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Chocolate Strawberry Cake Roll Blog Post

I will be the first to admit that this is something of a special occasion cake. It’s a bit tricky to make and takes a gentle hand at times, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. Because this cake roll is worth all the time and effort it takes to make. Tender chocolate sponge cake, creamy strawberry cheesecake filling, all drizzled with rich chocolate ganache. It looks like a million bucks and it tastes like it too.

Cake rolls are tricky to make at the best of times. Even when using conventional ingredients like flour and sugar, they have a tendency to crack and break easily. Taking them gluten free and sugar free means they are even more fragile because you can’t rely on gluten strands to hold everything together. But they are so pretty and I had loads of fresh strawberries from our local farmer’s market. I can’t ignore that kind of inspiration when it strikes!

In the grand scheme of things, this was quite a successful cake roll. It cracked a tiny bit around the edges as I rolled it up (and unrolled, and then rolled it up again) but there were no major cracks in the cake. And all the cracks can be nicely hidden with the drizzling of chocolate ganache. So even if you are a novice baker, I say give this one a go. It’s fun and it’s a great way to use up some of those summer strawberries! And worst comes to worst, you can always turn it into a trifle…

Be sure to check out the full recipe.

Tagalongs and Avoiding Temptations

Tagalongs_ForWeb

If you’ve recently gone low carb or sugar-free, chances are you fear Girl Scout Cookie season like no other. Oh sure, they look all sweet and innocent, in their little brown and green uniforms. They might even be wearing pigtails and have plenty of badges that attest to what great kids they are. But you know that behind that sweet smile lurks a dark secret. The whole thing is just a ruse to get you to buy the very thing you are trying to cut out of your life: lots and lots of sugar. What a horrible, cruel trick!

Okay, okay, I know these little girls are really raising money for a do-good organization and that Girl Scouts teaches young women important lifelong skills. But those cookies really are an awful temptation when you’ve decided to cut out wheat and sugar. I avoid those sweet little girls like the plague. I avert my eyes whenever I spot them selling their goods. If they need donations, I am willing to hand them some of my money. But please don’t give me any cookies in return!

Thank goodness it’s so easy to make your own healthier version of the beloved temptations. Well, let me backtrack here a bit. Not necessarily the easiest thing you will ever do, but certainly worth the effort you put into it. In our house, we love chocolate and peanut butter so much, I decided I had to try my hand at a low carb version. It took a number of steps to make the shortbread, spread them with peanut butter, and then dip them in chocolate. But they were so good, they disappeared in one afternoon.

Hmmm, kind of reminds you of real Girl Scout cookies now, doesn’t it?

 

Homemade Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)

by Carolyn Ketchum

 

 

Move over, Girl Scouts. Tagalongs have been Swerved!

 

Ingredients

 

Shortbread Cookies:

2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup Swerve Sweetener

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

1 large egg

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Peanut Butter Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tbsp butter

¼ cup confectioner’s Swerve Sweetener

 

Chocolate Coating:

7 ounces 855 to 90% dark chocolate, chopped

1 tbsp butter

 

Instructions

Shortbread Cookies:

Preheat oven to 300F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, Swerve, baking powder and salt. Add egg, butter and vanilla extract until well combined and dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto a large piece of parchment and pat into a disc. Top with another piece of parchment and roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many circles as possible.

Lift circles carefully with a sharp knife or offset spatula and transfer to prepared baking sheets. Gather and reroll dough until no more circles can be cut out. You should get about 36 cookies.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until cookies are just browning around edges and firm to the touch. Remove and let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Filling:

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt peanut butter and butter together on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Whisk in powdered Swerve until smooth.

Spread about one to two teaspoons of peanut butter filling onto the top of each cookie and place on cookie sheets. Freeze cookies until firm.

Chocolate Coating:

Set a heat-proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Add chopped chocolate and butter and stir until melted and smooth.

Working with one frozen cookie at a time, add to melted chocolate and toss gently with a fork to coat. Tap fork firmly against the side of the bowl to remove as much excess chocolate as possible and transfer cookie to a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet or platter.

Repeat with remaining cookies. Try to keep most of them in the freezer as much as possible so that they don’t thaw before being dipped.

Makes 36 cookies. 2 cookies per serving.

Boston Cream Poke Cake

  If you know much about Boston, Massachusetts, you will probably have heard of the Parker House Hotel. It’s a glorious old hotel right in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of the Common, the State House, the Freedom Trail and many other Boston landmarks. It’s a destination unto itself, and it’s quite a foodie institution too. The Parker Restaurant is well-known as one of the finest in the country and has a few prominent inventions to its name. ……[Continue Reading]

Almond Joy Brownies

I’ve never really understood the Mounds versus the Almond Joy. Because let’s face it, they are both coconut candy bars; one just happens to have a couple of almonds stuck on top. Calling it an “Almond” Joy is very misleading when you think about it. To the uninitiated, it would seem as if the candy bar is all about almonds, so they are in for a shock when they bite into it and discover it’s made mostly of coconut. If ……[Continue Reading]