Category Archives: CHEESECAKES

Sugar-Free Italian Cheesecake with Blueberry Toppings and Whipped Cream Frosting


♦ Prep: 30 minutes | Cook: 1 hour 15 mins | Yield: 8-16 servings ♦


Having something sweet when having family, or friends over is not uncommon, least in our abode. And when I do make some, I often make sure that it is something our guests will be happy about.

So last Sunday, we hosted dinner for a family friends, the Palacio’s. And for them, I made light Italian Cheesecake with sweet-dark-blue ‘lil ones for toppings. 🙂 Cheesecakes are typically overly sweet, heavy and thick. Sometimes I like it a bit heavy, but this time I made it a lot lighter and the sweetness was just perfect! I also used Splenda as a substitute for sugar to make it even better. A guilt-free dessert = awesome! 🙂

Ingredients

Almond Crust:

  • 1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted, optional
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons splenda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubes

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 (8 oz) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups splenda Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 3.05.43 PM
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Blueberry Toppings:

  • 1 ½ pints fresh blueberries
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons splenda
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 3.08.29 PM

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 1 pint whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Pre-boil 4-5 cups water for baking.

Crust; Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with a layer of heavy-duty foil (This to prevent the water from getting into the crust while baking). In a food processor, place together the toasted almonds, cracker crumbs, Splenda and butter, and process until moist and well incorporated. Using  hand, or measuring cup, press the almond mixture onto the bottom-center of the prepared springform pan. Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Do not remove the crust from the springform pan. Decrease the oven temperature to 325º F.

Filling; Using an electric (hand) mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and Splenda in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat until well blended. Pour the cheese mixture over the cooled crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting, or baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 65 minutes (The center should move slightly when the pan is gently shaken but don’t worry, the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cheesecake to a rack and cool for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, while cooling the cheesecake, make the blueberry toppings and whipped cream frosting.

Blueberry ToppingsAdd all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over low-medium heat and cook until the juices thicken slightly, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool the mixture.

Whipped Cream FrostingWhisk the cream, Splenda and vanilla in a very cold metal mixing bowl using cold whisk.

When cold and set, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan by lifting the edges of the foil. Pour the blueberries over the cheesecake and decorate, or top with the whipped cream frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 5-6 hours prior.  Slice into 8 to 16 wedges with a long serrated knife.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-7-23-18-pm

Key Lime Cheesecake


Ingredients

  • 5 tbsps butter, melted
  • 2 tbsps sugar, plus 1 ¼ cups, plus ¼ cup
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • ¾ cup key lime juice
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsps grated key lime zest
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
  • 1 cup simple syrup, (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water heated until sugar dissolves)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Mix well. Press the crust firmly over the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.

In a saucepan dissolve the gelatin the key lime juice, about 5 minutes. Add 1 ¼ cups of the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and lime zest. Mix well. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture thickens and is pudding like, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. With the mixer running, add the lime mixture slowly and beat until smooth. Remove the mixture and turn into a bowl and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, stirring every 10 minutes.

In a another, place the egg whites, pinch of salt and remaining ¼ cup of the sugar. Whip on medium high until stiff peaks form. Remove the lime and cheese mixture from the refrigerator. Fold the egg whites into the lime mixture and blend thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. Run a sharp knife along the sides of the pan to remove from the spring-form. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake.

For the candied zest: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the simple syrup and the lime zest. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the zest from the liquid and cool on parchment paper.

Cut the cake into individual servings and garnish with candied lime zest and mint sprigs.

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