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Weekend recipe: Low carb/gluten free New York style cheesecake

Weekends are the most active time for me in the kitchen. I suppose this is also true for most of the graduate students if not all of us. Now, besides getting bored with repetitive food menu very quickly, I also enjoy experimenting and creating new things – be it a new recipe, or trying a new form of art. And I find cooking exceptionally therapeutic to calm down. Thus, during most of our weekends, my husband Ruslan and I try out different recipes from online or make our own by mixing and matching what we know. 

Both of us love sweets. But for the last few months, we are avoiding refined sugars and store-bought sweet items. Also, found out that I have gluten intolerance. So, I was looking for a cake recipe that does not need wheat flour, but does not compromise the taste too much as well. Found a good number of ‘keto’ cheesecake recipes, but did not want to make it that strictly. So, we took ideas from few recipes and changed some parts to suit our options. And the cake turned out delicious! So, decided to keep the recipe here to share and also to make it easier to find for myself when we will be making it again. 

Ingredients: 

For crust: 
Almond flour – 1/2 cup
Coconut flour – 1/2 cup
Psyllium husk powder – 1 table spoon (optional)
Butter – 1/3 cup (melted)
Coconut sugar – 1 tea spoon

For filling:

Cream cheese – 400 gm – softened
Coconut sugar – 120 gm (1/2 cup, any kind of sugar/sugar free sweetener should be fine.)
Plain greek yogurt – 120 gm (1/2 cup, sour cream is more appropriate for the classic recipe.)
Heavy whipping cream – 180 gm (3/4 cup)
Eggs – 2 (room temperature)
Vanilla essence – 1 table spoon (15 ml)
Zest – 1 lemon
Lemon juice – 1/4 lemon

Preparation:

Mix all the items for crust in a bowl till the flour becomes crumbly by mixing with butter. Make sure that all the flour are more or less evenly mixed with the butter. Adjust with a tea spoon more butter if it looks too dry.

Line a spring-foam cake pan with baking paper at the bottom and butter on the sides. Put the crust mix and spread evenly while gently pressing as you would do for a classic graham cracker made crust. Make sure that the crust is not too loose that it falls by crumbling if the pan is tilted. And not too pressed that it has an uneven distribution at the bottom.

Put the crust and pan in the fridge. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

In a medium to large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese and the sugar till the sugar is not grainy anymore. It took about a minute in electric hand-mixer. 

Add in the yogurt, and heavy cream. Mix till well combined. 

Add in the 2 eggs one by one and mix each time. Lastly add the vanilla essence, lemon zest, and the lemon juice. Mix everything once again. Scrape from the sides to make an even mix everywhere. 

The mix should have a creamy mayonnaise-like consistency. Do not worry if it looks a bit runnier, but make sure it is a smooth mix. 

Take the pan with crust out of fridge and pour the filling mix. Tap a few times and use a toothpick to let the air bubbles out from the mix. It will make the cake smoother. 

Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminium foil and put it on a casserole pot or high-edged baking tray. Pour in hot water till it rises up to half of the length of the cake pan. The water bath or bain-marie ensures even and controlled heat at the bottom for the creamy texture. 

Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 30 minutes, and at 150 degree Celsius for another 30 minutes. Afterwards, turn the heat off and let it rest at the hot oven for an hour. 

After an hour, take it out, let it cool, and then put in fridge for 6 hours or overnight before serving! 

Bonus: Strawberry Compote to serve with the cake:

In a microwaveable bowl, take 7/8 roughly chopped fresh or frozen strawberries/raspberries. Add in 1 tablespoon of sugar of your choice. Put in microwave for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, take out, give it a stir and put for another minute. Mash the strawberries slightly with a fork. Pour on a freshly sliced cheesecake, and enjoy!