Someone recently asked me if I allow myself to “cheat” and eat carbs on special occasions. I honestly can say that I don’t: not on my birthday, not on vacation, not on holidays, not at the movies, not anywhere. (Sorry, had a little “Green Eggs and Ham” moment.) The person’s response to my answer was, “I’d love to lose weight, but I just can’t deprive myself like that.” I want you to take a look at the meal my parents made for me to celebrate my birthday. Do you think I left feeling deprived?
However, I do understand what my friend was saying. People think too much about dieting and not enough about changing their way of eating permanently. I must admit that I made the same mistake myself in the past. I went on a low carb “diet” about 12 years ago. I was successful in losing weight, but I had the mentality that I was going to let myself have what I wanted for special occasions. This ultimately led to my failure and regaining all my weight plus some. Eating a high carb meal immediately makes you feel bloated, tired, and guilty. It also can lead to telling yourself that you might as well take the rest of the weekend “off” and start again on Monday. Trust me, that’s a slippery slope. I compare it to my mom’s struggle to quit smoking. She tried patches, gum, tapering, electronic devices etc. All of these things kept nicotine in her system and kept her physically needing the cigarettes. A couple of months ago, she quit cold turkey. (Yeah Mom!) She says it’s the only way for her to break her addiction. I’m not sure if food addictions are the same, but I do know that for me it’s best to stay clear of carbs. I can do this AND enjoy wonderful meals and treats. Believe me, it’s easier to maintain your way of eating than it is to constantly struggle in the name of “treating” yourself.
Back to the reason for this post…the cake. I was watching Paula Deen make her Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes and I decided that I wanted to experiment with making the recipe low carb. My intention was obviously to make a cake. However, what I actually ended up with was much more like a brownie than a cake. Or, you might compare it to a super dense and moist pound cake. We decided it was serendipity at it’s finest.
Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Cake
2 sticks softened butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granular erythritol
36 drops EZ Sweetz (1.5 cup equivalent)
1/2 cup granular xylitol (or additional 1/2 cup erythritol)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 large room temperature eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup bake mix (click here)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 X 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, erythritol, EZ Sweetz, and xylitol. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until the butter melts and the sweeteners are dissolved. This will take only about 1 minute after your butter first simmers. Turn the heat off and add the unsweetened chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove pan from burner and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Mix almond flour, bake mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, blend sour cream and eggs until creamy and smooth. Blend in dry ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate mixture and blend again. Prepare for the fight over who gets to lick the beater, spatula, and bowl.
Bake for 27-28 minutes, or until center of brownie cake is just set.
Serves 16: Net Carbs 5 per piece with frosting.
*Now, here’s where the jury was split. About half the family thought these should be topped with a few nuts, or with nothing at all and be treated as a brownie. However, some thought that it needed the frosting. So, here’s the frosting we made.
Blend 3 ounces softened cream cheese, one stick softened butter, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 cup powdered erythritol, 6 drops of EZ Sweetz, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth and fluffy. We also added 5 or 6 drops of green food coloring because it was Easter.
**Please make this a few days ahead of time. It gets even better with time to sit in the fridge.