Low carb dark chocolate cups filled with dairy-free coconut milk caramel. A healthy and indulgent sweet treat!
It wouldn’t be that far off the mark to think that I might be single-handedly supporting the full fat dairy industry. I really do my fair share of consuming rich dairy products (organic and grassfed, as much as possible) and I shun anything that even hints at skim or reduced fat. In fact, as I am writing this, I am polishing off the last of a large bowl of chocolate mousse I made for dessert last night. It may taste all light and airy but it’s made, of course, with heavy whipping cream. And that’s only my snack. Butter and cheese and heavy cream have made their way into the majority of my meals today, as they do every day. So yes, if the dairy industry were ever concerned about a dwindling supply of consumers, they need fear nothing from me. My family and I could happily consume enough to keep them afloat!
That said, I also find it fun to challenge myself to create recipes that are completely dairy-free. I know that many readers have dairy intolerances and it’s in part for them that I think it’s worth experimenting and playing with other ingredients. But I will readily admit that my motives are far from selfless. The truth is that the experimenting, the playing, is its own reward. I find great satisfaction and great joy in trying out my ideas in a new way with a different ingredient. If the end result is edible, I know I am on to something.
The original concept for these low carb caramel coconut cups was really as yet another way to get my sugar-free caramel sauce to my mouth. I love that stuff and I find excuses to make it whenever possible. Of course, it’s full of cream and butter and if you’re dairy intolerant, it’s not going to be kind to you. I came across a recipe for paleo caramel sauce made with coconut milk, and as I love full fat coconut milk almost as much as I love heavy whipping cream, I thought it might be fun to try. To make it low carb, I had to switch out the honey and most of the coconut sugar for Swerve, which changed the consistency somewhat (it does begin to re-crystallize upon cooling). But it had real caramel flavour with a lovely hint of coconut. And once it was mixed with some shredded coconut and enrobed in dairy-free dark chocolate, I had a delicious low carb confection worthy of the blog. Caramel, coconut and dark chocolate…what’s not to love? If you’re dairy-free and want an indulgent treat, these will surely please. And if you’re not dairy-free, you will like them too!
Note: I highly recommend parchment paper cups or silicon muffin cups to make these for easy release.
Line standard size muffin cups with parchment muffin papers or use silicon muffin cups.
Set a metal or ceramic bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Combine cocoa butter, coconut oil and unsweetened chocolate in bowl and stir until melted and smooth.
Stir in sweetener, cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth.
Spoon about half of the chocolate coating over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the parchment paper cups. Place in refrigerator to set while making the filling.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, sweetener and coconut sugar, if using (*if using all Swerve, your end result will be lighter in colour). Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently, until considerably reduced and thickened.
Stir in vanilla extract and salt, and then sprinkle with xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine. Stir in shredded coconut and let cool 15 to 20 minutes.
Divide filling evenly among chocolate cups, then top with remaining chocolate to cover. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Serves 12. Each serving has 8.05 g of carbs and 3.14 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4.91 g.
Food energy: 237kcal
Saturated fatty acids: 19.91g
Total fat: 23.17g
Calories from fat: 208
Total dietary fiber: 3.14g