Low Carb Christmas Recipes

By Demi Hayward


If you are looking for some Low Carb inspiration for Christmas and the New Year, then look no further! I've put together a collection of some of my favourite recipes and ideas, which I have used on numerous occasions and which I hope will make your festive season a special one. Whether it's for Christmas Lunch or a special dinner party, you should find something here that will do the trick!

Although Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies are definitely not LC, there is absolutely no need to feel deprived, just revel in what is available and enjoy!!!

I’ve included some festive breakfast ideas, starters, veggie dishes, main dishes and casseroles (for when you’re fed up with turkey and want to serve something different) and puddings. For the majority of the recipes, the ingredient amounts given will serve 4, so you can easily adjust the amounts for more or less people if entertaining or whatever.

Most recipes are easie peasie. Some are a bit more fiddily, but definitely worth the effort. It's very rare for me to properly follow a recipe to the letter, as I love a bit of improvisation and experimentation, but everything here does work! However, if you do have any problems, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help.

Re the casseroles - these are all fairly quick and easy to prepare and cook and the best thing is that if you make them the day before you need them, they improve in flavour. After cooking, cool them first, put in the fridge overnight, then re-heat at 180c/350f/gas 4 for about 40 minutes when you want to serve them. If you've got a Crock Pot – even better – just remember to halve the amount of liquid used. Cook overnight on low. Turn off in the morning, and a couple of hours before required, turn the Crock Pot on again. Casseroles are also great for freezing as well! Just defrost overnight in the fridge and then reheat as per the previous instruction.

I use Sionon as a low carb sweetener to cook with all the time. It's great to work with and has no carbs. However, if you prefer to use something different, e.g., Splenda, then you will need to adjust the amount used and will also have to factor in the extra carb count to the recipe. Whatever sweetener you do decide to use, make sure it's heat resistant.

Also, I have used Carblife chocolate in my recipes. If you use another brand, make sure you take their carb count into consideration, as they can vary.

Let's Talk Turkey!


To me, Christmas isn't Christmas without a turkey, but it can't be just any old turkey – I always have a Bronze Turkey, which I consider to be the Rolls Royce of turkeys – a much gamier flavour and the meat is extremely moist. It'll change your view of turkey forever. Ask you local butcher if he can get one for you – they are slightly more expensive but worth every penny.

Although I get mine from my butcher, the farm that supplies them is fairly local to me and you may have heard of their famous KellyBronze turkeys. They have a website for more information (www.kelly-turkeys.com), they can tell you where your nearest local butcher/supplier is, or you can order direct from them. This is not meant to be an advertising ploy, it's just that their turkeys really are something special and I highly recommend them. Bronze turkeys are also available from Waitrose during the Christmas season.

If you are cooking a turkey, then these tips may be of help:
Stuff the neck with sausage meat (not stuffing – you can cook it separately for non-low carbers) and put 1-2 large oranges (cut in half) in the body cavity – I find this really helps to keep the turkey moist.
Also, cook the turkey breast side down, as this is a great way to keep the meat succulent. Don't forget to generously cover the turkey in butter before cooking as well – one of the many great benefits of being a low carber!

If you don't want a turkey, there are plenty of carb-free alternatives:
Goose, Duck, Pheasant, Partridge etc.

A 10-12lb oven-ready goose should be enough to serve 8 people, a 5-6lb duck serves 4 people, a brace of pheasants, weighing approx 1.5lbs each, should be enough for 4-6 people, and two plump partridges should be plenty for 4.

Gravy
Did you know that around the 14th century, gravy was made from the cooking liquor of the poultry or meat and thickened with ground almonds? If you don’t fancy a white gravy, then I recommend the Bisto Gravy Granules for Turkey Dishes (2g carbs per 50ml serving). You can add the juices from the turkey to give it even more flavour. However, if you want to make your own, then remember that cornflour has 4g carbs per level teaspoon!

Nibbles, Snacks, Sauces, Dips!

Something low carb to munch on throughout the day!

Macademia Nuts
Walnuts
Brazil Nuts
Pecans
Almonds

A tray of Cheeses with interesting and unusual varieties

A selection of pork scratchings, celery sticks, carrot sticks, prawns, cucumber, rolls of ham – these are all fabulous for dipping as well.

