Indulgent low carb desserts
Diet and dessert are two words that are too often a disappointment when used together. Diet desserts that are low in fat and calories tend to be tiny in size, lacking palate-pleasing satisfaction and rarely meet the definition of indulgence. However, low carb desserts - made with star low carb ingredients such as butter, eggs and cream - are not only enviable treats to those watching their fat and calorie intake, they are delicious bliss that give low carbers even more motivation to stick to a low carb plan. Here are three indulgent low carb dessert recipes you'll want to make again and again.
Cinnamon Peppercorn Creme Brulee
The warm hit of cinnamon and spicy bite of black pepper will get your attention as you spoon bite after creamy bite onto your palate. Each crème brulee has 11 grams of carbs, which come primarily from the final sprinkling of sugar, which is caramelized and gives this dessert its characteristic crisp burnt sugar top. You can omit the final sprinkling and settle for a delicious spicy custard, if desired.
2-1/2 cups cream
2 cinnamon sticks
6 peppercorns, wrapped securely in a piece of cheesecloth
6 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar substitute
1. Place cream, cinnamon and peppercorns in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Bring cream just under boiling point, stirring occasionally. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat and set aside for 1 hour to steep.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar substitute together. Strain cream mixture through a sieve into the bowl, whisking until well blended. Return mixture to saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon.
3. Cook until custard coats the back of the spoon. (Do not bring to a boil; adjust heat if necessary.) Pour into four large ramekins and set on a wire rack to cool. Transfer to the refrigerator and leave overnight.
4. When ready to serve, preheat broiler and adjust oven rack to top third of oven. Sprinkle a very thin coat of sugar over the top of the custards. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and set on top oven rack. Keeping your eye on the custards, broil until the sugar becomes dark and caramelized. Quickly remove from oven and serve.
Berry Cream Napoleans
A light and lovely dessert for spring and summer, crisp phyllo layered with whipped cream and berries is as impressive to serve as it is delicious to eat – and for only 14 grams of carbs per serving.
5 sheets of phyllo
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen, thawed)
1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries (or frozen, thawed)
Sugar substitute to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray (use more than one baking sheet if necessary).
2. Brush butter in between each sheet of phyllo, stacking them evenly. Using a sharp knife, cut phyllo lengthwise into thirds. Carefully transfer the three stacks to the baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes or until phyllo is lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, whip cream in a large chilled mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Toss berries in a medium bowl with sugar substitute, lightly crushing. Gently fold berries into cream.
4. To assemble, place one stack of phyllo onto a serving platter. Spread half of the cream and berry mixture overtop. Place the second stack on top and spread remaining half of cream and berry mixture overtop. Arrange third phyllo stack on top and chill until ready to serve.
5. To serve, use a serrated knife to cut dessert crosswise into six evenly sized pieces.
Note: Phyllo dough is typically located in the freezer aisle next to the frozen fruit and pie crusts. It comes in rolls that need to be thawed before use. Since this recipe only requires five sheets and once thawed, you cannot refreeze, use the remaining phyllo to make additional sweet treats or put it to savory use by wrapping it around sauteed veggies and fish or chicken and baking the tasty pockets in the oven.
Lemon Mint Jello
Forget the neon-colored gelatin desserts of your youth, this citrus minty jello is deliciously chic. At 4 grams of carbs per serving, what's not to love?
1 dozen large fresh mint leaves
1 cup plus about 2-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 tablespoons gelatin
Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar substitute
1/4 cup sugar free lemon syrup
Freshly whipped cream
1 small lime or clementine, halved, sliced
1. Muddle mint leaves in a small saucepan to release their oils. Add water and simmer over medium low heat until liquid is reduced by half. Strain into a large measuring cup.
2. Stir in gelatin until dissolved and the liquid is clear. Stir in lemon zest and juice, sugar substitute and lemon syrup. Add enough water to reach the 3-cup mark on the measuring cup.
3. Pour mixture into four glasses and refrigerate until set. To serve, garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and one to two slices of lime or clementine.