Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

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The Keto diet continues to be very popular and I was asked by a friend to whip up a few Keto treats. Although I am familiar with the diet, having done it with my husband about a year and a half ago, we did not eat any sweets. Not only were we not hungry, my husband (who has the sweet tooth) didn’t seem to miss sugar. We were all about the savoury side of the Keto diet, eating meat, avocado, eggs and cheese mostly. So I jumped in with both feet to experiment and learn the world of Keto baking. My Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites are delicious proof that perseverance pays off. They’re rich, chocolatey, not too sweet and the perfect size to treat yourself while staying within the parameters of the Keto Diet.

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites being prepared in a mini muffin tin on a blue background.

Baking sweets for Keto was new to me as I’d never baked with artificial sweeteners. I started by baking a batch of cookies, and they were dry, bland and had an odd texture. I then moved on to make mini cheesecakes with greater success. Probably the biggest part of why cheesecake is a great Keto treat option is because the texture is as it should be, smooth and creamy.  With other baked items such as cookies, cupcakes and brownies the texture is not necessarily bad, but just a little different than what you would expect. Next came the cupcakes. I experimented with chocolate, chocolate chip and coconut cupcakes. I found a blend of almond flour and coconut flour work well, along with the addition of Xanthan gum which helps give structure to risen products when there is no gluten to fulfill that job.

I quickly learned that artificial sweeteners are not created equal!! If you’re just starting out using sweeteners in baked products, I highly recommend doing some research first. I started by using Splenda because I just happen to have a big bag of it. But several recipes later I learn that Splenda contains dextrose and maltodextrin, both of which are sugars and starches. So while the items made with Splenda were still considered low carb, they were not Keto-friendly.  Because Splenda was a bust, I moved on to using a monk fruit /Erythritol granulated blend, powdered Erythritol and a brown sugar Erythritol. The products worked well, tasted good and are suitable for the Keto diet. The problem with Erythritol is it has the tendency to crystallize when cooled. I found this out the hard way after chilling a batch of chocolate cupcakes. The frosting which was made with powdered Erythritol was smooth and creamy when I piped it but when I tasted a chilled chocolate cupcake from the fridge, the frosting had a gritty feel. Again, with some prior research, I would have known this could happen. I was rather disappointed but left the cupcake to sit a room temperature and tasted it again. Although the icing was not as smooth as when first made and piped, the grittiness was almost non-existent and the cupcake was good to eat. So it is important to bring items to room temperature before eating if you’re using a Erythritol sweetener that is prone to crystallizing.

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries on a blue background.

I think the biggest issue I have with artificial sweeteners and no added sugar chocolate is the availability and cost. Not all sweetener varieties are available for purchase in my area. I have to travel almost an hour to find some varieties at a health food store or Costco, otherwise, I have to order online. The cost seems to vary but even the best priced Erythritol blend at Costco works out to about $2.25CND per cup of sweetener. The other sweeteners I purchased which included powdered and brown sugar were more expensive yet. No added sugar chocolate is also very expensive and not a convenient item to shop for.

There are many different sweeteners to choose from, each with pros and cons. I can’t stress enough how important it is to read and learn about the varieties. Some can be a 1:1 substitution, some have a cooling sensation and some are better for baking than others. Here’s a good article from The Spruce Eats to help get you started. Happy Keto baking!!

Per one Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bite:

Calories: 85

Fat: 8 grams

Net carbs: 2 grams

Protein: 2 grams

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries and almonds on a blue background.

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries and almonds on a blue background.
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Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 20 mini bites

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 4 tsp granulated sweetener I used monk fruit/Erythritol blend
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder optional
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sweetener I used monk fruit/Erythritol blend
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 ounces no added sugar semi-sweet or milk chocolate I used Lily's milk chocolate bar
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp no added sugar seedless raspberry jam see note

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 300°F and line 20 mini muffin cups with mini liners.
  • Add all the dry crust ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Add melted butter and mix until combined.
  • Scoop approximately 1 tsp of crust mixture into each mini muffin liner and press down evenly with your fingers.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, remove and allow to cool slightly while proceeding.

