It is said that once you start going low carb, your taste buds will change, especially in terms of sweet foods. This is the case for me, where before I would quite happily have a chunk of say Bournville dark chocolate, I now find this too sweet, so now seek out 85%-100% dark chocolate for the odd treat.
Whilst a piece of chocolate is nice, sometimes I want a treat that is a little bit more substantial, so I looked online to see what I can make with nuts and chocolate.
I found this recipe for Keto Pecan Pie Clusters by heyketomama. As with most lowcarb recipes, these are in US measures, so needed a bit of help from google to convert cups to grams. Now, different websites give different conversions, so I have no idea if my conversions are correct, just that it worked out so I am sticking with them.
The method I used was very similar, but I found doing the clusters too fiddly, so opted to just spreading the mixture as one big piece – I am all for making things easier.
- 125g chopped Pecans (or your nut(s) of choice)
- 43g Butter
- 58g Double Cream
- 27g Sweetener (I use Total Sweet Xylitol)
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 25g Dark Chocolate
- Himalayan Pink Salt (optional)
Macros (taken from Cronometer)
For the full recipe (who am I to decide what the right portion size is for you) 🙂 In this example, I think I ended up with 26 pieces, which is around 1.5g Net Carbs a piece.
Carb count can be lowered by using a higher percentage dark chocolate and reducing the amount of sweetener. I will be playing with these over time and will report back / update when I found a combination I like.
First you need to brown your butter. Put the butter in a pan on a medium heat, stir frequently until golden, don’t let it burn. Sounds easy enough.
Nice and yellow, bubbling away, stir away and then this happens.
Bubbles, lots of them, still yellow, keep stirring and then..
Frothy butter, problem is, I can’t now see what the actual colour of the butter is under all this froth, so you need to stir faster to get a peek at what is under the froth – quite hard to do with your left hand while you are trying to take a photo with your phone in your right hand. Got a pic though…
That looked browned enough to me, esp the bits at the edge, so I move on to step 2, which is to add the cream, whisk together till combined.
Once combined, lower the heat to a simmer and add the sweetener and vanilla extract and whisk for 5 minutes or so until the mixture starts to darken and thicken. Will start off looking like this.
Then everything goes calm and you have this
It’s at this stage, after about 3 minutes where I start thinking that it’s not going to thicken, so I turned up the heat a bit and carried on whisking and soon I get..
You can feel the mixture thickening, maybe I could have taken it a minute further and got it darker, but I was happy with it so took it off the heat and added my chopped Pecans.
Into the pan, give it a good stir and avoid the temptation to just start eating it. It will be hot!
This is where the original recipe calls for spooning clusters onto baking paper, I just grabbed a tin and just threw it all in and spread it out and pat it down.
At this stage, whilst it is still warm, cut into portions. It will make the last step much easier. In hindsight, I should have used a rectanglular tray as it would have been much easier to get consistent portion sizes – next time.
Put this in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to set while you get the chocolate topping ready.
I used an 85% dark chocolate from Moser Roth – available in Aldi. You get 5x25g bars in a pack, I found 1 bar was enough to give a good covering.
There are many methods to melt your chocolate, I opted for the “sticking it in the microwave for 30 seconds” technique.
Then simply drizzle / spread / pebbledash over your set pecan mix. I started drizzling but then got fed up and just started spreading it randomly. Sprinkle some salt over the top if you want a sweet/salty sensation. I tried it both with and without, prefer without.
Dont forget to lick the bowl as there will be quite a bit of lovely chocolate left stuck to the sides.
Put this back in the freezer if you are in a hurry to have a piece, otherwise leave in the fridge overnight (yeah right!). Once set, break it up and put it a container, eat a few then store away in the fridge. If you broke it up the way I did, you can now lick your fingers too.
Made this twice now, third time I will try walnuts and maybe a coffee extract instead of vanilla (plus I am running out of pecans as I made a pecan pie the other day and despite making up the ratios for the crust, it turned out pretty awesome – will write that up soon, but you can see it in all its glory here and here.