DessertJune-July 2010

Basic Gluten-Free Cheesecake

SERVES 12

Modify this versatile recipe using different crusts and toppings to suit your needs. It’s fun to create different desserts using one basic no-fail cheesecake.

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese, room temperature
1½ cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
2 cups Greek yogurt, sour cream or dairy-free sour cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 gluten-free crust of choice, pre-baked
- Topping of choice

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

2. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating for a few minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to combine. Then beat in remaining ingredients.

3. Pour the filling into a springform pan that contains a cooled prebaked crust.

4. Bake in preheated oven on the middle rack for 2 hours or until the top is golden and feels firm yet soft like a baked custard. Begin checking after 90 minutes. Internal temperature should be 150 degrees.

5. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside for about an hour. Five minutes after shutting off the oven, run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to help prevent cheesecake from cracking as it cools and settles.

6. Remove cheesecake from the oven and cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator. Cover with toppings of your choice. Slice and serve.

Each slice with graham cracker crust contains 581 calories, 44g total fat, 24g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 205mg cholesterol, 373mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 11g protein.

 


 

Cherry Topping

MAKES 2 CUPS

⅓ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, defrosted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons water

1. Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a saucepan. Add cherries, lemon juice and water, stirring over medium heat until mixture thickens.

2. Remove from heat and cool before spooning over cheesecake.

 


 

Mixed Berry Topping

MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS

1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
½ cup blackberries, if available
2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
¼ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons white distilled vinegar

1. Pick through and wash the berries.

2. Place half the berries into a saucepan with sugar and vinegar. Bring mixture to a boil.

3. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Gently mix in remaining berries and spoon over cheesecake.

 


 

Sour Cream Topping

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1 cup sour cream or dairy-free sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk together sour cream, sugar and vanilla.

2. Spoon topping over baked cheesecake.

3. Return cheesecake to 325-degree preheated oven and bake for about 8 more minutes or until topping is set.

4. Cool in pan on a wire rack. When cool, remove springform from pan, leaving cheesecake on the pan bottom. Set on a serving plate and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

 


 

Milk Chocolate Ganache

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

9  ounces milk chocolate,* chopped
¾  cup heavy cream or coconut milk (not lite)
1½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine

1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour boiling mixture over chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes without stirring.

3. Swirl mixture until blended and smooth. Let sit until it begins to thicken. Pour over cooled cheesecake, spreading to cover.

*TIP For dairy-free chocolate, try Enjoy Life chocolate chips, enjoylifefoods.com.

 


 

 

Dark Chocolate Ganache

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup heavy cream or coconut milk (not lite)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine

1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour boiling mixture over chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes without stirring.

3. Swirl mixture until blended and smooth. Let sit until it begins to thicken. Pour over cooled cheesecake, spreading to cover evenly.

 


 

Coconut Topping

MAKES 3 CUPS

¾ cup heavy cream or coconut milk
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine
1 (3½-ounce) can flaked coconut, about 1⅓ cups

1. Over medium heat, bring the cream, brown sugar and butter to a full boil. Immediately remove from heat.

2. Stir in coconut.

3. Cool to room temperature. Pour over cooled cheesecake, spreading to cover.

 


 

Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust

MAKES ONE 8- OR 9-INCH CRUST

To vary the flavor of your cheesecake crust, substitute any type of crunchy gluten-free cookie. Try crushed gingersnaps, vanilla or chocolate sandwich cookies, biscotti, shortbread, vanilla cookies—even brownies!

1½ cups (6 ounces) gluten-free graham cracker crumbs or crushed cookies of choice
½ teaspoon cinnamon, optional
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or Earth Balance or dairy-free shortening of choice, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a springform pan. Set aside.

2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and melted butter together.

3. Press mixture into prepared pan.

4. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a rack before adding cheesecake filling.

 


 

Gluten-Brownie Crust

MAKES ONE 9-INCH CRUST

8 tablespoons butter or dairy-free shortening, of choice
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup milk of choice (cow, rice, soy, nut, hemp)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free flour blend of choice
½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. Melt butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

3. Add sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in milk and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir into batter until blended.

5. Spoon batter into prepared springform pan, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is firm to touch. Cool on rack before adding cheesecake filling.

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