Cheesecake

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth using an electric mixer. Add egg and beat until combined. Add sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Beat until combined and smooth.
  • Finely chop the chocolate and melt in the microwave using 30-second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Add to cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Using a 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop mixture generously into prepared cheesecake bases. Smooth out each using a spoon that is moistened with water. They will appear quite full.
  • Warm the raspberry jam slightly in the microwave and drizzle evenly over the cheesecake. Using a toothpick swirl the jam two or three turns.
  • Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes at 300°F. The centers should be slightly soft but not sloppy. Remove and allow to cool before removing from the mini muffin tin.

Notes

-I did not use liners for the pictures, however, they were a challenge to remove, so liners are recommended.
-If you can not find seedless no added sugar jam, warm jam and press through a mesh strainer.
-I used a disposable piping bag with no tip (just cut a very small hole) to drizzle the jam. 
-Alternatively, you can drizzle the jam over the baked cheesecake base prior to adding the cheesecake filling, eliminating the need to swirl it.  I've done it both ways and while the jam on the base is easier, they have a nicer appearance with the swirl on the top.
-The cheesecake bites can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days or several weeks in the freezer.  It is recommend to allow cheesecakes to come to room temperature before eating.

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Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice

Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice

Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice

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Does that turkey you cooked keep on giving? With New Year’s celebrations just around the corner, it’s wise to tuck away a portion of that leftover turkey for my Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice. Chunks of turkey, shiitake mushrooms and shallots marry with cream cheese and topped with cranberry sauce and roasted chestnuts. It’s a wonderful combination tucked inside flaky and golden puff pastry. This Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice makes a lovely appetizer and can be made several hours ahead and baked when ready to serve.

A basket of chestnuts on a wooden board ready to be sliced for Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice.
Assesmbly of Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Roll on a parchment lined tray and egg wash on the side.

The roasted chestnuts are an added step but give a little sweetness and texture to this dish, plus the extra chestnuts are great to eat on their own or as part of an appetizer or dessert board. Roasted chestnuts are also great as a sweet puree used in other desserts or made into jam. Here’s a couple of ways to use up the extras from The Spruce Eats, that is if they make it that long.

Vegetarian and Vegan Roasted Chestnut Soup

Chestnut Stuffing

A golden baked Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice served whole on a wooden board garnished with fresh parsley.

I’d like to wish everyone a happy and healthy year ahead! I look forward to creating and sharing great recipes with you. This blogging side hustle of mine is what keeps me sane some days, focusing my thoughts on delicious food and having fun with my passion. Have a Happy New Year and all the best in 2021.

Slices of Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice arranged on a grey plate with cranberry sauce and fresh thyme.

Slices of Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice arranged on a grey plate with cranberry sauce and fresh thyme.
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Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice

Course Appetizer
Keyword appetizer, chestnuts, cranberry sauce, cream cheese, entertaining, gruyere, leftover turkey, mushrooms, party food, puff pastry, sage, shiitake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh chestnuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup cooked turkey, diced small
  • 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1/3 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  • Preheat oven 400°F.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer, meanwhile rinse chestnuts and cut a slit across the rounded side of the chestnut being careful not cut into the meat too much. It helps to lay the chestnut flat and use a sharp knife or a chestnut knife. Once the water is at a simmer drop in the chestnuts, cover and simmer on low for 10-12 minutes.
  • Drain chestnuts and arrange in a single layer on a baking tray with the cut side up. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with a kitchen towel and allow to cool enough to handle. Once cool split open the shell by prying apart at the cut seam to remove the outer shell and release the meaty chestnut.
  • Coarsely chop 10 chestnuts and save the remainder for another use. They are great eaten as they are or as a salad topper, in stuffing and many desserts.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425°F.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and add shallots and mushrooms. Sauté until soft and moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl cream together cream cheese, sage, salt, pepper. Fold in the sautéed mushrooms, diced turkey and Gruyere cheese.
  • Lay the sheet of puff pastry on a sheet of parchment big enough for your baking tray. Roll pastry to a 12"x12" square (the original sheet will be 10"x10"). If using a block of puff pastry roll out to 12"x12".
  • Cut 1" wide fingers that are no more than 4" long down parallel sides of the pastry square, leaving an uncut center strip that is at least 4" wide (see photo).
  • Spread the turkey mixture evenly along the uncut center portion of the pastry sheet.
  • Spread evenly with cranberry sauce and top with chopped chestnuts.
  • Wrap the pastry by bringing the pastry fingers across the filling, alternating sides as you go and tucking or crimping the ends. It's okay to have a few spaces between fingers.
  • Using the parchment, move pastry to your baking tray.
  • In a small bowl whisk together egg and 1 tbsp of water. Brush the prepared pastry with egg wash and bake for 25-28 minutes on middle rack.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. The center will firm up a little as it cools making it easier to slice and eat.