Low Carb Dips

Blend cream cheese (Boursin is good as well) and/or fromage frais with ingredients such as chives, tuna, crab or pieces of smoked salmon, whatever takes your low carb fancy! Sour Cream with chopped spring onions is also good, as is sour cream with blue cheese. Experiment!

Easy Guacamole Dip
3.3g carbs for whole recipe

1 ripe avocado, halved and stoned
2 tbsp fromage frais or mayonnaise
1 spring onion, chopped
2 drops Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice

Scoop the flesh out of the avocado and put in a food processor or blender with all the other ingredients, puree in 3-4 3-second bursts. Put in a dish and serve (if you don't want to use it straight away, cover the dish with cling film and put in the fridge – however, it won't keep for more than a couple of hours without going brown).

Low Carb Tsatsiki Dip
7g carbs for whole recipe

3 cloves of garlic, crushed
8oz fromage frais
½ tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1tbsp finely chopped mint (optional)
¼ cucumber, finely diced or grated

Blend first five ingredients, put in fridge until ready to serve (at least ½ hour), then mix the cucumber in just before serving.

Melting Brie
Just heat a small round Brie or Camembert in the oven for 5-10 minutes in the oven at 200c/400f/gas 6. Sprinkle some crushed peppercorns over the top and get dipping!


A lot of supermarkets sell special mini buffet food for Christmas: mini-sausages wrapped in bacon, smoked salmon pinwheels filled with cream cheese or salmon pate, mini chicken tikka kebabs etc., – have a look at what's on offer and pick the lower carb choices. Alternatively, you can make your own, as they are fairly easy to make.

Meatballs in Parma Ham
Trace carbs

450g/1lb of minced beef, pork or veal
Grated zest of a lemon
2 tsp fresh parsley
2 eggs
6 large slices of Parma Ham (Prosciutto)
Olive oil

Pre-heat the grill to a medium heat. Mix the mince with the lemon zest and parsley. Beat the eggs then gradually add to the mince until you have a texture that is not too dry or too wet – one that you can easily shape. Divide the mixture into 12 small balls and wrap each one in half a slice of the ham, securing it with a wooden cocktail stick. Brush generously with olive oil and grill the meatballs on all sides until cooked through – turn frequently and brush often with the olive oil. These can be eaten warm or cold. (To prevent the cocktail sticks from burning, soak them in cold water for at least two hours first).

If you want something sweet:

Serve Truffles (see recipe) instead of After Dinner mints with coffee,
or arrange chunks of Carblife Milk Chocolate with Orange, Carblife White or Dark Chocolate with Mint, or just plain Carblife Dark Chocolate on a plate.

Melt some chocolate and butter and use this to dip Brazils and Walnuts in. If you're feeling extravagant, dip strawberries!

Or melt some diabetic toffee, dip Brazil nuts in and leave to cool and harden – voila Toffee Brazils!

BREAKFAST IDEAS


Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs
Carb free

Allow 2 eggs and 40z/110g of smoked salmon per person.
You can either chop the salmon into small pieces to add
to the eggs during cooking, or just spread it out on
a plate and pile the cooked eggs on top. When making the eggs,
break them into a bowl and whisk well. Heat a couple of large
knobs of butter in a saucepan over a fairly gentle hear. When the
butter starts to 'foam', add the eggs and stir constantly. If adding salmon, do it just before the eggs have begun to solidify, at these point you should also add
another knob of butter. Allow the eggs to finish cooking and serve immediately.

Omelette Arnold Bennett
Serves 2 – approx 1.5g carbs per serving

3oz/75g Smoked Haddock, cooked
2oz/50g Butter
3 fl oz/75ml Double Cream
2 Eggs, separated
1oz/25g grated Cheddar Cheese

Turn on the grill. Flake the haddock with a fork, removing any skin or bones first. Melt half the butter with 1/3rd of the cream, then stir in the fish. Remove from the heat. Mix the egg yolks with the remaining cream, and stir in the fish. In a separate bowl combine the cheese and remaining cream. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the fish mixture. Heat the remaining butter in a pan (make sure the frying/omelette pan you are using is suitable to go under the grill – no plastic handles!). Add the fish mixture and cook until brown underneath. Remove from heat and pour cheese mixture evenly over the top and grill until bubbling. To serve, divide into two.

