Warning: this is a photo intensive post.
I’ve made two cheesecakes in the past two weeks. The first one was for Christmas and was a cranberry cheesecake. While the taste was amazing (minus the sour cranberries I put in the center on top), the carb/sugar count was higher than I wanted. Also, because it was for our Christmas meal (which was a day late) and I was rushing, I failed to follow directions. Since I’d only made one other cheesecake in my life and since it had been awhile AND since I failed to follow directions, not only did I not cook it long enough, I failed to leave the side ring on the springform pan in place. As if all that didn’t already spell disaster, I cut into it while it was warm. Result? Not good. A yummy, liquid-y, cheesecake tasting mess that required a spoon to eat. I decided right then and there that I would go back to the drawing board. With its almond crust and healthy ingredients, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to make another one so soon. Besides, someone asked me for the recipe and I couldn’t very well give them one I didn’t have confidence in. (You see the sacrifices I go through for my blog?)
Homemade cranberry sauce swirled into the top of the cheesecake. (I did this prior to baking) I used my basic cranberry sauce recipe, but adjusted the cup of turbinado for 1/2 cup of turbinado and liquid stevia to taste.
So I went back to the drawing board, determined to lower the carb count and bake a cheesecake that would hold its form on a plate. Before I post the recipe, I want to say that I realize xylitol is a controversial sweetener among real food folk. Each person has to decide for his or her own self what is acceptable. Since I use it infrequently and since I use a good source that uses birch trees and is made in America (as opposed to the stuff made in China of corn cobs), and because it is low on the glycemic index, I don’t have a problem with it. Let me also say, this recipe can easily be adapted to your sweetener of choice. I tried to make it all of stevia, but the stevia taste was becoming too strong long before the desired sweetness was achieved. I will include some alternate sweeteners at the end of the post (see footnote 1). Lastly, I used blueberries in this cheesecake and opted to put them on the bottom, rather than the top. You can use whatever fruit you like or none at all. You can bake the fruit (fruit puree, fruit jam, etc) into the cheesecake or use it on top of the baked cheesecake. Here’s a cool trick if you want to get really fancy.
GF Low Carb Cheesecake
serves 16 thin slices or 8 better slices
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3 Tbls softened butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs date sugar or turbinado (rapidura, etc)
Pinch of stevia powder (to taste)
Note: this crust is not very sweet, so make adjustments that suit your personal taste.
Preheat oven to 350o. Butter a 9″ springform pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, then add butter till combined. Place almond mixture in pan and spread across the bottom and up the sides as well as you can. Like so:
Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching carefully that you remove just as it begins to brown. Remove and set aside. Lower oven temp to 325o.
3 (8 0z) packages of cream cheese or neufchatel (softened)
2 cups plain, mild yogurt (I used Greek)
3 large eggs + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup xylitol1
1/4 tsp stevia powder
14 drops liquid stevia
2 drops English Toffee flavored liquid stevia (optional)
1 cup blueberries (optional -I used frozen/drained)
Note: this filling may not be sweet enough for some. If you are using a good source of eggs and aren’t worried about eating them raw, you can taste and adjust sweetness once it is mixed together.
Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, but keep your mixer speed relatively low. Slowly add xylitol and stevias and continue beating till creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla and yogurt and mix just till well blended. (Don’t overmix) Adjust sweetness as necessary.
This next part deals with the bain marie (water bath). I should have done this first but didn’t and since the pictures show the filling poured into the pan already, that’s how I have to post it. (Sorry, not ready to bake another cheesecake just yet!) You can prepare the pan and then pour the filling into it.
Take 2 sheets of foil paper a little longer than the edges of the pan, like this:
Line them up with the top sheet about halfway over the bottom sheet, like this:
Fold edges a couple of times to seal ends, like this:
Here’s a panned out view:
Unless you are working with the extra wide, heavy-duty foil, repeat the process with 2 more pieces of foil (making them into one). Lay the second set on top of the first.
Begin to wrap the outside of the pan in a way that would best keep out water. Sort of like this:
Continue wrapping with remaining foil, making sure foil isn’t above edge of pan.
Continue with second layer, so that it looks like this:
If you are using fruit, take approximately 1 cup of the filling and put it in a bowl with the fruit. Mix well and pour onto crust.
Now carefully pour the remaining filling over fruit mix. (If you are not using fruit, simply pour all of the filling over the crust)
Place pan with filling in a larger baking pan. I found that the bottom of my broiler pan worked perfectly. There’s even an indentation in the pan that the springform fit in exactly!
Set the whole thing on the oven rack. Using hot water, carefully fill outer pan with water until it is 1/3 of the way up the side of the springform pan.
Bake for one hour, then turn off oven and leave in for one more hour. Remove foil. Run a knife all the way around the edge of the cheesecake. (I’ve read this helps with cracking) It should look like this:
Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Remove outer part of springform pan, slice and serve.
Yes, that is a 1/8th serving.
We really enjoyed this cheesecake. The addition of cinnamon really gives the crust a graham cracker crust taste and the blueberries were just the right touch. I also like that the ingredient list is short. Short and sweet; my favorite kind of recipe!
1 The xylitol and stevia can be replaced with any sweetener that equals 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. I’m guessing 3/4 – 1 cup of honey would work, but can’t guarantee what it would do to the texture. (Found a similar recipe here that is made with honey) Hope any of that info helps!
You can follow me on Facebook by clicking on the link in the above, right-hand corner.