Easy Baked Cheesecake Recipe – Gluten Free, Sugar Free

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“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence?  I think not!”  ~ Author Unknown

One of the not-fun parts of being unwell, or being on a restricted diet, is that treats seem to be harder to come by. So many desserts are crammed full of sugar, grains and fats. Or they have twenty steps, weird ingredients and you need specialised skill or equipment to replicate the results at home.

If you can eat dairy, you’ll find this fits the bill.  Low fat, made without sugar and grains, and high in protein, it’s suitable for people following High-Protein Low-Carb Diets, for diabetics and for anyone who is gluten-free.

This is a wonderful dessert.  But you can also feel quite happy about eating it for breakfast, as a snack, or following a big bowl of salad or vegetables as your protein fix.

And if none of these things apply to you, make it and eat it anyway – because it’s yummy!!!

I’ve used some fresh local blueberries for this recipe, but frozen ones work perfectly well too.

blueberries

INGREDIENTS

500 grams (2 cups) Ricotta Cheese, 3 eggs, 5 teaspoons of Natvia ( a stevia based sweetener), 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a loaf tin (23cm x 12cm – 9 inch x 5 inch) with baking paper.

Separate the eggs, and put the whites into a large bowl, and the yolks into another bowl with the ricotta.  Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Whisk the yolks, ricotta, vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg together.  Fold in the berries and then gently fold through the stiff egg white.  Pour into the pre-prepared loaf tin.

Dust top with cinnamon. (Cinnamon is a wonderful spice – it helps regulate blood sugar, lowers bad cholesterol and is very anti-inflammatory.)

Bake cheesecake for 40 minutes.  Mixture may still be a little soft to touch but will firm up as it cools.  Remove from tin when cold. Eat on its own, or with your favourite fruits and toppings. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: Don’t be alarmed if this weeps a little as it cools.  Simply drain the liquid away before you store it.  I keep mine loosely wrapped in the paper I baked it in, on a plate in the refrigerator.  The cheesecake will keep for a week, but it probably won’t last that long!

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Chocolate Covered Coconut Slice Recipe

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” 
~ Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate and coconut is a heavenly combination, and this particular slice recipe delivers! It is quite light in texture, so it’s not rich and it’s not too sweet – a crisp biscuit base, a fluffy coconut centre and a succulent layer of real chocolate to top it off. This slice is a perfect accompaniment to a floral or fruity tea, or a good coffee.

It can also easily be modified to become gluten-free and diabetic friendly. Vegans – please use your favourite butter and egg substitute – I quite like replacing the egg with a 1/4 cup of applesauce or a 1/2 a banana, both of which compliment the other flavours.

Today’s recipe is another offering from the Family Recipe Book, our treasured ‘passed down’ and hostess-acquired recipes from three generations of women who love to cook.

INGREDIENTS

Biscuit Base: 95 grams of butter (3.35 ounces or 0.85 of a stick of butter), 2 tablespoons of caster sugar (superfine sugar) or equivalent sugar substitute, 3/4 cup plain flour, 1/4 cup self raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together),  1 tablespoon of cornflour, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

*Note: if using gluten-free flour use 1/2 cup of plain and 1/2 cup of self raising flour for a better result.

Coconut Filling: 2 cups of unsweetened desiccated coconut, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of sugar (increase to 4 if you prefer a sweeter slice) or equivalent sugar substitute, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 2 tablespoons of self raising flour, 3/4 cup of milk or your favourite milk equivalent.

Chocolate Topping: 200 grams (7 ounces) of your choice of milk or dark chocolate ( I like a combination of both!) broken into pieces, 25 grams (0.9 ounces) copha or vegetable shortening. If you’re diabetic please use a diabetic chocolate or a dark chocolate that is low in sugar. 

choc mix

METHOD

Base:

Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a 28cm x 18cm (7 inch by 11 inch) slice tin with some baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together (using electric or hand beaters) until light and smooth. Add in the vanilla and dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Mixture should be a crumbly paste.

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Press firmly into the tin, taking care to push mixture right into the corners. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden all over. Remove from oven and rest for ten minutes.

Coconut Filling:

Prepare this while the base is in the oven. Mix all ingredients together and leave sit for five minutes for coconut to swell and absorb any fluid. Spoon over the biscuit base, spreading evenly.  Return to oven and bake another twenty five minutes or until set and lightly browned on top.  Cool in tin.

Chocolate Topping:

Melt broken chocolate and copha in a saucepan together over low heat, stirring frequently until mixture is smooth and lump free. (You could also use your microwave – but we’re a microwave-free household so you’re on your own for instructions here!) Pour over Slice and spread carefully to the edges.  Leave to set in tin, and then cut into small squares.

Store in an airtight container, and refrigerate if you live in a hot climate or like your chocolate layer crisp..

*Warning – this Slice is prone to evaporation and other mysterious disappearances. 

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Variations:

* Evenly space walnut halves in lines before the chocolate sets so that when you cut the slice each square will have a walnut half decorating the centre.

* Add a tablespoon of Malibu (coconut flavoured white rum) to the coconut filling before baking.

* Spread a thin layer of Nutella on the biscuit base before adding the coconut layer. (This is especially good, and also goes well with the Malibu layer for a special treat.)

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