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-   -   Cream Cheese Cake Bars (pic incl) using new twist on GF bake mix (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/low-carb-recipe-help-suggestions/795041-cream-cheese-cake-bars-pic-incl-using-new-twist-gf-bake-mix.html)

Jennifer Eloff 01-21-2013 06:45 PM

Cream Cheese Cake Bars (pic incl) using new twist on GF bake mix


Dense, rich, moist cake bars that are great alongside a cup of tea or coffee. This recipe is the result of a fan writing to me about her husband's favorite dessert. She wanted me to recreate a low-carb version. The first time I made it, it contained gluten, and now I've made it again with my gluten-free bake mix, however, using the option of gelatin instead of xanthan gum, which I find many people are rather suspicious of, or they simply do not tolerate it well. I like using the gelatin option these days (it is a little less effective than the xanthan gum in keeping the product from being crumbly, but still very good and the health benefits of gelatin have totally sold me into using it more often). I tend to have very weak nails and since using gelatin they are "as hard as nails"... lol Good side effect besides the many other benefits of gelatin such as a good effect on connective tissue in the body and thus reducing pain.

8 oz light cream cheese (250 g)
4 oz butter, softened (125 g)
Liquid sucralose to equal 1 1/4 cups (300 mL)
SPLENDA® Granular
1/4 cup granulated erythritol (60 mL)
1/4 cup whipping cream (60 mL)
3 3/8 tsp unflavored gelatin (16.5 mL)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (560 mL)
Bake Mix, (see below)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder (12 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (250 mL)
Betty Crocker Frosting (Optional), OR use a zero-carb cream cheese frosting or nothing (great even without frosting!)

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese until smooth. Add butter; process. Add liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, whipping cream, gelatin, eggs and vanilla extract; process. Allow gelatin to soften 10 minutes.

In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to cream cheese mixture; process until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Fill two greased 8 x 4 x 3-inch (1.5 L) parchment-lined (grease pan first to help parchment adhere) loaf pans. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 40 to 50 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool on wire rack. Remove loaves and cut each loaf into 8 thick slices and cut down the center of each slice to make 16 bars per loaf or cut each loaf into 12 still generous slices. Frost with Betty Crocker Frosting, if desired.

Helpful Hints: These fudgy cake bars are not meant to rise very much – just high enough to make substantial bars.

Yield: 24 or 32 bars
1 bar
159.1/119.4 calories
3.5/2.6 g protein
13.1/9.8 g fat
3.0/2.3 g net carbs

Betty Crocker-like Frosting:
(The low-carb pancake syrup, such as Estee, Maple-Flavored Pancake Syrup, has thickeners in it and it makes this frosting a thicker mixture)

1/2 cup Splenda Granular (125 mL)
4 tbsp powdered erythritol (50 mL)
4 tbsp whole milk powder* (50 mL)
1 tsp cornstarch (optional) (5 mL)
2 tbsp low-carb syrup (25 mL)
3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)

In blender, combine Splenda Granular, powdered erythritol, whole milk powder and cornstarch (if using). Add sugar free syrup and butter; blend until well combined. If the frosting is not thick enough, then use a tiny amount of Xanthan gum.

The dry mixture up to cornstarch in the listing above can be stored in the refrigerator until required. It will rival the real thing any day! No one will guess and that's the best part. The cornstarch is totally optional and not necessary - I was just trying to mimic the taste of the real thing but you'll hardly miss it. Thing is though it only saves 0.2 g carbs per tbsp (15 mL) by leaving it out.

Yield: 3/4 cup (175 mL) delicious frosting. Double the recipe for 1½ cups (375 mL) frosting. The frosting is slightly maple-flavored.
3/4 cup (175 mL) = 12 tbsp, 1 tbsp:
43.9 calories; 0.7 g protein; 3.6 g fat; 2.3 g carbs

Helpful Hints: This recipe can be multiplied several times. One could keep the dry ingredients (mixed) in a container in the refrigerator or freezer for a long time. Whole milk powder can be found in Publix or the Hispanic section of a Super Walmart. *Instead of whole milk powder, use skim milk powder but first blend finely in a blender before using to prevent lumps in the frosting.

