Recipe: Salted Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (Low-carb/Sugar-free/Keto)

Sometimes, you just need to satisfy your chocolate cravings. 
Even if you're watching your sugar intake. 


I've been on a low-carb diet by choice because when I had my doctor's appointment about my back condition, he indicated that any sort of weight loss would help and ease the pressure on my joints and my overall condition. So I made a conscious decision to watch my food intake and exercise; keep moving to keep moving. If I stay still too long (20-30-45 mins), I'll be stuck. Literally. And because of this, I've lost 30 lbs since and have been able to maintain it [insert surround sound applause].

Even if I'm primarily low-carb, I sometimes use Keto recipes. Why? They're yummy!!! I know, I know... you have to be strict on Keto to achieve ketosis. For some who aren't familiar, Keto is a high-fat, low-carb diet where you have to take note of your macros to fully optimize your ketosis to burn fat. With ketosis, this enables your body to burn your fat as fuel for energy, instead of getting it from our usual source (carbs).

In any case, I'm seasonal with Keto. Because once I want to eat carbs, I'll eat a whole damn pizza.

I'm low-carb on weekdays and whatever I crave for (i.e. chocolate cake, gelato, Kinder Bueno, etc.), I'll eat them on the weekends. So when I crave something sweet during the week, I'll try to make a sugar-free or low-carb version of it. I want to save my carbs for the glorious 48 hours the weekend can offer. Priorities. (Has anyone ever experience being drunk with sugar? I'm sure I'm not the only one. But yeah, these sugar-druken nights are most often Saturday nights.)

So when I came back from a vacation where I carbo-loaded like an Olympic athlete, I had to go back to some semblance of balance. I did however need a sweet ending to my meals. So with this quick fix, my days ended well and even made my mood better! Just because they made me happy! 😁 I've always loved chocolate and peanut butter together. Their marriage just works. In case you're allergic to peanuts, you can always substitute this for another nut butter (almond butter, cashew butter, or hazelnut butter). If you really aren't cutting any carbs, try your hand with cookie butter! Hhmmm... cookie butter chocolate cups...I'm already drooling 🤤... now I want this. Let's stay focused now.

Another idea: this may also be just one way to collect all the random milk or dark chocolates you collected over the holidays, Halloween, gifts, etc. Just make sure they're solid milk or dark chocolates, no other ingredients added like rice crispies, wafers, caramel, coconut, etc.

These make great gifts too because they're pretty - place in a box and tie with a gold ribbon, et voila!. Just make sure your gift recipient isn't allergic.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (Low-carb/Sugar-free/Keto)
This recipe will make 12 cups....OR.... 6 giant thick cups! 🤯😳 Hahaha. Fine, don't double-up and make 9 slightly larger cups if you want. Or just make half the recipe if you're really just satisfying a craving.

You'll need cupcake liners and a cupcake pan for this recipe. No need for the liners to be pretty ones, the white liners are fine.

Ingredients
300g dark chocolate (Just as reference, a Lindt dark chocolate bar is 100g. So get 3! Make sure you use at least 80% cocoa, if you have sugar-free or Keto chocolate, much better.)
5 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup peanut butter, creamy (Or any nut butter mentioned above. Oh! And try to get organic or freshly made peanut butter, and check the carbs - only if you're watching your sugar.)
1 tsp coconut oil, melted (optional)
3 tsp sugar substitute of your choice (I use Stevia.)
1/4 tsp vanilla

sea salt flakes / freshly ground sea salt / even slightly ground up rock salt (NO, please don't use any flavoured salt or gourmet salt you have lying in the pantry, original sea salt works best. Pink Himalayan salt is best for cuisine just for visual appeal, but it behaves the same as sea salt.)

Procedure
  1. Assemble your cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
  2. Chop up your chocolate into chunks and microwave for 20 second blitzes, stirring with a spatula in between intervals, until melted.
    • If you don't have a microwave, use the double-boiler method. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Place chocolate in a bowl and place this bowl on top of the saucepan to melt the chocolate, stir constantly with a spatula. Make sure you do not get any water or steam into the melted chocolate or this will clump up together. Chocolate is an oil-based ingredient because of it's cocoa butter. So let's respect that. 
  3. Once fully melted, add your coconut oil and vanilla extract and stir until fully incorporated. Divide into two batches.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter, optional coconut oil, sugar substitute, and vanilla until smooth. 
  5. Layer your first batch of melted chocolate in the liner cups. You can swirl the cups a bit so the chocolate lines the side as well. 
  6. Place this in the freezer for 5 minutes. 
  7. Use a teaspoon to spoon peanut butter mixture on each cup. Return to the freezer for another 5 minutes
  8. With the remaining batch of melted chocolate, top off each cup. Gently tap your cupcake pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Freeze for 4 minutes. 
  9. Sprinkle each cup with a small pinch of sea salt flakes (not like how that "salt bae" dude does it). Let the cups settle and snooze for about 10 minutes before you attack. You can refrigerate it if you're losing patience so they solidify faster. 
  10. Enjoy!

Storage
Place in an air-tight container. Should keep well in the counter for about a week. Will definitely keep and hold longer in the refrigerator.

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*Baking is a science, as you all know. It's recommended to weigh ingredients instead of measuring by mass or volume (cups, spoons, etc.). So if you have a kitchen scale, go ahead and use this so you can achieve optimal products as outlined in any baking recipe. If you don't have a scale, you can use volume measuring tools but it won't be exact. Just to give you some reference on measurements, here are some that can be helpful in case you run into a recipe that suddenly makes your mind go blank. Some (*) are an estimation because they either weigh more (or less) in actuality.
  • 1 gram = 1 ml
  • 1 tsp = 5 ml = 5 g
  • 1 tbsp = 3 tsp = 15 ml = 15 g*
  • 1 cup = 240 ml = 180-240g* (always best to weigh this if recipe is in grams, some flours are denser than others)
    • like a bar of butter, it's 225g which can equate to 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup = 12 tsp = 60 ml = 2 oz
  • 1 oz = 30 ml = 28 g
  • 1 pound = 16 oz = 454 g
    • like a block of butter, it's 454g
  • 2 pounds = 32 oz = 900 g = 1 kg* (close estimate)
  • 1 pint = 2 cups = 500ml (yeah, so if you eat a whole pint of ice cream... well then... that's 2 cups, or a block of butter which is usually 454g)

**For recipes I'll be doing at present or recent times, I'll try my best to add pictures to show each step. Most of my existing photos that I'll be sharing the recipes, they're mostly just the end-product picture. 



#donyaluzee #recipe #lowcarb #keto #sugarfree #chocolate #peanutbutter #almondbutter

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