Mel Christensen

Mel Christensen

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Chocolate Cherry & Almond Cheesecake

 

Cherry Cheesecake

Chocolate Cherry & Almond Cheesecake

*Sugar Free, Gluten-Free, *Nut-Free Option

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 150g nuts (I used  75 g each of pecans & almonds, but other nuts such as hazelnuts or macadamias work well too) *See note at end of recipe for nut-free option
  • 1 cup (100g) desiccated coconut (lightly toasted in a non-stick frypan is best!)
  • 2 tbsp (15g) organic unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
  • 3-4 Dates
  1. Line a 23cm springform tin with baking paper
  2. Mix all crust ingredients together in a food processor until it resembles fine biscuit crumbs and press into a prepared tin and bake 15 min in a med-hot oven (approximately 190C).
  3. Cool crust in the fridge whilst you prepare your filling.

For Filling:

  • 500g  European (block-style) Cottage Cheese or ‘Light’ Cream Cheese (I use Brancourts farm Style Cottage cheese that comes in a 1kg block from Costco)
  • 300g Fresh Ricotta
  • 100g melted sugar-free dark chocolate  (I used “Well Naturally” stevia-sweetened dark chocolate – cherry flavour, and melted it in a cup in the microwave with a bit of coconut oil to save time and avoid mistakes)
  • 10 g of gelatine leaves
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup (40g) Natvia (you should taste as you add as sweetness level depends on your sweet tooth!)
  • 200g pitted cherries, fresh or preserved, optional.  (I used fresh one, as the whole inspiration behind this recipe was using up the massive box I bought cheaply!)

Garnish:

  • 500g Fresh Cherries, pitted (I used a cherry pitter I found in a homewares store –what an ingenious little gadget these are!)
  • 45g plain sugar-free dark chocolate chocolate  (I used “Well Naturally” stevia-sweetened dark chocolate)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

 

Method:

 

  1. Soak gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Then remove them, squeezing out excess water before placing them in a small saucepan containing your 150ml boiled water. Stir the leaves in the boiled water until dissolved then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Combine cheeses and sweetener in the bowl of a food processor (such as a thermomix or similar) or in a large bowl with a hand beater until smooth and light. It’s a good idea to taste the mix at this point to check for sweetness and adjust according to taste. Add cooled gelatine mixture along with the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well until smooth and light.
  3. Using a spatula, fold in the melted chocolate and cherries if using, and then pour cheesecake filling onto your prepared “biscuit” base
  4. Top with pitted cherries.  Melt chocolate together with the coconut oil and stir until smooth.  Using a spoon or small jug pour the melted chocolate over the cherries and refrigerate until set.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. – Overnight is best.

NOTE: If you are unable to use nuts in the crust, I recommend increasing the coconut to 1 ½ cups and adding ½ cup Psyllium husks.