Sweet Souffle Crepes
Serves 2 – Approx 0.5g carbs per serving, but add carbs for jam and fruit if used

3 eggs
2 tbsp Sionon
3 tbsp double cream
Vanilla essence
Butter

Separate the eggs, then beat the egg yolks with the Sionon until pale and fluffy, then fold in the cream and vanilla essence. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff then carefully fold into the yolk mixture. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, and when it’s sizzling pour in the mixture. Cook until set underneath, shaking occasionally. Flip over, cook for about 60 seconds, and then slide crepe out of pan onto a plate. You can now spread it with some diabetic jam or some halved strawberries or raspberries. Fold over, and cut in two. Transfer to 2 plates and serve immediately. Approx 1g carb for each crepe, but you will need to add in the carbs for the fruit or jam, depending on which and how much you use. Alternatively, a carb free option is to pour over some Davinci sugar-free syrup (your choice of flavour). These are great for breakfast, but also good as a pudding!

Spinach and Cheese Souffle Omelette
Serves 2 – approx 1g carbs per serving

3 eggs
3 tbsp double cream
4oz/100g Gruyere or Cheddar Cheese, grated
3 oz/75g Spinach – baby leaf is brilliant
Butter
Parmesan

Separate the eggs, then beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy, and then fold in the cream. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff then carefully fold into the yolk mixture. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, and when it’s sizzling pour in the mixture. Cook until set underneath, shaking occasionally, the remove from the heat. In the meantime, cook the spinach in the microwave, add to the omelette with the cheese, the place under the grill under cheese starts to bubble. To serve, cut into 2 pieces and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Devilled Kidneys
Serves 2 – just under 1g carbs per serving

1 tbsp Butter
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
2 oz/50g sliced mushrooms
Large pinch of cayenne pepper - optional
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
6 Lamb’s Kidneys, trimmed and halved.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper and Worcestershire Sauce. Add the kidneys to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes each side. Divide into two and serve immediately.

STARTERS

Smoked Salmon Wraps
Serves 4 – carb count depends on
how much cream cheese you use

4 large smoked salmon slices
Cream Cheese (2.6g carbs per 100g)
Prawns

Lay the pieces of salmon out then spread the cream cheese
over them (exactly as you would to butter bread). In the middle of each place the prawns and then fold the salmon over to form a parcel. Turn the parcels over so that the folds are underneath, and then serve with a piece of lemon and a small salad.

Salmon, Prawn and Avocado Rolls
Serves 4 - makes 8 rolls – 1g carb per roll

10 oz. smoked salmon slices
1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
16 king prawns or langoustines, shelled
Lumpfish roe, to garnish
Fresh dill weed, to garnish

Cut the salmon slices into 2 X 1 1/4 inch rectangles. Cut the avocado in half, then cut each piece into 4 slices lengthwise and cut the slices in half through the middle. Place the pieces in a bowl and toss in the lemon juice. Roll a piece of avocado and a prawn in each piece of salmon. Decorate the rolls with some lumpfish roe and a sprig of dill weed. These rolls can be prepared several hours in advance. Once assembled, cover with cling film and store in the fridge.

Two Salmon and Dill Pate
Serves 4 - Trace carbs

4oz Butter
80z Salmon Fillet, cut into chunks
3oz Smoked Salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces
Juice from ¼ lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Line a small loaf tin with freezer film. Melt in the butter in a pan then add the salmon fillet chunks and gently cook for about 5 minutes until just cooked through. Set aside to cool. When cool add the remaining ingredients, stirring gently to avoid breaking up the salmon chunks too much. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Cover with plastic film and place small weights on top (a tin of baked beans or something similar is ideal). Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge until set, and then remove the weights. Turn pate out of tin and serve sliced with a small green salad.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 4 - approx 3 carbs per serving

16 fresh mushrooms (large, not button)
1 (8 ounce) pack cream cheese, softened
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a baking tray, or cover with greaseproof paper. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, reserving approx half, which you then chop into very small pieces. Whip the cream cheese until smooth.
In a small bowl, combine the chopped mushroom stems and crabmeat, and then blend in the cream cheese. Add the garlic salt and mix well. Stuff the mushroom caps with the cheese mixture. Arrange the caps on the prepared baking tray.
Bake mushrooms at 350°F for 20 minutes.