The above amount will frost two mini loaves, one regular loaf, bundt cake or one single-layer 8 or 9 inch cake.

Nutritional analysis For two mini loaves (10 slices per loaf)
1.4 g carbs

16/25 servings (8-inch square cake)
1.7/1.1 g carbs

18 servings (1 large loaf or tube cake)
1.5 g carbs

1 Batch: 24.3 g carbs


It was brought to my attention that many people do not tolerate xanthan gum well, or they balk at the price, or they just plain old don’t trust it. Here is a very easy alternative. I need to test it more extensively in recipes, but for now here is what I have discovered and how you can use gelatin to help bind the wet ingredients and also the dry “flour” components of the bake mix to prevent crumbly outcomes, which is what the xanthan gum accomplished. If I only mention the former bake mix, it typically means the recipe has only been tested using it.

1 2/3 cups almond flour, OR (400 mL; 182 g)
(I use almond meal* – yield is greater with
almond flour by up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) more,
so then carbs would be 4.8 g – bonus!)
3/4 cup certified GF oat flour, (175 ml; 100 g)
(Bob’s Red Mill®, not Legacy Valley®)
2 tbsp coconut flour, (30 mL)
(Bob’s Red Mill®)

In large bowl, combine almond flour, OR almond meal, oat flour (if you are intolerant to certified gluten-free oat flour then substitute another gluten-free flour like sorghum flour which others have had success with in the bake mix), and coconut flour. In container with airtight lid, place bake mix and shake the container well to combine. When measuring oat flour (not necessary with the other ingredients) into measuring cup, make sure to tap the cup on the counter top and fill to the top to get the correct yield for the bake mix. Keep bake mix at room temperature for up to one month or freeze for much longer storage.

Instructions for substituting the bake mix in your own flour-containing recipes: Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) additional bake mix when substituting for 1 cup (250 mL) or more than 1 cup (250 mL) flour in recipes and use 2 tbsp (30 mL) more if substituting for less than 1 cup (250 mL).

When using this bake mix in your regular flour-filled recipes keep the number of eggs the same and typically the liquid/fat/wet ingredients will remain the same, but if you want to be on the safe side, withhold 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the liquid ingredients and add at the end. If the batter is too wet, add more bake mix 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, process and check the batter consistency. Very simple! If the batter is too thick and you’ve added all the liquid/fat/wet ingredients for the recipe, then add another egg and if it is still too thick, add some more liquid, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) at a time.

Adding Gelatin: You will need 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) gelatin for every cup (250 mL) of Splendid Gluten-Free bake Mix 1* or flour. Gelatin is added to wet ingredients in food processor or mixer and mixed briefly. Let it sit and soften 10 minutes; process a few minutes. Add dry ingredients and process until well combined. Some math is needed to calculate the amount of gelatin needed. Hhere are some variations worked out for you. If 2 1/4 cups (560 mL) of bake mix is required, then you will require 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) gelatin x 2 (3 tsp (15 mL) PLUS 1 1/2 ÷ 4 (3/2 x 1/4 = 3/8) = 3 tsp (1 tbsp, 15 mL) gelatin PLUS 3/8 tsp (1.5 mL).

For 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) bake mix, you would need 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) gelatin PLUS you would need {11/2 ÷ 2 = 3/4 tsp (3 mL)}. 1 3/4 cups (425 mL) would require 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) gelatin PLUS (remember 1/4 cup (60 mL) requires 3/8 tsp (1.5 mL) gelatin?), so 3/8 x 3 = 1 1/8 tsp (5.5 mL) gelatin. 1 1/3 cups (325 mL) bake mix would need 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) PLUS 1/2tsp (2 mL) (1 1/2 ÷ 3 = 1/2 ). With these few scenarios worked out for you, hopefully it should be easy to do the math for any other variations. If this is bothersome to you, pretend 1 tsp (5 mL) per cup is required, do the math, and add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) more; should still work favorably.

Applications: Gelatin option works in muffins, cakes, loaves, bundt cakes, brownies and cupcakes, but not for cookies. The gluten-free bake mixes need eggs in almost all applications. Sometimes I recommend both bake mixes in a recipe, but with regard to this bake mix option you will not always need gelatin; usually it is self-explanatory - for example, breading, cookies, crusts, etc.