Notes

-While chestnuts are boiling, baking and cooling you can assemble the pastry roll up until topping with chestnuts for optimal usage of time.
-The Turkey & Chestnut Pastry Slice can be prepped up to the egg wash, cover well and refrigerated up to 3 hours in advance.  When ready, brush with egg wash and bake.

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Low Carb Almond Bread

Low Carb Almond Bread

Low Carb Almond Bread

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A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.

It is crazy how cheese can be made into something so bread-like!! Low Carb Almond Bread has a spongy texture and a chewy bread-like feel. It’s sturdy enough for your favourite sandwich and warms nicely in the toaster for your fried egg. This low carb, Keto-friendly bread also tastes great!!

A baked slab of Low Carb Almond Bread cooling on a wire rack.

You can use regular cream cheese, but I like to use flavoured for this recipe for something a little different. I like the garden vegetable for regular sandwiches and the herb and garlic for bread to serve with soup or stew. This great recipe is also super quick, being ready in about half an hour. Serve slightly warm right out of the pan, room temperature or lightly toasted in the toaster. You can use Low Carb Almond Bread for sandwiches, croutons, as a dipping bread, or a base for fried eggs and tuna melts. It’s a great way to keep your Keto diet on track with only 2.4 net carbs per slice. Enjoy!

An egg salad sandwich made with Low Carb Almond Bread is cut on the diagonal and speared with a toothpick olive.

Here’s the breakdown per slice when cutting into 12 slices per recipe.

Calories per slice: 202kcal

Net Carbs per slice: 2.4g

Fat per slice: 17.4g

Protein per slice: 9.25g

 

Want more low carb options?

Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

Beef Roulade

Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

 

A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.

Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Pork Rind Keto Bread

A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.
Low Carb Almond Bread
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    12 slices 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    20 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    12 slices 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    20 minutes
    A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.
    Low Carb Almond Bread
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      12 slices 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      20 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      12 slices 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      20 minutes
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly spray a 10"x15" baking tray with non-stick spray and line with parchment.
      2. To a large bowl add the cream cheese and mozzarella. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and return to microwave for another minute. Stir until smoothed out. Add eggs one at a time whisking with a fork to fully incorporate after each. Stir in almond flour, parmesan cheese and baking powder. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 17-20 minutes.
      3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool cut into 12 squares.
      Recipe Notes

      -I like to use garden vegetable or herb and garlic cream cheese.  They add a nice twist to the taste.

      -The cut squares will last up to a month in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.

      -Room temperature squares can be warmed in the toaster.

      -This bread holds up well when used for sandwiches, but also great topped with a fried egg or as a tuna melt.

       

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      Super Moist Carrot Cake

      Super Moist Carrot Cake

      Super Moist Carrot Cake

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      There’s nothing that I don’t like about this cake, so I can easily say “hello autumn” with enthusiasm. Super moist, lightly spiced, textured with coconut and smothered with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. Super Moist Carrot Cake is a winner every time, feeds a small crowd and freezes exceptionally well.

      Super Moist Carrot Cake just out of the oven in a silver baking pan and icing in the background.

      Did I mention it’s also quick and easy with minimal mess, other than shredded carrot that seems to get everywhere LOL! It’s the perfect fall cake that turns the humble carrot into the most delicious dessert. It’s a nostalgic recipe for me, being slightly adapted from a gifted cookbook when I was only 17 years old and graduating from high school. It’s a treasured book, missing its cover, yellowed and ratty. But every time I thumb through it, I’m taken back to a simpler time, high school friends and big dreams. Thank you Simone and Marlene for this simple yet wonderful book that I still love 31 years later. Proving that great recipes are timeless.

