Cheese cakes are an obvious low-carb desert, but the biscuit base can be a sticking point if you are grain-free too. So here is a versatile recipe that covers all diet-needs except dairy and sugar-free, but really, if you can’t eat dairy products then cheese cakes shouldn’t even be on your wish list (the clue’s in the name) and although some of my patients and readers need to be completely sugar free, others can have small amounts now and then, as long as they don’t get carried away.
The recipe below is for a medium size (eight 100g serving) cake, but in the photos you can also see a mini two person version like the picture above.
Don’t worry about the quantities too much – cheesecakes are pretty forgiving. A thicker base will make it more carby. Adding an extra egg, half a pot of cream or increasing the cheese to 600g will make it go further if you have a larger tin, more guests or a bigger appetite. Note: this recipe is very low sugar – many commercial varieties use five times as much – but in our house we have got used to less sweet deserts. If sugar is totally out of the question under all circumstances a version could be made with no base at all and a little liquid stevia in the batter to sweeten. (For a cheesecake with no biscuity base you would be best using an oven dish, like a pyrex pie dish rather than a loose bottomed tin, as the cheese batter could leak out.)
Ingredients ‘Lemon Cheese Cake’ (Serves 8 x 100g portions)
450g Soft Cheese, e.g.
– for cow’s: Sainsbury’s Organic soft cheese 250g, x2
– for goat’s: Waitrose Essential French soft goat’s cheese 150g, x3
3 large eggs
25g stevia sugar (e.g. Tate and Lyle Light at Heart which is a combo of sugar & stevia)
2 tsp vanilla essence
Juice of 1 large juicy organic lemon or 2 normal sized ones
90g (approx) grain-free biscuits, e.g.
– Sainsbury’s Hazelnut Meringue Biscuits, Taste the Difference 150g x 2/3 pack, or
– Amaretti biscuits (check – not all are gluten free!)
50g (approx) butter (cow or goat depending on dietary requirements)
1. Use a 6″ to 7″ tin (16-18cm diameter) with a lift out base, lining the base and sides with baking parchment.
2. Crush the biscuits in a pestle and mortar. Gently melt in the butter in a pan then add the crushed biscuits, thoroughly mixing, but be careful not to fry the crumbs (!). Press into the base of the prepared tin evenly and firmly with the back of the spoon. Chill in fridge while the cheese cake part is prepared.
3. Beat together the cream cheese, eggs, stevia sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth.
4. Using a silicone spoon, scrape all of the batter into the tin on top of the firm cold biscuit base,leveling the top a bit.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees, for approximately half an hour. Take it out to check if it is done by gently shaking it – it should be a bit wobbly in the middle, but not runny, and seeing a cooked look round the edges, where it should be starting to come away from the sides.
6. Allow to cool on a rack before removing from the tin. When cold place it in the fridge, and serve chilled, with cream, or yogurt, or even custard. Left overs will keep for a few days if it isn’t all eaten at the first sitting.
Because a crack developed in the large one, I gave it a topping of beaten double cream (1 pot of goat’s cream from Waitrose in this case), and a sprinkling of lemon zest on the top. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph it before taking it to a dinner party that I had made it for so here it is sans finishing cream.
However, here is the mini cheese cake, which we ate the next day. Classy enough to be served as-is with coffee, or drizzled with lemon juice or cream.
The great thing about cheese cake is the endless variations you can experiment with: chocolate, lime, blueberry, strawberry. That said, I always return to lemon.
Macronutrients (approx. per serving, based on 8 portions)
P: 11g C: 9.5g F: 19g Energy: 260 kCal