Cookies: For cookies simply leave out both the xanthan gum and gelatin option. Gelatin will make cookies too soft. Keep the number of eggs called for in the cookie recipe the same and follow the instructions for replacing flour with the bake mix. Cookies will be fragile straight out of the oven. Leave them to cool completely on the cookie sheet and using a thin metal spatula transfer cooled cookies to dinner plates and place in the freezer. Once frozen, place in a sealed container back in the freezer. If you’re having trouble with a cookie recipe crumbling, add a tsp (5 mL) of honey or molasses to help bind the ingredients.

Helpful Hints: I buy the NOW® Brand gelatin in a 1 lb (0.45 kg) bag from Netrition.com. It is more economical. When substituting the Splendid Gluten-Free bake mix 2 for some of my older bake mixes, then 2 tbsp (30 mL) to 1/4 cup (60 mL) more bake mix will be required depending on if one is replacing less than 1 cup (250 mL) or 1 cup (250 mL) or more (last 2, latter amount). Follow same rules above. It is convenient to double, triple or quadruple this bake mix.

*If you are using the gelatin application for my recipes that use the original Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 with xanthan gum, don’t change anything in the recipes other than withholding 1/4 cup (60 mL) to 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the wet ingredients and adding in as necessary. You will almost certainly need less of the wet ingredients. Xanthan gum requires more wet ingredients. If you need to substitute Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 for Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 in recipes, you will need an extra egg, except for cookies.

Tweaker Geek 01-21-2013 07:57 PM

You've been a busy lady, Jen! I'm glad to see you, I haven't for awhile and figured you were busy with Vol. 3. The bars look very good and your post is very informative. I don't have a gluten intolerance and am still using Kevin's Carbalose bake mix in most recipes; I have done some of your gluten free mix, I do like it and will probably have some made up. I use almond flour more and more also. I will probably try this recipe using the Carbalose mix and some xanthan or Thick it Up because those things I have on hand.

As long as I've been at this low carb WOL I continue to be amazed at the ingenuity of the people on this board and the wonderful recipes we share. Granted low carb takes a bit of work in order to have breads, cakes, biscuits etc. that we can't just go buy at the store but it is so well worth it to me to invest my time to eat so deliciously!

Can you buy gelatin powder in a container like baking powder or do you use the gelatin packets like Knox gelatin comes in?

rosethorns 01-22-2013 05:14 AM

I saw this on facebook and I knew it was Jens. It looks so good.

gelatin....I've gotten the 32 packet box , I've never seen it in a container all in one.

CarolynF 01-22-2013 05:19 AM

Looks wonderful.

Jennifer Eloff 01-22-2013 07:39 AM

Hi Tweaker - yep, I've been busy besides book-related things, blog and FB postings. My son, Jonathan, got engaged just before Christmas and on the
6th of January company arrived from Canada and they leave Feb. 1st.

I'm sure it will be great with Kevin's bake mix. Just skip the gelatin. :)

I buy the NOW® Brand gelatin in a 1 lb (0.45 kg) bag from Netrition.com. It is more economical than the unflavored gelatin in Knox boxes - you can use those, however.

Thank you, Esther and Carolyn. :)

Have a great day everyone!

rosethorns 01-22-2013 08:25 AM

Wow Jen you can get the 1lb. bag. Cool thanks. Well now I forgot 2 things from Netrition and just got my order yesterday. Well the next time I order.

Tweaker Geek 01-22-2013 08:00 PM

Congats to Jonathan! Long engagement or summer wedding?:)

Thanks for the gelatin info, I'll get a bag on my next order; I've never noticed it on Netrition before.

gello5440 01-22-2013 08:24 PM

I found this on pinterest today and re-pinned immediately. yummmmm

That Girl 01-23-2013 11:38 AM

I bet this would be delicious w/banana flavoring added in! Can not wait to try it! Thanks!

Jennifer Eloff 01-25-2013 06:59 AM

Thank you, Tweaker. :hugs:

That Girl - I suspect you are right. :)

lol Thanks, Gello.

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