Chocolate – it’s what all women really want, right? Well, to my surprise, I have found that this is not always the case. Through my ever-expanding blogging community, I have discovered that there is a segment of the female population that doesn’t really like chocolate. In fact, some of them even go so far as to say they downright dislike it. I am horrified, quite frankly. I mean, isn’t some of our femininity tied up in loving that dark, sweet, smooth confection? Chocolate is a dear friend and I can’t imagine not loving it with all my heart. It’s been there for me during good times and bad, and it’s a very reliable companion. Chocolate is always hanging around my cupboard, just patiently waiting for me when I need it. And I need it often. I am not afraid to admit that I need chocolate almost daily. And sometimes more than once a day.
Thankfully, chocolate itself is not particularly high in carbs. It is the fillers, the milk additives and the sugar, that make most commercial chocolate high carb. And chocolate is surprisingly high in fiber, too, an added bonus for us carb counters. So it simply takes a little ingenuity to be able to get my chocolate fix. Sometimes I simply go for a piece or two of 90% cacao chocolate, but that wouldn’t make for a very interesting low carb baking blog, now would it? So obviously I have to come up with some more elaborate chocolate creations from time to time.
This one is inspired by a cookbook my husband gave me on our first Christmas together, called “The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Chocolate”. I wouldn’t say it’s the definitive book of all things chocolate, but I have come across some great ideas from it. And the idea of creating a sort of deconstructed tiramisu in free-form chocolate cups is a wonderful idea indeed. The original version had chocolate cups made with semi-sweet chocolate, sweetened mascarpone, and crumbled Amaretti cookies soaked in coffee. It was fairly easy to reconstruct the chocolate cups with unsweetened chocolate and a little erythritol. But I wasn’t sure what to do about the coffee-soaked cookies. I considered making some low carb cookies just for the purpose, but that was an added step I didn’t want to take. So I decided to add the coffee right into the mascarpone, and then to add some toasted almonds for a bit of crunch. Okay, so real tiramisu doesn’t have crunch…I know that, but I wanted to add the almonds anyway.
The Results: This really is a lovely, elegant little dessert. Mascarpone has such wonderful flavour on its own, I really tried to keep the sweetener at a minimum to allow that to come through and I think it did. The coffee flavouring was present without being overpowering, and the toasted almonds did add a nice textural difference to the cheese and the chocolate. My husband loved this dessert so much he left a note for me on the kitchen counter telling me so. How sweet is that?
I don’t know that I would do anything differently for this. Perhaps I might use a bit more whipped cream to lighten the mascarpone and make it creamier, but overall, I think it was wonderful as is.
Tiramisu Chocolate Cups
2 tbsp butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
2 tbsp powdered erythritol
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
10 drops stevia extract
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp powdered erythritol
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tsp cocoa powder
For the chocolate cups, cut out four 6×6 inch pieces of parchment or waxed paper. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter, chocolate and erythritol together until smooth. Off heat, stir in vanilla and stevia extracts.
Using a spoon, divide chocolate mixture between pieces of waxed paper, spreading into a rough circle. Drape each piece of waxed paper over the bottom of a small juice glass or tea cup, so that the edges ruffle, and refrigerate until set. (Tip: if it feels like the paper is going to slip off the cup, use a folded piece of tape to secure it to the bottom).
For the filling, combine cream, coffee and powdered erythritol together in a medium bowl. Beat cream until soft peaks form. Add mascarpone and fold together until well combined. Divide mascarpone mixture between prepared chocolate cups. Sprinkle with almonds and dust with cocoa powder.
Serves 4. Each serving had 7.3 g of carbs and 2.3 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 5g.