Brandied Chicken Liver Pate
Serves 4 – just under 1g carb per serving

100g/3.5 oz Butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
225g/8oz trimmed chicken livers
6 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp brandy

Melt 2.5oz of butter in a pan then add the shallots and garlic. Cook for about a minute then add the chicken livers and 2 bay leaves and cook over a gentle heat for a further 5 minutes until the livers are cooked through. Remove the bay leaves, add the brandy, and then cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and give it a good whiz until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly between 4 ramekin dishes. Smooth the tops, place a bay leaf on each. Melt the remaining butter and spoon over. Leave to cool then chill in the fridge until the butter on top is set.

MAIN DISHES


Beef and Pheasant Casserole
Serves 4 generous portions - 2.5g carbs per serving

1 oven-ready pheasant jointed into 8 pieces
8oz/225g braising steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ pint/150ml red wine
½ pint/450ml beef stock
½ tsp dried thyme
Olive oil

Brown the pheasant pieces in the olive oil, transfer to a casserole dish. The brown the braising steak and add to the pheasant. Next, brown the onion over a gentle heat for 5 minutes, then add the wine and beef stock, bring to the boil – remove from the heat and add the thyme. Pour over the contents of the casserole dish, cover and cook for about 2-2 ½ hours in a pre-heated oven – 160c/ 325f/gas 3.

Venison Braised in Guinness
Serves 4 - 4g carbs per serving

2lb Venison, cut into 1 inch cubes – you can use beef if preferred
1 bottle of Guinness
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Butter/Olive Oil

Place the meat and the bay leaves in a large bowl, sprinkle with the thyme, pour the Guinness all over it, stir well then cover with a plate. Leave in a cool place overnight. The next day, drain the meat, reserving the liquid, and brown in a pan using some butter and olive oil. Put the meat in a casserole dish. Now brown the onions and garlic, add the reserved liquid and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes. Add this to the meat, stirring well. Cover and cook for 3 hours at 140c/275f/gas1.

Braised Lamb with Thyme
Serves 4 - 4g carbs per serving

2lb (900g) Lamb Fillet, cut into rounds ¾ inch (2cm) thick
400g Can of Chopped Italian Tomatoes
2 Knorr Lamb Stock Cubes – dissolved in ½ pint boiling water
1 tsp dried thyme
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil

Brown the lamb fillets in small batches in a frying pan with the olive oil. Transfer each batch to a casserole dish when browned. Then add some more oil to the pan and brown the onions, add the garlic after about 5 minutes and cook for a further minute or so. Add the thyme, gradually stir in the stock and the tomatoes. Pour over the lamb in the casserole. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 2.5 hours at 140c/27f/ gas 1.

Italian Oxtail Casserole
Serves 4 – 6.5g per serving

2lb/1kg oxtail in 1 inch (2.5cm) slices
4oz/100g onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tins of chopped tomatoes (pureed in a blender)
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried basil

Fry the oxtail pieces in the olive oil over a high heat until browned, then place in a casserole dish. Brown the onions and garlic then add the pureed tomatoes along with the herbs. Simmer for a couple of minutes, and then add to the oxtail in the casserole dish. Cook for 4 hours in the oven at 150c/300f/gas 2.

Instead of Oxtail you can also use Veal Osso Bucco (veal shanks) just reduce the cooking time to about 2-2.5 hours.

Whisky Steaks
Serves 4 – 1.5g carbs per serving

4 fillet steaks
6oz sliced button mushrooms
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
4 tbsps whisky
1 tbsp herb mustard
150ml beef stock
Butter and olive oil

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Add the steaks and fry, on a fairly high heat, for 2-3 minutes on each side to seal and brown. Reduce the heat slightly and fry for another 1-3 minutes on each side, or until the steaks are done to your liking. Remove and keep warm. Add the garlic, fry until just turning brown, add the mushrooms, fry for another 1-2 minutes then add the whisky, mustard and beef stock, stirring well. Return the steaks to the pan and coat thoroughly in the sauce. Serve immediately.

