Dessert makeover – healthier caramel cheesecake

Caramel cheesecakeIt was Saturday night and I felt like making a tasty dessert; but of course I wanted it to be healthy. My criteria for a ‘healthy dessert’ (this seems like an oxymoron) are the following: no refined carbohydrates, fairly low in calories, so without huge amounts of oil, butter or nuts, protein rich and contains dietary fibre. Don’t think that it is impossible to make a delicious dessert following these guidelines; it simply requires some creativity.

I created a healthier version of a Caramel cheesecake by making a chocolate base from ground almonds, coconut flour, which is low in carbohydrates, full of fibre but lower in calories than almond flour, light coconut milk, cocoa powder, egg white and stevia for sweetness. The Caramel cheesecake was made with low fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia Extra Light cream cheese, which has only 4.7 grams of fat or 132 calories per 100 grams), medjool dates, tahini, coconut milk and egg. Again I used stevia for sweetness. It turned out very well; so well, in fact, that the boyfriend and I ate over half the cheesecake. I had done a 22 km mountain bike ride that afternoon so I felt that this was acceptable.

 Healthier caramel cheesecake

Ingredients

Chocolate base

½ cup almonds

1/3 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon stevia

½ cup light coconut milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg white

Caramel cheesecake

1 tub of Philadelphia Extra Light cream cheese

¼ cup light coconut milk

5 medjool dates, pitted

2 tablespoons tahini

1 ½ tablespoons stevia

1 egg

Utensils

Measuring cups and spoons

Food processor

Large mixing bowl

Spoon

20cm x 20cm baking tray

Baking paper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C. Add the almonds to a food processor and process until they resemble a coarse flour. Tip the ground almonds into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in the coconut flour, cocoa powder and stevia and mix to combine. Add in the coconut milk, vanilla extract and egg white and mix well to combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  • Scoop the base mixture into a 20cm x 20cm baking tray lined with baking paper and press it down firmly and evenly with wet hands. Bake the base for 15 minutes at 160°C.
  • While the base is baking prepare the caramel cheesecake by adding all the ingredients to the food processor and processing until an even, fairly smooth texture is achieved (some small flecks of the dates will remain).
  • Pour the caramel cheesecake mixture over the base and bake for a further 45 minutes or until the cheesecake feels completely firm. Allow the cheesecake to cool slightly before removing it from the baking tray using the baking paper. Allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.

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