Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Healthy Coco-Choc Caramel Cheesecake





When my mother asked me to bake my sister a healthy cake for her 21st I was a little worried. I had fed my sister my healthified treats in the past and have had no luck.. she hated them all. My sister is in a relationship with sugar and has condemned anything made with stevia as inedible and incomparable to her one true love.

Despite knowing she has a hatred of stevia, I used it in this cake anyway, but also used real sugar in the form of dates and rice malt syrup in a hope to keep Cassy happy. For those who follow a strict paleo diet you could easily replace the rice syrup with honey- they are pretty much identical in sweetness. The idea of using rice malt syrup came from Sarah Wilson, whose blog and books I adore and who taught me that rice malt syrup is actually very low in fructose (the worst type of sugar), and in that sense is a better substitute for sugar than honey. She made a cheesecake in her book I Quit Sugar that inspired me to bake a cheesecake for Cassy.

In some respects I wish I had not invented my own recipe for this, as the anxiety I experienced from cooking till tasting was a little extreme. At dinner before we ate I apologized to everyone as they were all essentially involved in my little experiment of a cake, which could for all I know be a total dud.

Visually it was a very simple looking cake yet pretty enough to fit in among the balloons  and presents. Watching Cassy slice it was very nerve wracking but alas, the first slice came out perfectly. I quickly grabbed the plate to ensure I had the first bite just in case I needed to stop anyone from following suit. But luckily I could relax. The cake worked, Cassy liked it and everyone was very impressed that a cake that has the word 'healthy' in the title could taste so good. My job was done.

The base is chocolatey but not too sweet, with distinct notes of coconut. The caramel cheesecake is creamy and indulgent, sweet but not sickeningly so with a soft caramel flavor. The topping is like a thick fudge, gooey and tasting as I imagine chocolate toffee would taste like. Overall all my odd components worked well together, with the subtle flavors and juxtaposing textures resulting in a cake that will certainly be made again!



Mummy and the Birthday Girl

William and I
Grandma very excited, Grandpa not so...
A Babushka Doll from Grandma, what every 21 year old needs
Sarah and my gorgeous baby brother Alex
Special 21st present from Mum, Victoria Buckley Ring
Nervous moment the cake was cut!

Our Beautiful Mother!

This cake is grain free, refined sugar free and when made with honey paleo. You could also make it vegan by replacing the cream cheese with cashews that have been soaked over-night and blitzed in a food processor. If you were to use cashews you would leave out the eggs, not bake the filling and serve chilled.

Healthy Coco-Choc Caramel Cheesecake
Serves 10-12
Ingredients

For the Crust
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond meal
1 cup dates - soaked in boiling water for at least 30min
2 tbsp honey or rice malt syrup
10 drops chocolate stevia (optional)
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp espresso coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water

For the Cheesecake
400ml (14oz) good quality coconut milk
6 tbsp honey or rice malt syrup
500g full fat cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
15 drops liquid caramel stevia (or just use regular)
1/2 cup granulated stevia (you can add more depending on your taste)
Pinch of salt

For the Ganache
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
6 tbsp honey or rice malt syrup
10 drops chocolate stevia (or just use normal)
Shredded/shaved coconut to garnish
Instructions
1. For the cheesecake: Place the coconut milk and honey/rice syrup in a pressure cooker and cook on high for 1 hour- until caramelized. (You could also do this in a saucepan, simmering the coconut milk over low heat for 2 or so hours). Once caramelized transfer to a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes, until the mixture has reached a deep brown color and some of the water has evaporated off.
2. Transfer this mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the stevia, eggs, salt and vanilla essence, beating again until incorporated. Once complete place the mixture to the side as you move on to making the base

3. For the base: Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line a spring form cake tin with baking paper. Drain the dates and place them in a food processor with the espresso coffee. Blitz on high until the dates resemble a chunky puree. Add the honey/rice syrup, stevia, cinnamon and coconut oil, pulsing again on high. Now add the cocoa powder, almond meal and coconut flour, and pulse until the mixture comes together forming a 'dough'. Transfer the dough to the cake tin and using your hands press the mixture down over the bottom of the pan, forming an evenly leveled base.
4. Place in the oven and bake for 20minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 160C (320F). Pour the cheesecake mixture over the base and bake for 30 minutes, until the middle has just set. Turn the oven off and let the cake cool in there completely.

5. For the Ganache: Once the cake is completely cool make the ganache. Place the coconut oil, cocoa powder, stevia and honey/rice malt syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the mixture thickens- about 5 minutes. Once thick pour over the top of the cake. The ganache sets very quickly so it is important to work fast! Garnish with coconut if desired.

6.Once set, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, however overnight is preferable. When ready to eat, remove the cake from the fridge 1-2 hours before serving to allow it to soften slightly. Enjoy!

59 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful recipe. I'm so glad you experimented and was successful with your own recipe. Love how all the flavors came together...especially the caramel and fudge layer! I'm a sucka for caramel and chocolate. Looks like a great birthday party too!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love chocolate and caramel too :)

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  2. Wow, you came up with a pretty impressive combo...and even kept it healthy!! I will definitely have to try this rice malt syrup you speak of. I've actually never even heard of it before but I will start the search for it here in Germany. Thanks for the suggestion. And BTW I am totally in love with grandma and grandpa. :)

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    Replies
    1. I found rice malt syrup in the health food section of our major supermarket. And thanx they are pretty cute!

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  3. Looks like a great birthday party! And that cheesecake . . . I can't believe it's healthy!

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    Replies
    1. Everyone couldn't believe it was healthy either!

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  4. Yum! How good does this look! Happy Birthday to you sister - that reminds me that I turn 21 very soon as well (Eek! I'm not a birthday fan haha)

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  5. Aw, what a good sister you are, jumping through such dietary hoops for her! The end results look like they were worth the struggle- I hope she realizes how lucky she is. :)

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  6. This looks so delicious!! Love that it's healthy

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    Replies
    1. It was delicious and being healthy meant it didnt hurt the tummy either

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  7. You are such a sweet sister! Happy Birthday, Cassy. I am not surprised that Cassy has enjoyed the cake as it sounds and looks really divine with coconut milk!

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    Replies
    1. The coconut milk was amazing, added a whole new taste to the cake which as a coconut lover was delicious!

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  8. That cheesecake looks so much better than store bought!!! Glad your sister had a wonderful 21st birthday. She's lucky to have an awesome sister like you to make her birthday cake :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha I hope she appreciated the cake... even though it was healthy.

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  9. You shouldn't have been worried, this cake is wonderful! I love the combination of the two layers and I'm very intrigued by the use of rice malt syrup. Brava! :)

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    Replies
    1. It is only natural to worry when you are relied on to feed 10 people cake that might not turn out haha but thank you!

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  10. Caramel and cheesecake has got to be the best combination ever! Send me to heaven after that!

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  11. awesome job!! this cake sounds seriously AMAZING!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I am glad so many people like it and not just me!! :)

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  12. I like anything with caramel,this cake sound delicious and healthy too, great recipe welldone !!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you i do feel a little proud that it actually worked out :)

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  13. That cake looks so delicious I hope your sister enjoyed it!
    good job!:)

    ReplyDelete
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