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Low Carb Nutella Swirl Cheesecake

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I got upset today, so I ran to the kitchen and a cheesecake was born. “Nutella” and “cheesecake” are my favourite words, other than “boat” and “booties” (They make my mouth parts happy) so I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to come up with this.

I spent half an hour the other day looking online for the best prices for ground hazelnuts (I saw it once in a cookie recipe and couldn’t get the idea out of my head) and then realised you can just buy them in Sainsburys. I don’t normally shop in Sainsburys but I’ll definitely be back. They had flaked coconut too, which you can’t get at Tesco or Asda. That was exciting. I have plans involving coconut.

In weight related news, I found that I lost weight easier than normal this week when I cut out my black coffee. Which has next to no nutritional value, but a lot of caffeine, which apparently can cause stalls in some people? I’ve been having green tea and peppermint tea instead. Saying that, I only lost the same few pounds I’ve been gaining and losing repeatedly for the last 3 months. I doubt making a cheesecake will help with that.

This makes far more fake Nutella than needed for the recipe, so feel free to cut that down. I’m saving it to do something else with, or eat with a spoon at midnight while sobbing and looking at pictures of me when I was thinner.

I used my medium springform pan for this, but I reckon it would spread over a large one fine. The base would be pretty thin though. I only meant to use a 1/4 cup scoop for the cocoa and the sweetener in the base, but I accidentally used the 1/3 cup, so I’ve listed what I actually used, for accuracy’s sake.

Ingredients

Base –

  • 1/2 cup roasted, chopped hazelnuts (or ground)
  • 1/2 cup golden flaxseed
  • 65g butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sweetener

Topping –

  • 200ml whipping cream
  • One large tub full fat Philadelphia (270g, I think?)
  • Spoonful of full fat Greek yoghurt (Optional – I like the flavour, but it does make the cheesecake a bit sloppier)
  • Vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup sweetener

“Nutella” –

  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sweetener
  • 4 squares (The big squares!) of very dark chocolate, melted
  • Vanilla essence
  • Coconut oil

Recipe

First, make the base; melt the butter in a medium bowl, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Add extra sweetener, if you need. Press down into the bottom of your springform pan (I line the bottom of mine with baking paper to make it easy to remove later) then shove in the fridge or the freezer while you make the rest.

For the topping, whip the cream with an electric beater until it’s forming stiff peaks, then add everything else and whip some more. It should still be nice and thick. I did several taste tests at this point, just to be extra sure it was perfect. Spoon it on top of your base, and put somewhere cold while you make your Nutella mixture.

I find this easiest in a food processor, but I think it would be possible to stir it all together if you have patience and a strong arm! I put my ground hazelnuts in the food processor with the cocoa, sweetener and melted dark chocolate, and left it mixing while I washed up my bowl. It quite quickly formed a big ball, which was my cue to add my last few ingredients.I put in the vanilla essence, then added coconut oil about a tbsp at a time until the consistency was how I wanted it; smooth but not runny. I think I put in a little extra sweetener too. I often mix two different types of sweetener together to get a nice taste, but everyone has their own preferences here!

At this point, I took the cheesecake out of the fridge, put a generous dollop of the Nutella mixture in the middle of it, and used a spatula to swirl it into the cheesecake topping. As you can see from my picture, I didn’t do an amazing job, and over mixed it a tad in my excitement. I used a smaller spoonful to try and “pretty” the top of the cheesecake up a bit, that helped!At this point, you want to leave it to cool down and set in the fridge. As always, I took it out far earlier than I should, so it was a bit runny; it still tasted great though! I saved the rest of the Nutella mixture in the fridge; I’ll have to think of something else to do with that. I’m sure that will be no great hardship ;o)

Low Carb Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

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Today, I decided to make a cheesecake.

I haven’t made a cheesecake for a while. I gained weight over the summer (My friends are bored of me talking about this in person, so ha, you have to listen to me prattle on about it here) so I’ve been trying to be more restrained with my baking. However, after careful analysis of my diet last winter when I was at my thinnest and this summer, I’ve come to the conclusion that I ate a respectable amount of cheesecake at my thinnest, and I didn’t make any big ones at all while I was busy gaining weight. My theory is that I tend to binge eat on healthier snacks more when I feel deprived, and eat less overall when I have fun making fancy things in moderation.. Or maybe cheesecake is just magical. I like to think it’s magical.

In other cheesecake related news, the idea of a savoury cheesecake came up the other day, so that’s in my head. I’d want it to retain the core ingredients (cream, cream cheese) but use a savoury flavour that works, and use an appropriate savoury base. Does anyone have any ideas? My first thought was something like a sour cream and chive dip, but then I thought “pizza cheesecake” and the idea has been consuming me ever since.

Anyway.

After my (excellent) decision to make a cheesecake today, it didn’t take me long to decide on a flavour, because I’ve been on a caramel kick recently. I bought some sugar free caramel sauce last week and the flavour is great. I chose to go with a chocolate biscuit base, because chocolate + caramel is always a safe bet. I didn’t want it to be too plain, so I chose a toasted pecan topping; my only complaint is I didn’t toast the pecans for long enough, so their flavour was milder than I’d prefer.

