This cheesecake has a smooth, velvet-like texture and best of all; it is grain free, gluten free and low in carbs. It uses almond flour in the base and for those watching their glycemic index, almond flour is high in protein and low in sugars. It is also moist and delicious, freely available and easy to use. The sugar has been substituted with Natvia. Natvia is 100% natural, derived from the Stevia plant, and has a low glycemic index which makes it ideal for diabetics.
Owing to the smoothness and creaminess of this cheesecake, is that fact that it is baked in a bain-marie (water-bath) – a method of baking I always use for cheesecakes and baked custard desserts. Wrap the tin in aluminum foil to avoid any water seeping into the cake. This recipe allows for experimentation. The vanilla can be replaced with the juice of one or two lemons for a lemon cheesecake or in addition to the vanilla, add unsweetened cocoa for a chocolate cheesecake. As with all cheesecakes, they are best served chilled and can be topped with fruit or decorated with edible flowers.
LOW CARB FRENCH VANILLA CHEESECAKE
INGREDIENTS: Bring all the ingredients to room temperature before baking
- 2 blocks (16 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (full fat)
- 8 oz. Crème Fraiche (full fat) or sour cream
- 4 eggs
- 2 oz. butter
- 7 oz. almond flour/meal
- 2 oz. Natvia
- 2 vanilla beans 1tsp cinnamon powder
- Preheat the oven to 350C Fahrenheit
- Make the base by melting the butter and combining it with the cinnamon and almond meal. Press this firmly into an 8 inch spring form pan that has been sprayed with canola spray or liberally greased with butter.
- Bake the base for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven then place in the freezer to chill while making the rest of the cake.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric hand mixer until smooth. If the cream cheese is not at room temperature, the cream cheese will be lumpy.
- Scrape the vanilla bean seeds from the pods and add to the cream cheese. Mix well until the seeds are evenly distributed.
- Add the Natvia and the crème fraiche and mix well. Taste and add more Natvia if necessary.
- Add the eggs and beat just until blended. Avoid overbeating as this will give an aerated texture as opposed to the smooth velvety texture that you want.
- Take the base from the freezer and spray the sides with canola spray or grease with butter.
- Water-bath preparation: Wrap the pan in foil. Cut two large pieces of aluminum foil and lay them on your work surface in a cross. Set the spring form panin the middle and fold the edges of the foil up around the sides of the pan. The foil gives extra protection against water getting into the pan during the water bath step.
- Pour the mixture into the tin.
- Transfer the tin to a roasting pan or other baking dish big enough to hold it. Bring a few cups of water to a boil and pour the water into the roasting pan, being careful not to splash any water onto the cheesecake. Fill the pan to half-way up the cake pan.
- Place the water-bath in the oven and bake for bake for 45 minutes, and no longer. The cheesecake is cooked when the outer ring of the cake is slightly puffed and fairly firm, but the inner circle still has a firm wobble.
- Cool the cheesecake in the oven. Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Let the cheesecake cool slowly for one hour in the oven. Remove it then from the water bath and let it cool completely on the countertop before placing it in the fridge.
- Chill the cheesecake, uncovered, for at least four hours or preferable overnight. This step is crucial for letting the cheesecake set and achieving perfect cheesecake texture.
- Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake and remove cake from the pan.
- This cake can be sliced into 16 pieces. Slice with a knife that is dipped in water between each cut. This gives a smooth slice without the cake dragging with the knife.
Recipe lightly adapted from www.cairnsrecipes.com