Lamb Noisettes with Celeriac Sauce
Serves 4 – 4g carbs per serving

8 Lamb Noisettes (or chops can be used)
4oz/110g Celeriac peeled and diced
½ pint/275ml single cream
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
½ tsp dried Rosemary
Olive Oil

Put the celeriac and the garlic in a saucepan with the cream, cook gently uncovered for 15 minutes (or until the celeriac is soft). Transfer to a food processor and blend until it makes a smooth puree. Heat the oil in a frying pan until very hot. Fry the lamb with the rosemary for about 2 minutes on each side – cooking time depends on how well you like your meat cooked. Pour the sauce equally onto 4 warmed plates, place 2 noisettes on each. Serve immediately.

Lemon and Tarragon Chicken
Serves 4 – 1g carbs per serving

4 Chicken joints
8 fl oz/250ml chicken stock
3 eggs yolks
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
Approx 8 leaves of fresh tarragon, chopped
Butter/Olive oil

Heat the butter and olive oil together in a deep frying pan, then seal the chicken joints quickly. Cover with the stock. Turn the heat right down, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Take the chicken out of the pan. Raise the heat under the pan and beat the egg yolks, lemon juice and zest into the juices remaining with a balloon whisk. Pour this over the cooked chicken and sprinkle with the tarragon.

Lemon and Sage Pork
Serves 4 – 2.5g carbs per serving

2 pieces of Pork Tenderloin, weighing approx 8oz/225g each
250g Mascarpone cheese
Rind and juice of a lemon
2 tsp dried sage
80g Parma Ham

Cut incisions in the pork, approx ½ inch apart, from the top to the bottom but not all the way through. Mix the mascarpone, lemon rind and sage together in a small bowl, and then fill the pockets in the pork with half the mixture. Wrap the pork with the Parma ham. Cook in a small roasting tin in the oven for 30 minutes at 200c/400f/gas 6. When cooked, heat the rest of the mascarpone mixture with the lemon juice over a gentle heat, stirring well. Cut the pork into slices and pour the sauce over the top.

CHRISTMAS VEGGIES


Neeps and Carrot Mash
from a Delia Smith recipe - Serves 4 – 3.5g per serving

6oz/175g Carrots
6 oz/175g Swede
Butter
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the carrots and Swedes into 1.5 inch chunks, then bring
to the boil in a saucepan with enough water to just cover the vegetables. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15 minutes – or until they are tender but not mushy. Drain in a colander. You can either mash them in the saucepan, or blend them in a food processor – you can add some butter at the same time, along with the salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and add small pieces of butter to the top.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
from a Delia Smith recipe - Serves 4 – 2g carbs per serving

8oz/225g Broccoli florets
8oz/225g Cauliflower florets
2 cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil

Crushed the garlic cloves and add to the olive oil, whisking well. Put the broccoli and cauliflower in an oven proof dish and pour the oil all over, making sure the vegetables are completely coated – a bit messy but I use my hands to do this. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.

Parmesan-Baked Parsnips
from a Delia Smith recipe - Serves 4 – 12.9g carbs per serving

Approx 1lb/450g Parsnips
Olive oil
Butter
Grated Parmesan cheese – at least 2oz/50g

Peel the parsnips, then half and quarter them (cut out some of the tough woody centre). Put them in a saucepan, add enough boiling water to cover them, then bring back to the boil and boil for 3 mins. Drain them in a colander and while they are still steaming, drop them into a bowl containing the Parmesan. Make sure they well coated. Bake them in a roasting tin, which has been pre-heated containing enough olive oil to cover the bottom and a couple of knobs of butter, at 200c/400f/gas 6 for about 35-40 mins – turning over halfway though cooking. You can also do this with large chip-like wedges of swede!

Braised Brussel Sprouts in Riesling
from a Delia Smith recipe - Serves 4 – 2.5g carbs per serving

12oz/350g Brussel Sprouts
2oz/110g Smoked Bacon rashers
1tbsp butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
! clove of garlic, crushed
3 fl oz (75ml) Riesling wine

Cut the bacon into small pieces with a scissors. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat – add the bacon, along with the shallots and garlic and allow them to cook slowly. While that is happening, steam the sprouts over boiling water for 4 minutes, just enough to half cook them. Then turn the heat up on the frying pan to medium, add the sprouts and toss around for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to take on a bit of colour. Turn the heat up to high, pour in the wine, letting it bubble and reduce while you stir the sprouts. As soon as the sprouts feel tender, transfer them to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Crunchy Stir-tossed Courgettes
Serves 4 – 3g carbs per serving

1lb/450g Courgettes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp garlic salt
Olive oil

Slice the courgettes into rounds. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, put in the courgettes, cover with a lid and shake vigorously over a high heat for 30 seconds. Take off the lid, add the tomato puree and the garlic salt. Put the lid back on and shake vigorously again. Leave for 45 seconds, shake again and serve!