Ingredients

Base –

65g butter

1/2 cup golden flaxseed

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup sweetener, then extra to taste

Topping –

200ml whipping cream

1 big tub full fat Philadelphia (270g)

Heaped spoonful Greek yoghurt

1/3 cup sweetener

vanilla essence

sugar free caramel syrup (I used a brand called Walden Farm)

handful of pecans

Recipe –

Cut out some baking paper, and use it to line a springform cake pan. I used my medium sized pan for this recipe, but I think it would work fine in a big one too, just a smidge flatter. I find the easiest way for cheesecakes is to put it over the circular bottom part of the pan, then place the main body of the pan on top and snap it shut, lining the bottom with a nice flat layer of parchment paper. I don’t usually bother lining the sides of the pan, but I am rather lazy.

Melt the butter in the microwave, then mix in the ingredients for the base. Have a taste, and add more sweetener to taste. Without the cocoa powder and with some added cinnamon, this is my standard biscuit base for cheesecakes :o) Tip into the springform pan, and press down with the back of a spoon until it’s nice and flat. Put in the fridge or freezer to cool while you make the topping.

First, whip your cream with an electric beater until it’s holding peaks, then mix in everything else other than the pecans. Pour into your springform pan, then smooth with the back of a spoon. Put somewhere cold while you toast your pecans.

There’s nothing stopping you using untoasted pecans, but toasting them really brings out the flavour. You can either fry them in a skillet, or put in the over for 5-10 minutes until they darken and go all nice and fragrant. After they’re done, pulse them in the food processor (Or put in a bag and hit it a few times) until they’ve broken up some. You don’t want them too fine, if they’re a bit chunky it gives a nice texture.

Artfully sprinkle over the top of your cheesecake (Read: Just tip them over the top and hope for the best) then leave in the fridge to set. I left mine in for 3 hours and it was cold, but not particularly well set; overnight is ideal, if presentation is your thing. It isn’t mine. Eating cheesecake is my thing :o)

Run a knife or a spatula round the edge of your springform pan, then release your new best friend from it’s pan-prison and set it free to live it’s lifelong dream of being eaten. Because you’re nice and selfless like that.

Low Carb Hazelnut Brownie Cheesecake

What, you're telling me you DON'T garnish your puddings with gemstones?! Peasants.

What, you’re telling me you DON’T garnish your puddings with gemstones?! Peasants.

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I love cheesecake. I love brownies. I do not like looking lardy.  Thankfully, brownies and cheesecake can be made healthily, with minimal sugar, so I can enjoy two things I love without the risk of turning into a Lardy Lou.

And seriously, when I ask myself (which I totally do, all the time) how I can make cheesecake even more awesome, a giant brownie is pretty much the first thing I think of. It’s the first thing I think of in a lot of situations, come to think of it. I really love brownies. They’re neato-burrito. Mmmm, burritos.

I have a confession; the idea for this recipe is heavily influenced by Carolyn’s recipe over on All Day I Dream About Food. It was seeing a picture of it on Tumblr that got me into her incredible website. Which you should totally check out, by the way. The woman is a genius.

The brownie base is very similar, I just subbed out her walnuts/pecans for hazelnuts because I prefer the flavour. I also tweaked the sweetener measurements, because I use a different one. The cheesecake topping is all my own though. I prefer no bake cheesecakes :o)

Ingredients:

Brownie base

  • 100g butter
  • 50g dark chocolate. The darker the better. I rarely use anything below 85%.
  • 2 large eggs
  • dash of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Green & Blacks Organic Cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

Cheesecake topping

  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 400g full fat cream cheese. Take it out of the fridge right at the start so it’s not as cold.
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup full fat Greek yoghurt
  • dash of vanilla essence
  • chopped hazelnuts, to garnish

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease your cake tin of choice.

Heat your butter and dark chocolate in the microwave and mix together til nice and smooth. Be careful they don’t burn, burning is sad.

Break your eggs into the mixture and whisk with a fork. Mix in your vanilla essense, then add all your dry ingredients and stir them all together well.

Spoon into your cake tin and make sure it’s all flat and neat looking. Bake for about 15 minutes, then leave to cool.

Whisk your whipping cream til it’s making nice soft peaks. Whisk in your cream cheese, yoghurt, vanilla essence and Splenda, then spoon on top of your brownie base and smooth the top down as neat as you can using the back of your spoon.

Sprinkle hazelnuts over the top. Or if you’re very clever, write a message with them. Maybe something about how great I am. Just a suggestion.

Put in the fridge for at least two hours to give it a chance to set. I put mine on top of my giant wheel of brie. I only mentioned that because I wanted you all to know I have a giant wheel of brie in my fridge, because brie is fancy. Like me.

Carefully remove the outside of your cake tin, and enjoy :o)

SERIOUSLY LOOK AT ALL MY FABULOUS CHEESE

SERIOUSLY LOOK AT ALL MY FABULOUS CHEESE