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So far on this keto diet I have dropped 12 pounds which for me is pretty amazing. I just don’t lose weight easily. I think I could go on a 30 day fast, go back to eating, and then gain every ounce back by the end of the week. That’s just how my body works. It’s frustrating and infuriating but that’s what it is.
I have to still say though that sticking to keto has been fairly easy. I won’t say that I didn’t eat bread and drink beer on my birthday, or that I haven’t snuck a couple pieces of my kids’ fried okra at Cracker Barrel, but all-in-all I haven’t really felt too limited eating keto.
Except for desserts.
Once a month (ladies, you know what I’m talking about), I get a hankering for something sweet. A good amount of “something”. We girls are just built that way I believe. And there’s not much in a keto diet to fulfill that sweet tooth. Artificial sweeteners abound but, I’m pretty picky about which ones I like to use.
I’m a fan of Swerve, which is what I use most of the time, but I’m also a big fan of Monkfruit Sweetener. Monkfruit isn’t quite as sweet as regular sugar but it doesn’t have any weird aftertaste. It does still have a fair amount of carbohydrates at 4g per teaspoon but I like to use it when I need something to not have that weird minty aftertaste. I have used both in this recipe. You can use whichever you like (or even just substitute real sugar if you aren’t dieting).
Also, I don’t want you to be intimidated by the meringues. They aren’t hard to make, just a little time consuming but most of that time is hands off. If you have stand mixer then this recipe will be a snap. I recommend getting them going right after dinner, that way by bedtime it’ll be time to turn off the oven and let them finish drying out. You can leave the meringues in the oven (after it’s turned off) overnight. They will keep for a few days in an airtight container. You can make the mascarpone cream ahead of time too. Just wait until you are going to serve them to put them together.
This recipe is as delicious as it is beautiful. It would be a great Valentine’s Day or Anniversary dessert for anyone and you don’t even have to tell them it’s sugar free.
For the Meringue Nests:
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup Swerve or alternative sugar substitute
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For The Filling:
- 4 oz. mascarpone cream
- ½ cup monkfruit sweetener or equivalent alternative sugar substitute
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ pint fresh berries raspberries, blueberries, etc.
For Meringue Nests:
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a stand mixer beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until soft peaks form. Sprinkle Swerve and vanilla in and then beat until stiff peaks form.
- Divide the meringue into 4 piles on the baking sheet, then, with the back of a large spoon, shape the mounds into a 4-inch (ish) “nest” with a bowl shape in the middle.
- Bake just until the meringues begin to color ( about 2 hours) and then turn off the oven. Let them sit in the oven for another hour or overnight. Cool completely on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container until ready to use. They should last several days.
For the filling:
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add the mascarpone, monk fruit sweetener, vanilla and orange zest and beat at high speed until the mascarpone is light and fluffy. Add the cream and beat until stiff peaks form (this may take 5-8 minutes or so).
- Fill each meringue shell with mascarpone cream filling and top with fresh berries. Serve immediately!