Monday, 7 November 2011

Gluten Free Cheesecake

I am not a huge junk food person....I think I have mentioned that before.  I am not a fan of low quality anything.  I am a terrible snob that way.  It isn't a matter of price...in fact the cheaper the better.  It is purely a matter of quality.  You can keep all your shitty chocolate bars that are made mostly of carnuba wax, I don't want a tube of potato chips and no thanks to overly sweet baked goods filled with even sweeter jams.  I like the taste of food not just the taste of the sugar or salt.

The problem is that quality usually means crazy expensive....think fast food restaurant.  Super low-quality...super low prices.  I can't afford fancy stores and restaurants so I have turned my kitchen into one of my favourite restaurants.  Now I have control over quality and ingredients.....and like any good Virgo...I love that

I love really good cheese cake and only really ever had it as dessert in restaurants.  I remember learning one recipe for it in my early twenties that involved using a pack of powdered Kool-Whip...I'm sorry...or is it Kol-Whip? or Cool-Whip? In any spelling it is an edible oil product and contains no dairy at all...no nutrients and is packed full of heart disease, free radicals and diabetes....yum

Yes this is a dessert, yes it has some sugar (less than a cup for the whole cake) but it is whole real  foods.  There is no ingredient you won't recognize or be unable to pronounce.

Gluten Free Cheesecake
preheat oven 350

The Crust

1/3 cup white sugar (I always by organic to ensure that it is from sugar cane not GMOd sugar beets)
1/2 cup Gluten Free Baking Mix**
1 cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped.  Put just under a cup of whole almonds in a food processor and process until no bigger than pea size pieces are left.  Use 1/2 a cups worth
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pats



**I use either Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Biscuit and Baking mix or a mix of my own.  I mix equal parts Rice flour, Corn Starch and Sorghum flour with a pinch of baking powder, salt and xantham gum. This is not a combination that you would want to eat exclusively or bake as bread....this is used as a binding agent and is essentially undetectable as a flavour.



Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add cold butter and crumble through the dry ingredients with your fingers.  You can do this with the pastry blade in the processor but it is fast and easy with your hands and you don't have to be as careful about warming up the butter as you do when making a flour pastry crust.  Keep crumbling until there are no bigger than pea size pieces of butter and the mixture stays together if some is squeezed in your hand.






Press into a spring form pan.  It's easy and it easily sticks to the side of the pan.  Once evenly pressed in put in the pre heated oven until it starts to turn brown.

Let it cool





 
Filling

3 250g blocks of cream cheese, room temperature and cut into dice size cubes
4 eggs
1/3 cup of sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract




With a mixer, whip eggs and sugar together until it is pale yellow and fluffy. On a medium high speed slowly add in the cream cheese letting it become almost completely incorporated before adding more.  Once all the cream cheese in creamed in add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Once they are mixed in turn the mixer up to high and let it all get whipped and completely combined.  There maybe very small chunks of cream cheese but you want it as blended as you can.  Pour into cooled shell and return to oven.  Bake until firm and the top starts to brown.  Approx 40 mins

I served it with the Strawberry Balsamic Sauce I made earlier this year.  It is simple and rich and not too sweet.  It is exactly the way I like cheese cake.

*I didn't do a 'how much did this meal cost' on this because it is a dessert and because bulk products like almonds and almond flour can vary greatly from one area to another and the time of year

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