These low-carb duchess cauliflowers are cousins of the classic duchess potatoes. However, they won’t be upstaged by their better-known high-carb relatives, quite the contrary: full of flavor and healthy ingredients, these morsels are also great for the finest dinner.
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total:||30.6 g||43.8 g||16.8 g||585 kcal|
|Per thingy if 10 thingies in total:||3.1 g||4.4 g||1.7 g||58 kcal|
|Per thingy if 20 thingies in total:||1.5 g||2.2 g||0.8 g||29 kcal|
|Per thingy if 30 thingies in total:||1.0 g||1.5 g||0.6 g||19 kcal|
|Per thingy if 40 thingies in total:||0.8 g||1.1 g||0.4 g||15 kcal|
Tips for making the duchess cauliflowers
The most important thing is to purée the mass as smooth as you can, especially if you are going to pipe rosettes or florets. I use hand blender for puréeing the cauliflower and switch to a wire whisk when it’s time to add the coconut flour.
The better quality coconut flour you use, the better the duchess cauliflowers will taste. Good quality coconut flour is really fine and smooth, almost pure white in color and just with a hint of sweet coconut aroma, so no strong odors there. Not that good quality coconut flour will taste floury and feel gritty, so use the best quality coconut flour you can get.
For the best results, you can sift in the coconut flour so that it won’t form any lumps. I have to confess that usually I’m so lazy that I just toss the coconut flour in and then mix, and I haven’t had any catastrophes.
After adding the coconut flour, it’s a good idea to let the mass stand for, let’s say, 10 minutes. The coconut flour thickens the mass, and thickening takes a few minutes.
If you consider the mass too runny to pipe, add a tablespoon or maximum two coconut flour. Whisk well and wait for a couple of minutes after each addition.
If you don’t have pastry bag and a large star tip, you can use a freezer bag instead. Just put the mass in the bag, close the bag properly, cut the corner and pipe the mass into nice figures.
Different size duchess cauliflowers take different times to bake. The tiniest ones are done in 15 minutes while the largest ones can take up to 40 minutes. In my oven the ideal baking time for medium size duchess cauliflowers is 27 minutes. The yield is then 25 pieces.
I found a cheese slicer or a thin spatula to be the handiest tool for removing the duchess cauliflowers from the parchment paper after baking.
My experiences when developing the recipe
Using cauliflower for replacing potatoes is nothing new in the low-carb world. However, I haven’t heard anybody making duchess cauliflowers before. Surely, there must be plenty of recipes for duchess cauliflowers out there, so if you know any, I would be delighted to hear from them.
The developing of this recipe started last summer when I made my first duchess cauliflowers experiments. The results were moderate — maybe a bit too runny — so I wanted to improve the texture.
From the very beginning I wanted to use coconut flour as thickener and for holding the mass together. Coconut flour simply has finer texture than for example almond flour, and for these duchess cauliflowers, everything should be smooth and fine-textured.
In addition to coconut flour I needed eggs. Usually recipes for duchess potatoes call for egg yolks, but I wasn’t in the mood for separating eggs. I wanted to use whole eggs also to keep things easy and simple.
Seasonings were still missing. Naturally, I added some salt. At first I also added white pepper because in my opinion it goes well with the taste of cauliflower, but then I gave up because it gave somehow too pungent flavor. So, in the end I used only salt as seasoning.
The amount of the coconut flour needed the most attention. The quantity should be just right, so that the mass won’t be too runny — or too stiff.
For one batch I also added some heavy cream. The resulting mass was a bit too runny (well, I poured a bit too much cream by accident…), but surprisingly enough, the ready duchess cauliflowers were quite dryish.
I thought butter could give some richness to this dish, and after adding a good pat of butter to one batch the result was perfect.
Tips for variation
This accompaniment doesn’t necessarily need any other seasoning than salt, but if you want, you can add seasonings to your heart’s content. Seasonings also give some great variation for this side dish. Below some suggestions:
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- pinch or two ground nutmeg
- fresh or dried herbs, for example parsley, basil or rosemary
- fresh, crushed organic garlic (be sure to mince the garlic fine enough, especially if you are going to pipe the mass. If the garlic is too coarse, it won’t come out of the tip)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt or other seasoned salt.
For even richer buttery taste, you can brush the cauliflowers lightly with melted butter just before baking.
My husband considers these duchess cauliflowers as great sauce carriers. So do I. Especially for this purpose I pipe tiny swirls which I serve like pasta or gnocchis. These tiny swirls need only 15 minutes baking time and the yield is approximately 200 pieces. I like them with bolognese sauce made from minced organic beef, my husband prefers them with meaty and creamy pepper sauce.