Nutmeg Spinach
Serves 4 – 2.5g per serving
2lb/900g spinach
3 fl oz/90ml double cream
2oz/50g butter
1 tsp nutmeg

Cut off any thick stalks then wash the spinach. Place in a large saucepan without any water, except what’s left on it from washing. Cover with a lid and heat on high for about 2-3 minutes. Take the lid off, stir and continue to cook until almost all the liquid has gone. Add the butter and toss with the spinach until the butter has melted, then remove from the heat. Put the cream into a separate pan and heat gently. Pour over the spinach and mix well. Put into a serving dish and sprinkle the nutmeg over the top.

PUDDINGS AND SWEETS

Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4 - approx 5g carbs for the whole recipe

200g dark chocolate (4 bars of Carblife Dark chocolate)
3tbsp strong espresso coffee
25g butter
1.5 tbsp dark rum
3 large eggs

Half fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to establish a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl with the coffee and butter: you need a bowl that can be suspended over the saucepan of just-simmering water so that the ingredients can melt but not actually come into contact with the water. Stir occasionally until all the ingredients are amalgamated. Remove the bowl from the pan, stir in the rum and then allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes. Separate the eggs - the yolks into a small bowl without breaking them, and the whites into the bowl of a mixer. While the chocolate mixture is still relatively hot, stir in the egg yolks one by one, mixing in well between each addition, the idea being that the yolks "cook" slightly. Beat the egg whites until they form firm peaks. Take two tablespoons of the egg white and gently stir them into the chocolate to slacken the mixture. Then fold in the rest with a metal spoon until there are no streaks or pockets of egg white. Pour the chocolate mixture into little pots or ramekins - filling them almost to the brim. Alternatively, pour into a bowl and serve scoops into serving dishes. Either way, cover with a sheet of cling-film and chill in the fridge for at least six hours or overnight.
A nice twist on this would be to use Carblife Dark Orange chocolate!


Buck's Fizz Jellies
Serves 4 - just under 1g carbs each

I packet of Sugar Free Orange Jelly
Champagne

Dissolve jelly crystals in ½ pint of boiling water. Leave to cool. When cold, but before it actually starts to set, top up to a pint with Champagne! Pour carefully into 4 champagne flutes (or wine glasses) and transfer to the fridge to set. If you pour gently then you should conserve many bubbles so that they will be apparent when the jelly is eaten). Serve with cream!


Jellies – Variations on a Theme!

Try Raspberry or Strawberry with Vodka! Make up jelly as directed, then add a slug of vodka.

Orange with Crème Fraiche and Brandy – make up jelly as directed – ½ pint of boiling water, then top to ¾ pint with cold water. Leave to cool. When cool enough, melt ¼ pint of crème fraiche over low heat (or low temp in microwave), then whisk in jelly, adding a slug of brandy as you do so.

Serve in one large bowl, or in 4 individual glasses or ramekins.

These are just a couple of the ideas I have tried with sugar free jelly, but there's nothing to stop you having a go at whatever variation appeals to you!


Almond and Raspberry Trifle
40g carbs for the whole recipe

3-4 Almond Muffins (see recipe below)
Custard (see recipe below)
½ pint/275ml Double Cream - whipped
Approx 2.5 fl oz/50ml Madeira or Medium Sherry
Frozen Raspberries
Diabetic Jam – optional – or some Davinci Sugar Free Raspberry Syrup
Flaked almonds

Cut the muffins into quarters (spread a little bit of jam on each, if you want to use it, or use some of the syrup), and then arrange pieces in the base of a glass bowl (or whatever dish you are going to use for your trifle). Pour the Madeira all over as evenly as you can. Put to one side, and make the custard. When the custard is cool enough, arrange the defrosted raspberries amongst the muffins, then pour the custard over the top. Cover with cling film and chill for a couple of hours before topping the trifle with the whipped cream. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top as decoration. Keep in fridge and serve chilled.


