Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Low-Carb Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes

I was in Ohio last weekend and spent much of it with Tracey, who–like me–finds lots of excuses to "cheat" on her low-carb diet. Meaning that whenever I'm in town, we go crazy and eat whatever we want, which is everything from Dairy Queen to Pizza Hut to McDonald's with a couple of local joints thrown in as long as they're all as unhealthy as possible. We've said 100 times in the past year that we'd love to try "being good" one time when I come home for a visit, but this time we actually meant it.

As luck would have it, the lovely Maria Emmerich posted a recipe for a low-carb version of the famed Hostess Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcake in her blog the very day I came home, and you know we went to town on those things. Here's our take on her recipe:

1/2 cup of blanched almond flour
3 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon of iodized sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of Splenda
4 tablespoons of melted butter

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Combine the yolks, sweetener, and butter and whisk until well-blended. Combine all of the dry ingredients and blend well. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the whipped whites, then slowly fold in the dry mixture and blend well. Fill the cupcake pan 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Creamy Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Splenda

Whip the cream until light and fluffy and add in the sweetener. Place filling in sandwich baggie with one corner snipped off. Scoop a dime-sized hole out of the top of each cupcake, push the snipped corner of the baggie into the hole, and squeeze until the filling rises to the top of the cupcake. (Maria injected hers into side of the cupcakes, so feel free to try both ways and see which gets more filling in.)

50g low-carb chocolate (we used a Lindt 85% Cocoa Bar, but Maria's, made with a ChocoPerfection bar, turned out much shinier, like the Hostess version)
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Melt the chocolate bar in 10-second intervals in the microwave and add in whipping cream. Once the cupcake is cooled, dip the top of each one in melted chocolate.

Swirly White Topping:
Cream cheese

Add a small amount of cream cheese to another baggie, cut another tiny piece of the corner off, and swirl it onto each cupcake.

Nutritional Info:
297 calories, 6g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 2.5g net carbs
Makes 6 cakes

a cross-sectional view shows how much creamy filling was waiting inside for us

a cup of heavy cream makes a LOT of creamy filling, and you can guess where all of the leftovers went

Tracey and I loved these. A lot of low-carb swaps for common sugary foods are sad approximations that leave you wishing for the real thing, but we didn't feel a sense of loss while eating these at all. The only problem we had was convincing ourselves not to eat all six in one sitting, and we were rewarded for that the next day with a deliciously hardened chocolate top on the two we saved. If you can double the recipe, I recommend it.

(Cross-posted to donuts4dinner)