Monday, December 15, 2008

Low Carb Buche de Noel (Yule Log) and Opera Cake

This recipe uses the Atkins Revolution Roll in another way: as a cake base. The filling is one that I adapted from UK Chef Gary Rhodes recipe in his book , Rhodes Around Britain.

Low Carb Yule Log (Buche de Noel)
For cake:
6 large eggs
6 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 pinch salt
Sugar substitute that is the equivalent of 1/3 cup granulated sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 15 inch jelly roll pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Set aside.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Mix the egg yolks with the cream cheese, until well combined. Add the sugar substitute and mix well. Set aside.
Put the whites into a clean bowl. Add the cream of tartar and the salt. Beat until stiff peaks form (you can turn the bowl upside-down and the egg whites will stay put.)
Fold ¼ of egg whites into the yolk-cheese mixture, to lighten the batter. (. (If making the chocolate yule log, sift the ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa over the batter at this point.) Then add the remaining egg whites and fold until the batter is light Do not over-fold.
Scoop the batter onto the prepared jelly roll pan. Gently push the batter into the corners and the sides. Avoid mashing the batter or stirring the batter because that will destroy the air bubbles and the cake won’t be as spongy and cake-like.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a cutting board onto the cake pan and flip the pan over. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the cake. Then put the paper back on the cake and flip it over so that the top is on top. Trim the edges. Save the edges.

½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or rum extract or brandy extract
sugar substitute to the equivalent of ¼ cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla extract and sugar substitute until light and fluffy. Set aside.
In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff. Fold the whipped cream into the cheese. Set aside.

Spread the filling on the cake. Break the edges onto the top of the filling, gently press in. Roll up. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Cut and serve.

Chocolate Yule Log: sift ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder onto the batter and follow the recipe.
"Opera" Cake: follow the recipe for the cake. After baking, unmold it and trim the edges. Slice the cake into 3 equal pieces. Make the filling as directed. Spread a third of the filling onto the top of one cake piece. Top it with another piece. Spread half of the remaining filling on top. Cover with the final cake piece. Use the remaining filling to frost the top and sides of the cake. Fruit slices may be layered between the filling and the cake layers too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spanish Almond Pepper Sauce

I had this during a potluck and begged for the recipe. The original recipe called for tomatoes and red wine vinegar. But due to the tomato scare earlier this summer, I traded the tomatoes for sweet red peppers and the red wine vinegar for sherry vinegar.

This sauce is no-cook, similar in preparation to pesto. It’s great with all kinds of meat, sausages, fish, shellfish, poultry and cooked or raw vegetables. I’ve used it as a sauce for pasta---which my godchildren seemed to love. A teaspoon perks up scrambled eggs and poached eggs. It’s even good poured over cream cheese and scooped up as a dip.

Store it in a container with a lid in the refrigerator. I roasted my own almonds, but if you use the pre-roasted variety, just rinse off the salt. For the roasted red peppers, I used the ones out of a jar, draining and rinsing the peppers before use.

Spanish Almond Pepper Sauce
¾ cup roasted almonds
2 garlic cloves
½ cup fresh parsleyBut due to the tomato scare earlier this summer,
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 roasted red sweet peppers, remove skin and seeds
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, like Tabasco
2 tablespoons sherry vine (or red wine vinegar)
½-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, process the almonds, garlic, parsley and salt until very smooth. Add the roasted red peppers. Process until pureed. Add the chili sauce. With the food processor running, add the sherry vinegar and gradually add the olive oil. Process until the oil is well incorporated.
Scrape the sauce into a lidded container. Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mock Split Pea Soup

This soup is perfect for low carbers. It requires no soaking or pre-cooking split peas. In fact, it doesn't use split peas at all. It uses green beans! So if you have a bag of frozen green beans, a half an onion, celery, garlic, water, salt and pepper, you have a soup!

The bacon is optional, however, it adds a smoky taste to the soup. Ham may be used too. Leave it in large pieces and simmer it with the soup. Remove it before pureeing the soup, cut into smaller pieces and return it to the soup.

Mock Split Pea Soup

1 16 ounce bag of frozen green beans
1 15 ounce can of chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove
2 bacon strips cut into 1/2 inch pieces or use 2 tablespoons oil or butter
2-6 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the onions, celery and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the they are soft, but not browned. Add the frozen green beans, the chicken broth, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very, very soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Working in batches, put the solids and liquid into a food processor. Pulse until smooth. For a soup with more texture, pulse one 1 cup of the mixture only long enough to have some smaller pieces of the vegetables. Return the soup to the cooking pot. Add water to the desired consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer. Add reserved cooked bacon. Serve hot.

I hope you like it Lisa!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chia-Bubble Tea

Chia-bubble tea

Bubble tea was all the rage a few years ago. It’s essentially iced tea, milk, sugar and large tapioca pearls. I was always a bit hesistant about the drink because what if you choke on a large tapioca pearl? Here’s a low carb recipe for it that I’ve developed. I kept the iced tea, but used heavy cream, a sugar substitute and chia seeds.

Chia seeds are the new "superfood". It’s high fiber, low carb, high protein and loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike flax oils, chia oils are stable and do not become rancid. When soaked in water, the chia seeds absorb it and swell up, forming a gel around the seed. This gel gives it that tapioca-like mouth feel. An added bonus is that chia is pretty tasteless. The chia 'pearls' are small, so my choking phobia is a little diminished.

The recipe is simple. However, the chia seeds need to soak in the tea for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator in order for them to gel. The longer the seeds are soaked the softer the seeds will be.

You may use a black tea or green tea. In fact, herbal teas offer a nice flavor change.

Chia- Bubble Tea
8 fluid ounces water (0 net carbs)
1 tea bag--black tea, green tea, white tea, herbal tea (1 net carb)
1 tablespoon chia seeds (1 net carb)
sweetener to taste (varies)
1 tablespoons heavy cream or milk (1 net carbs)

Put the water in a pot and bring to a boil. Put the tea bag into a heat-proof container. Pour water over the tea bag and allow to steep for 2-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Remove tea bag and discard it. Add the chia seeds to the hot tea. Stir and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate over night. Remove from refrigerator. Stir. Add the heavy cream and sweetener. Drink up!

Total net carbs= 3 net carbs not counting the sweetener you use

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Very bad with blogging!

I've neglected my blog! But I promise to do a better job with it in the future.

My latest kitchen experiment is with chia seeds and I'm working on a recipe right now.