trays for 15 minutes, then remove them and transfer them to a wire cooling rack. And you’re done!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and you give this recipe a go! I’m pleased to report they were a great success and Ed loved them! Finally a treat that we can both eat together! They’re not too spicy, but there is definitely a kick there, so you can try the recipe and then adjust as you like!
Thank you for reading and come back again for more Keto recipes soon!