Almond Muffins
This recipe has been adapted from one featured at Lowcarbluxury.com
Makes 12 muffins – approx 2.5g carbs each

4oz/110g butter, softened
4 oz/110g cream cheese, softened
5 eggs
3oz/75g Sionon
3oz/75g vanilla whey protein powder
3oz/75g almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (for a more festive muffin, substitute the vanilla with brandy!)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In large mixing bowl, mix together softened butter, softened cream cheese and Sionon. Add eggs one at a time, beating with a mixer after each. Set aside. Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add slowly to egg mixture. Beat on low speed until well mixed, then add vanilla and mix again. Grease a muffin pan (1 pan that holds 12 or 2 pans that hold 6) with butter. Pour in batter and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. They are done when firm to the touch on top, much as you do with a cake. Cool for a minute before removing from muffin tins. When cool transfer to the fridge (if not intending to eat them the same day). They'll store for up to 2 weeks.

Custard
15g carbs for the whole recipe

5 egg yolks (large)
1 tsp cornflour
¾ pint/425ml double cream
1 oz/25g Sionon
A couple of drops of vanilla extract

Mix the egg yolks, sionon, cornflour and vanilla extract in a bowl. Bring the cream up to simmering point in a saucepan, and then pour over the egg mixture. Whisk well. Return the lot to the saucepan and re-heat gently – keep whisking until the custard has thickened. Either serve immediately, or leave to cool if making the trifle.

Tiramisu
Adapted from a Delia Smith recipe – approx 21.5g for the whole recipe

3 large egg yolks
2oz/50g Sionon
1 x 250g tub of Mascarpone
2 large egg whites
5 fl oz/150ml very strong espresso coffee
2-3 tbps dark rum
Approx 6 almond muffins (see previous recipe)
2oz/50g Carblife Dark Chocolate
1 Tsp cocoa powder (optional)

Beat the egg yolks, with an electric hand whisk, in a bowl together with the sionon on high speed for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture forms a light, pale mousse. In a separate large bowl, stir the mascarpone with a wooden spoon to soften it, then gradually beat in the egg yolk mixture. Between each addition, beat well until the mixture is smooth before adding more. Now wash and dry the beaters of the whisk so they are perfectly clean, then in a third separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Now lightly fold this into the mascarpone mixture and then put the bowl to one side. Next, cut the muffins to thick finger-liked slices. Pour the coffee and rum into a shallow dish and then dip the fingers briefly into it, turning them over. Now simply layer the dessert by putting soaked fingers into the bottom of a glass bowl, followed by the mascarpone mixture, repeating the whole process, finishing with the mascarpone mixute on top. Complete with a layer of chopped chocolate and a final dusting of cocoa powder. Cover the bowl with cling film then chill in the fridge for several hours before serving. For this recipe you could substitute the vanilla flavouring in the muffins with a teaspoon of dark rum!

Low Carb Little Sticky Toffee Puddings

Serves 4 – 4.5g carbs each

4 Almond Muffins
Packet of Creamy Toffee (100g pack) Thorntons or from Carblife shop
5 fl oz/150ml Double Cream

Melt the toffee slowly on a low heat - either in the microwave, or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cut the top off each muffin and, using a teaspoon, make a little hollow in the larger part. Pour in some of the melted toffee, then replace top of each muffin. Pour double cream into the remainder of the melted toffee and pour in equal quantities over each muffin. Serve immediately. Add custard if desired!
For this recipe you could substitute the vanilla flavouring in the muffins with a teaspoon of brandy!

Lemon Souffle
Serves 6-8 – 15g carbs for the whole recipe

3 eggs, separated
6oz/175g Sionon
Rind and juice of 2 large or 3 small lemons
4 tbsp hot water
1 x ½ oz/15g gelatine
½ pint/300 ml double cream

Make a collar for a ¾ pint/450ml soufflé dish (measure the height and circumference of the dish, cut a piece of greaseproof paper long enough to wrap around the dish and 3 inches/7.5cm taller than it’s height, tie around the dish with string). Put the egg yolks, sionon, lemon rind and juice into a large bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until thickened (take about 5 minutes with an electric whisk). Remove from heat and beat for another 4-5 minutes until pale yellow and frothy. Dissolve the gelatine in the water, cool until tepid then stir into the lemon custard. Whisk the cream until it begins to thicken then fold into the custard. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then fold into the mixture. Pour into the prepared dish and leave to set in the fridge. Don’t forget to remove the collar before serving!