      Super Moist Carrot Cake in a 9"x13" pan with cream cheese icing and decorated with piped carrots.
      A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin with a pan of cake in the background.
      A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.

      Author: Coompelled to Cook, slightly adapted from the book “Let’s Break Bread Together” circa 1989?

      A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
      Super Moist Carrot Cake
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        9x13 pan 30 minutes
        Cook Time
        45-50 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        9x13 pan 30 minutes
        Cook Time
        45-50 minutes
        A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
        Super Moist Carrot Cake
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          9x13 pan 30 minutes
          Cook Time
          45-50 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          9x13 pan 30 minutes
          Cook Time
          45-50 minutes
          Instructions
          Cake
          1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray.
          2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
          3. In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time whisking well to fully combine after each. Stir in orange juice and vanilla.
          4. Whisk in half of the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, whisking only until just combined. Stir in carrots, pineapple and coconut. Pour into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
          5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, spread evenly with cream cheese icing. Cut into 20-24 pieces and serve.
          Cream Cheese Icing
          1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and beat until fully combined and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until just combined and smooth. Spread onto cooled cake.
          Recipe Notes

          -Cake freezes well without icing for up to a month if well wrapped.

          -Cake freezes well if iced and cut into squares, stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

          -Recipe makes for a thick layer of icing.  Icing freezes well on its own in an airtight container for up to a month.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Parsnip Spice Cake

          Parsnip Spice Cake

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          Think carrot cake, only better! Parsnip Spice Cake is moist, nicely spiced and delicious with cream cheese icing.

          Parsnips add an unexpected twist to this delicious cake, and while most people don’t think of adding parsnips to baked goods, it’s just like adding grated carrots. The parsnips have a naturally sweet nuttiness that comes out when they’re cooked. This flavour is also enhanced when combined with a little sugar and plenty of spice. It’s quite lovely!

          Raw parsnips stacked in a wicker basket lined with an orange checkered napkin and scattered with pinecones.

          I’ve gone and made the recipe into a 3 tier cake for presentation purposes, but the recipe can be simplified by making as one 9×13 cake. I’ve included preparation and baking methods for both. However you choose to make it, you won’t be disappointed.

          Tips for great cake layers:

          – weigh or measure the batter into each pan for uniform baking.
          – line pans with a parchment circle so the cake comes out easily.
          – don’t over bake.
          – allow the cake to cool completely in the pan prior to removing.
          – brush the layers with simple syrup to help keep the cake moist.
          – if baking and using at a later date, wrap each layer individually and freeze for up to one month.

          Parsnip Spice Cake on a wooden cake stand with a wedge cut out and plated for serving.

          Parsnip Spice Cake
          Print Recipe
            Servings
            16-18
            Servings
            16-18
            Parsnip Spice Cake
            Print Recipe
              Servings
              16-18
              Servings
              16-18
              Ingredients
              Cake
              Simple Syrup
              Cream Cheese Icing
              Servings:
              Instructions
              Cake
              1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake pans as per option 1 or option 2 below.
              2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.
              3. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in parsnips.
              4. Option 1: Line the bottoms of 3 - 8" round cake pans with parchment and spray sides with non-stick spray. Divide batter evenly into each pan and spread out with a spatula (about 13 ounces per pan). Bake on centre rack for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
              5. Remove cake from pans and peel off parchment. Brush each layer with the simple syrup. Arrange one layer on a serving plate and spread with approximately 1/4 of icing. Top with another layer and repeat with icing and top with the remaining cake layer. Ice the top, reserving a small amount of icing to fill in the layer sides. Run a bench scraper or long straight edge spatula around the outside of the cake to smear and flatten the icing into a "naked cake" look. Dust the top with cinnamon and cut into desired wedges.
              6. Option 2: Spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray. Pour batter into the pan and spread out evenly with a spatula. Bake on centre rack for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Brush with simple syrup and spread evenly with frosting. Cut into desired squares and serve.
              Simple Syrup
              1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once at a boil, allow syrup to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in brandy. Allow to cool completely before brushing on the cake.
              Cream Cheese Icing
              1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, spices and vanilla. Beat until just combined. Frost cake as desired.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com