March 2021

Keto friendly British sponge pudding

Posted on March 25, 2021 at 2:25 pm in

What I’m writing here is an incomplete recipe. This is because the sheer diversity of British sponge puddings is ridiculous, so I’d rather give you the basic recipe that you can tweak with any of the eleventy zillion different options.

Chocolate sponge, jam sponge, chocolate, and did I mention chocolate? Yum yum. All tweaks from this base recipe.

And yes, it’s keto friendly and gluten free, not that you can tell once it’s cooked. It’s just delicious.

  • 1 stick of butter – 4oz, 112g
  • 4oz / 112g monkfruit, erithrytol, or other keto sweetener
  • 4oz / 112g almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Optional add-ins such as chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cream the butter and sweetener together. Add all the dry ingredients and blend until fully incorporated. Add the eggs at a time and blend until fully incorporated.

    Place the sponge into a suitable pudding basin – plastic or glass – that you have lightly buttered. If you’re adding extras such as jam, place it in the bottom of the pudding basin.

    Allow the batter to rest for 20 minutes before you move to the next step. This will allow the binders to activate.

    Microwave on full power (based on 700 Watt microwave) for 6 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes while you whip up a batch of fresh custard.

    Enjoy!

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    Keto friendly chocolate sponge pudding

    Posted on March 8, 2021 at 10:24 am in

    Look, America, you are responsible for lots of good stuff.

    But your understanding of “pudding” is desperately bad. It’s not just yellow flavour or brown flavour. It’s so much more.

    And here’s an example. It’s rich, decadent, chocolatey goodness. It’s keto friendly, so low carb. And it’s … well, it’s brown. Shut up!

  • 6oz / 170g unsalted butter
  • 6oz / 170g erithrytol or other keto friendly sweetener, or sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g / 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, or equivalent
  • 1.25oz / 35g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • heavy pinch salt (optional)
  • cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs. Stir the next 3 ingredients together and beat into the butter and eggs. Add a little milk, cream, or water if the mix doesn’t come together or if it seems dry.

    Allow the batter to sit for 15 minutes before cooking to allow the xanthan gum to activate.

    Place in a greased bowl, pudding bowl, or basin that can accommodate at least 1 litre / 1 quart, to allow room for any expansion. Steam for 1 hour, or microwave for 5 to 10 minutes or until the top is just set.

    Allow the pudding to sit in its cooking container for 10 minutes while you whip up some cream or custard to serve it with.

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    Cheese pie

    Posted on March 2, 2021 at 9:02 am in

    What kind of filling should you put into your lovely keto friendly pie crust? A keto frendly filling, such as cheese pie.

    To pre-empt a possible question, “what is the difference between cheese pie and quiche?” Simply the ratio of ingredients and the intention. With quiche the intention is to showcase and enhance the custard. With cheese pie it’s all about the cheese, with the other ingredients being there to support the cheese.

    This is a non-recipe. Ingredients are very much played by ear. Allow yourself to go with what feels good, rather than sweating precision – just like quiche and frittata, cheese pie is fridge velcro.

    SHREDDED CHEESE
    You want a bunch of it, at least a half pound / quarter kilo. What cheese? Up to you. I usually have young Cheddar, aged Cheddar, and bulk parmesan. Want to make it with cream cheese and blue cheese? Go for it! Just make sure the cream cheese is softened and beaten so that it will integrate properly with the rest of the ingredients.

    EGGS
    You’ll want 3 or 4 large eggs. Beat them with a little milk, cream, or water. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

    OTHER INGREDIENTS
    You can bulk out the ingredients by addition of pantry staples such as dried potato flakes, cooked crumbled bacon, or any fresh or cooked veggies you have lying around the fridge. Only add herbs and spices where they will enhance the cheese. Spicy chili peppers will drown out most cheeses, so this is not the recipe for them.

    ASSEMBLY
    Assemble your cheese in your crust in reverse order of strength, from weakest flavour to strongest. I put the bulk orange Cheddar in first, followed by parmesan, then the strong mature Cheddar on top. You might want to keep a little of the strong cheese back to sprinkle artistically on top of the eggs.

    Pour the eggs over the cheese. The eggs are here to provide support for the cheese, not to be the feature ingredient.

    COOKING TIME
    You want to cook this hotter and longer than a quiche, because you have a lot of cheese to melt. I generally go with a 375f / 190c oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cheese topping has picked up some nice colour. The custard should be firm set.

    SERVING YOUR CHEESE PIE
    Serve it hot or cold. Feel free to put on whatever fancy toppings you like such as chopped parsley, crumbled bacon, or even more cheese. I won’t judge you!

    CONCLUSION
    Cheese pie is all about making a lot of food dirt cheap for those times when there is a bit too much month left before payday. Play around with the ratios and the cheese blends, but always bear in mind this is cheese pie. Allow the cheese to stand front and centre.

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    Keto friendly pie crust

    Posted on March 2, 2021 at 8:36 am in

    Low carb, flaky pie crust. Just what you need!

    This recipe makes one 9 inch pie crust.

  • 1.5 cups / 144 grams almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons / 56 grams butter, cubed
  • 1 oz / 28 g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • Add the first 3 ingredients to your food processor or mixer. Mix until they form something that looks like coarse wet sand. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until they come together.

    No food processor or mixer? No problem, use a pastry knife or a couple of table knives to chop everything together into a lovely mess.

    Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the butter and the cheese to get completely chilled.

    To make your pie crust, form it into your pie pan with your hands. Rolling it out is a spectacularly messy process, so go for the more rustic look of hand shaping it in place.

    Preheat your oven to 350f / 180c and blind bake the crust for 15 minutes – place baking parchment or foil over the crust and fill the parchment with weights such as baking beads, dry beans, or dry rice. After 15 minutes pull the parchment / foil and weights off the crust and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes or until your crust is golden brown and delicious looking.

    Fill and bake as normal with your preferred fillings.

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