Chocolate Truffles

Adapted from a Delia Smith recipe

Makes approx 36 truffles – plain 1g carbs each, almond 0.5g carbs each, chocolate-coated – 0.5g carbs each

150g dark chocolate (3 bars of Carblife Dark Chocolate)
150ml thick double cream
25g unsalted butter
2 tbsps rum or brandy

For decoration: Cocoa Powder, 25g Flaked/Crushed Almonds, 50g plain chocolate and ½ tsp groundnut oil.

Break the chocolate into squares and place in a food processor. Grind chocolate until it looks granular (like sugar). Place cream, butter, rum or brandy in a small saucepan and bring to simmering point. Then, with the motor switched on, pour mixture through the feeder tube of the processor and continue to blend until you have a smooth blended mixture. Transfer the mixture, which will be very liquid at this stage, into a bowl, leave to cool and when cold, cover with cling film and put in the fridge overnight. It does thicken up! Next day, divide mixture equally into 3 small bowls, and keep each one in the fridge until needed.

To make the different varieties:

Plain Truffles – sift 1 dessertspoon of cocoa powder on a flat plate, take a heaped half teaspoon of truffle mix, dust your hand in cocoa, then roll mix into balls. Try to do this quickly as the warmth of your hand will start to melt the chocolate.
Almond Truffles – Sprinkle finely chopped almond flakes on flat plate, take half teaspoonfuls of mix and roll them around in the nuts, pressing them to form an outer coating.
Chocolate-coated Truffles – Put the chocolate and the oil in a bowl over some hot, but not boiling liquid, allow the choc to melt until its liquid, the remove pan from the hear. Spread some silicone paper on a flat surface, dust your hands with cocoa, roll each truffle into a ball. Using two flat skewers (one to spike the truffle and the other to manoeuvre it) dip each truffle into the choc liquid so that it gets a thin coating, then immediately transfer onto the silicone paper. If the liquid choc begins to thicken, replace pan on heat so that it will liquefy again. Leave the coated truffles to set completely.

Use paper sweet cases to put each individual truffle in. Arrange in a box (or boxes) and put in fridge. Eat within 3 days. The truffles can also be frozen, if you don't want to eat them straight away!

Chocolate Truffle Torte
Serves 10 – 42g carbs for the whole recipe (approx 4.2g carbs per serving).

This wonderfully rich and decadent torte is adapted from a Delia Smith recipe, and was a favourite of mine before I began low carbing. It occurred to me that, given the ingredients, it could be suitable for a low carb diet and the following recipe is the end result of my testing! If you want to make a smaller torte, just divide the amounts given in half.

1lb/450g Carblife Dark Chocolate (9 bars – but definitely worth it!)
1 pint/570ml Double Cream
5 tbsps Dark Rum
5 level tbsps Sionon
3oz/75g ground almonds

Line a 9 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper, then lightly brush with groundnut oil. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the bottom, covering the area completely. Break the chocolate into pieces and put them, with the rum, in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Leave until the chocolate has completed melted, take off the heat and add the sionon, stirring well – leave to cool for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until only very slightly thickened. Fold half into the chocolate mixture, mix well, and then fold it back into the remaining cream. When completely blended, pour into the cake tin. Smooth the top with a palette knife. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge overnight. To serve, run a palette knife round the edge to loosen it, then turn the torte out onto a large plate and dust with a little cocoa powder. Serve with cream, to which you could add some rum for an extra special treat!

Individual Baked Ricotta Cheesecakes
Serves 4 – just under 2g carbs each (add another 2g carbs per serving if you use the fruit sauce).

9oz/250g Ricotta cheese
2 egg whites, beaten
1 tbsp Sionon
Vanilla essence

Break up the ricotta cheese in a bowl then add the eggs white, sionon and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth. Lightly grease 4 ramekin dishes and spoon in the mixture equally between them. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180c/350f/gas 4, or until the cheesecakes have risen and are golden in colour. Serve with a fruit sauce - puree 4 oz of berries with a little water (frozen raspberries are ideal to use here), add sionon to taste – or use a Davinci Sugar Free Syrup of your own choice.