Thursday, February 24, 2011

No bake low carb cheesecake

Everything needs a story.
I couldn't think of an interesting life story of mine to tell with this recipe, so I'll just give you a little background.

My mother is an amazing cook - which, naturally makes me passionate about food. And of course, cooking.
In college I baked my own baguettes, and experimented with fried ice cream, while other students had their noses buried in textbooks and computer screens..

After I graduated and started working in Japan, I met my current husband.
He is wonderful, and he has Type I diabetes.

Type I diabetes is different from Type II in that it's genetic and doesn't develop from eating habits.
Also, with Type I your body simply cannot create it's own insulin - you're basically tied to an insulin pump for life.

Hubbie's had it since he was 18. Now that he's in his late thirties, he's worried about diet and losing weight (I don't think he needs to, but go figure).

The thing that makes it cut & dry for Type I diabetics to lose weight is: the less insulin you take, the more weight you lose and the higher your testosterone. OK, it's a tiny bit more complicated than that but let's say that's about right for the sake of simplicity.

So now, he's on a low carb diet. Or no-high-density-carb diet.
As in no starches, no simple sugars (glucose), and nothing with high glycemic index.



And hubbie loves desserts :(
Thus, here I am scouring the internet for low carb desserts.
The good thing is this diet allows you to have any amount of animal fat and protein as you like.

Thinking about how much cheese we've been having lately, it hits me. Cheesecake!
Not the New York or baked cheesecake that requires flour and egg.
No, we're talking Japanese rare cheesecake (rare as in 'no bake').

I took a standard-looking rare cheesecake recipe and turned it low carb.
Don't worry though, it's low carb, not low yom.

Give it a try and tell me what you think :)
For those of you who love full-carb, just replace the sweeteners with real sugar or honey.



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Adapted from: http://cookpad.com/recipe/239026

For the base:
2 cups nuts (I used cashews, almonds, macademia nuts & walnuts, but anything on hand is fine)
2~3 tbs unsalted butter (or a knob of butter)

For the filling:
1 pack gelatin (7g)
couple tbs white wine (make sure you use something you'd drink)
400g cream cheese
300ml heavy cream
250ml plain yogurt
1/2 cup agave syrup
juice of 1/2 lemon

For the sauce:
1 24oz package blueberries (feel free to use any kind of fruit)
1/4 cup oligofructose (you can get this at any Japanese supermarket, or just use more agave syrup)
glug or two of white wine (same wine as above)

Tools:
measuring cup
food processor
KitchenAid mixer or hand whisk + bowl
9 in spring-form round cake pan
small saucepan

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Place nuts in a food processor and process till chunky (but not powdery) and melt the butter in the microwave (30 seconds, twice). Mix this with the nuts and press mixture into the cake pan.

Pour the wine into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin into it. Set aside.

Next, soften the cream cheese in the microwave (in two batches, 30 sec each). Mix the agave syrup and cream cheese with a whisk/mixer until creamy and well-incorporated. Add lemon juice, heavy cream, and yogurt to the cream cheese mixmixing till smooth.  Microwave the gelatin until melted (about 10 secs) and stir into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling into the pan, cover, and refridgerate. 2, 3 hours should be enough but I usually let it sit overnight.

Meanwhile, put the blueberries (or a fruit of your choice), oligofructose, and wine in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and let it simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is at a consistency of your liking. You can adjust the amount of fruit and sugars depending on what you have on hand.

The next day, surprise your loved one with a slice and dollop of sauce :)

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