A classic party treat made healthier — without sacrificing even the tiniest bit of taste! This low-carbified, sugar-free Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball is the perfect choice for any keto party.
Tips for making the Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
This healthified Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball is easy to make, but it does take some time, so it’s a good idea to start preparing it the previous day.
The most important thing to remember is that the butter and cream cheese should be softened ahead of time. This means they should both be at room temperature. If they are too cold, you’ll end up with nasty buttery lumps in your cheese ball. Very unappetizing! So it’s best to take both the butter and cream cheese out of the fridge an hour or two in advance.
For the cream cheese, use the full-fat variety – not only because of all of the healthy fat, but also for its thickness and texture. If you use reduced-fat cream cheese, you might end up with dip rather than a sturdy ball. (Not that dip is a bad thing, but it’s not quite what we’re going for here. And besides, you don’t want to miss out on the good fat!)
Okay! Here’s how to prepare this superb treat:
Take a medium bowl and add the softened cream cheese…
…the brown sugar substitute Sukrin Gold…
…and the powdered erythritol.
Beat with an electric mixer…
…until very fluffy, about 10 minutes.
Add chocolate chips or grated chocolate.
Mix with a spoon…
…until well combined.
Cover, and place in the fridge overnight, or until firm enough to shape.
Take some plastic wrap…
… and scoop the mixture on it.
Wrap the plastic wrap around the mixture and shape into a ball. Like this.
Refrigerate for another hour or two so that its consistency is as stiff and firm as possible. Open the wrap…
…and roll the ball in more grated chocolate (or chocolate chips) .
Place on a serving plate.
Serve with low-carb cookies.
My Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball experiments
For a very long time, I’ve been dreaming of making a healthier version of a Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball. I wanted it to be low-carb and sugar-free, and sweetened only with natural sweeteners.
But even though I’d always found the concept of a Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball fascinating, I have to confess that I’d never actually made one (until now!). Since I’ve been on a low-carb diet for a couple of decades, the traditional sugar-laden version is off limits. That means I had to try to create the best possible low-carb version of this retro treat without having a blueprint to follow.
And to be honest, I wanted to post this recipe before New Year’s so that you could have made it for your low-carb and keto New Year’s celebrations. But I was traveling and spent the Christmas season in Germany with my husband’s family, so I wasn’t really able to develop this recipe further or to take the photos and video for it.
When I was back home again, I started pondering the ingredients for my cheese ball experiment. I needed cream cheese, naturally, plus some butter. Because desserts often benefit from a pinch of salt, I decided to try making it with salted butter instead of unsalted butter. Let’s see if my Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball turns out too salty! -I thought. That’s the whole point of experimenting, right?
Since the traditional version often contains brown sugar, I wanted to add an erythritol-based brown sugar substitute to my low-carb cheese ball. I chose Sukrin Gold, which has a slight caramel note and mimics real brown sugar very well.
I know there’s a brown sugar substitute from Swerve on the market now, but I still haven’t had a chance to try it out. I ordered some from the US, but naturally it takes awhile for it to make its way over to Finland. I’m awaiting it eagerly, because Swerve is such a great brand.
For the chocolate, I decided to use 85% chocolate that I had bought on my trip to Germany. I was simply too lazy to use a cheese slicer — my favorite tool for making grated chocolate — so I processed the chocolate into tiny chunks or “chips” in a food processor.
I was planning to use part of the chocolate in the mixture and part for rolling the finished cheese ball in. I’d figure out the exact amounts once I started experimenting, I decided.
So, for my first experiment, I took 8 oz (230 g) full-fat cream cheese, 6 oz (170 g) salted butter, 1/4 cup (60 ml) Sukrin Gold, 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered erythritol and 2/3 cup (160 ml) grated dark chocolate. I reserved 1 cup (240 ml) grated dark chocolate for rolling.
I beat the cream cheese, butter and the sweeteners until fluffy. I was a bit worried about how the Sukrin Gold would dissolve in the mixture: I didn’t want it to leave a gritty texture. That’s also why I wanted to add it at the beginning of the process — so that it would have some time to dissolve. The vigorous beating wouldn’t hurt, either!
I was a bit unsure how much grated chocolate I should add, but decided to try the 2/3 cup (160 ml) that I had planned to use. After I carefully folded the grated chocolate into the mixture, it looked just right.
I placed the mixture into the fridge overnight. I had a gut feeling that the mixture would need quite a long time to set before it could shaped it into a ball.
Next morning, I took the mixture from the fridge and started shaping it into a ball.
To my huge surprise, it was really easy to work with and formed a nice ball without much hassle! I put the ball back into the fridge to ensure that its texture was really stiff and firm.
After a couple of hours I removed the ball from the fridge and started rolling it in the 1 cup (240 ml) grated chocolate I had reserved for that purpose.
But the amount of chocolate was clearly too much — 1/2 cup (120 ml) would probably have been plenty.
I had baked some low-carb cookies, both for snacking and for use in my photos. (Actually, I had stashed away a jar of cookies for photography purposes, but my husband — oh how he loves to clean and organize things with his German precision! — had thrown them away, as he thought they were old and spoiled. So I had to bake new ones. And this time I wrote clearly on the jar: “Photography Cookies – DON’T throw away!” Anyway, in the photos you can’t tell whether the cookies are fresh or not: they stay good-looking for ages! A little reveal here…)
Eagerly I grabbed one (fresh!) low-carb cookie and scraped a corner of it against my Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball. The flavor was amazing — just the right level of sweetness — and the balance between cream cheese and butter was perfect. Too much cream cheese would have made it too sour, and too much butter would have made it too bland. And the salted butter was a great choice: it didn’t turn out too salty after all. Everything was just right!
Adding the brown sugar substitute Sukrin Gold was the right decision, too. It added a hint of caramel and vanilla that lent depth to the taste—no need for extra flavorings. All in all, a super-yummy creation!
Here’s the recipe:
|Nutrition Information||In Total||Per 1/4 cup (60 ml)|
|Protein||30.9 g||3.1 g|
|Fat||267.4 g||26.7 g|
|Net carbs||39.2 g||3.9 g|
|kcal||2710 kcal||271 kcal|
Tips for variation
You can make this Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball even more tempting by creating a mocha version: Add 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules together with the cream cheese and butter. (For a kid-friendly version, use caffeine-free coffee.)
For a real holiday treat — that is, a pepperminty version — just add 2 drops 100% peppermint oil to the cream cheese and butter.