Thursday, July 10, 2014

Low Carb Ice Cream Cones and Bowls

Sometimes a great idea is right under your nose, and you’ll miss it. And keep missing it, until pow! It hits you. I was looking up ice cream paraphernalia on Amazon when I ran across this...

Chef's Choice Waffle Cone Express Ice Cream Cone Maker.

It’s a waffle cone maker. Waffle cones are the good kind of ice cream cones. They’re sweet and have a hard cookie-like texture. Not like the ones with the flat bottoms that taste like cardboard and make you curse your parents for buying them.

Flat bottomed ice cream cone.
Serving ice cream in these should be considered a crime against humanity.

Who the heck in their right mind eats these things? How is the company that makes them still in business? Anyway, it hadn’t occurred to me until I saw the waffle cone maker that it just might be possible to do a low carb version of these. For some inexplicable reason, I thought ice cream cones could only be produced in a factory setting using special ingredients. Apparently there’s nothing special about it at all. It’s just flour, egg whites, sugar, flavoring, and melted butter. Just mix it all together and you’ve got waffle cone dough. Where did I find this out? Right in “The Perfect Scoop” book that I must have read a bunch of times and never noticed that ice cream cones are one of the recipes. Each one of those ingredients are simple and straightforward and I have plenty of experience working with low carb alternatives to get things to taste pretty darn close. Oh, but there’s a caveat...

The bad news


I’ve got to level with you. I’m going to give in to a wheat-based flour for this recipe. I mostly swore off Carbquik because I wanted to minimize my exposure to wheat products. No more low carb breads, pancakes, waffles, etc. However, I can’t bring myself to even attempt this without using Carbalose flour. Even if I could get some combo of almond, coconut, and flax to gel, I don’t think it’s going to taste very good, nor will it hold together as well. The wheat gluten in the flour will help bind the dough and give it structure. Oh, stop screaming you big babies. I don’t like it either, but it’s not the end of the world.

There have been a number of low carb products that ended up as shams. Low carb pastas and breads usually fall into the “too good to be true” category. However, I have yet to see anyone find the claims from the company that makes Carbalose flour and Carbquik misleading or false. I’d wager some small group of people with glucose meters already tested their response to Carbquik and didn’t find an abnormally high reading. If you know of any credible issues or controversies, please let me know ASAP.

Carbalose is to Carbquik is what flour is to Bisquick. Bisquick simplifies recipes by including a leavening agent and a fat that produces tender and crumbly results in a cake, cookie, or pie crust. Similarly, Carbquik is Carbalose flour plus baking powder and shortening. Plain Carbalose flour can be purchased through Netrition that doesn’t contain any of the other ingredients. It’s what I buy mainly for breading purposes. (Even then, I use 50% Carbalose flour and 50% grated Parmesan cheese.)

Carbalose flour is high in fiber and low in digestible starch. Because of this, pancakes and waffles tend to fall apart. Gluten-free bakers use non-gluten sources of starch to supplement their flours, but those ingredients obviously have lots of carbs. There’s another trick I learned from the gluten-free folks that will help us here.

The secret ingredient


Xanthan gum (and other gums) can impart a gummy elastic texture to foods and drinks. It does a good job binding dough together, too. Considering the goal of this endeavor is to make a “plastic” cooked waffle that will eventually harden, but can’t be brittle, these gums are a Godsend. I have a bag of Xanthan gum in my refrigerator that I haven’t used in ages and it was now time to take it out of retirement.

I followed David’s ice cream cone recipe based mostly on the gram weights he provided, not the volumes. I also swapped some ingredients, but still used the original weights. (No, I didn’t verify that 7 tablespoons of powdered erythritol really weighs 85 g.) I’m going to give instructions assuming you have a waffle cone maker. Making them in an oven looks like a disaster, so you’re on your own if that’s the path you plan on taking. I was going to add some waffle flavoring to the dough, but I don’t think it’s necessary. These suckers really do taste like ice cream cones!

I didn’t have a rolling pin the first time I made these. They came out a little too thick shaping them by hand and were a little difficult to eat. I bought the cheapest rolling pin I could find and the results are much better. The waffle cones are thin, but strong. You’d think the company that makes the waffle cone maker would include a large circular cookie cutter to help you prep the dough. Nope. You’re on your own. There’s not much call for a 7” wide cookie cutter, so finding one is extremely hard. I ended up using a pot cover that happened to be about the right size. I suppose a really large aluminum can could be used as an impromptu dough cutter. If you find something inexpensive, let me know.

UPDATE: I found something!  Fat Daddio’s Stainless Steel Round Cake and Pastry Ring, 7 Inch x 1.25 Inch from Amazon. Works great.

One last thing...I don’t really care for concept of an ice cream cone. Ironic, right? They really don’t hold the ice cream well, which causes it to drip all over you. The ice cream melts through the pointy bottom if it’s not sealed up properly. A bowl is more practical, but you can’t eat a bowl. Or can you? Ever see these things?

Tortilla molds.

They’re relatively inexpensive and will work great for making waffle cone...bowls!

Ingredients


¼ cup (60 ml or 66 g) egg whites (or whites from 2 large eggs)
7 tablespoons (85 g) powdered erythritol
14 drops EZ-Sweetz
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup (90 g) Carbalose flour, divided
1 teaspoon Xanthan gum
2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter, melted


Directions

  1. Prep the waffle cone maker based on the manufacturer’s instructions. (E.g, plug it in, spray it with oil, and preheat it.)
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the egg whites, EZ-Sweetz, powdered erythritol, vanilla, and Xanthan gum. Stir in the salt and half of the flour, then mix in the melted butter. Beat in the rest of the flour until smooth.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat and flatten out some dough with your palm.

    Flattened dough.

  4. Use a rolling pin starting from the center to the outer edges to thin out and flatten it further.
  5. Shape the flattened dough to ensure a 7” circle could be cut. If the ends of the dough are tapered too thin, now is the time to shore them up with a little excess dough. Use a pot cover or other round object to cut out a circle shape like a cookie cutter.

    Dough cut with pot top.

    Dough cut into circle.

  6. Remove the excess and peel off the dough from the mat.

    Dough cut into circle.

  7. Put the round cut dough in the waffle cone maker.

    Dough in waffle maker.

    Bake it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mine took approximately 3:30 minutes on a setting of 3. The circles should be a deep golden brown throughout (some lighter and darker spots are inevitable, so don’t worry). Use a heat resistant silicone spatula to remove the waffle disc.
  8. Put the disc in a non-stick tortilla mold evenly. Then put another mold on top to ensure the waffle is contouring well.

    Waffle cone in molds.

  9. After a few minutes, the waffle cone bowl will be hard enough to remove from in between the molds.
  10. Repeat, using the remaining batter.
  11. Store the waffle bowls in the refrigerator overnight. They will harden just like an ice cream cone.
Makes about 5 waffle cones or bowls. If you ended up with less, you probably made them too thick.

Finished waffle cone bowl.

Finished waffle cone bowl.

STORAGE: The batter can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Let the batter come to room temperature before using. Once baked and cooled, store the cones in an airtight container until ready to serve. They’re best eaten the same day they’re made.

1 comment:

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