I somehow, over the last 10 years, have become the unoffical “offical” dessert maker in my family. Actually, not just family…Church. Work. Friends. And pretty much everything/everybody else!! The question always is: “SO what dessert are you making/did you bring?” In all honesty, I don’t mind. I love making desserts for the simple joy of seeing people enjoy it!
And yes, my job consists of making desserts. All day. Every day! I’m guesstimating I’ve made somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 cheesecakes in my life, so cheesecake kind of is my specialty. (Amongst other things such as cream pie, cupcakes,etc.!)
So, when I asked my mom what dessert she wanted for her birthday and “Cheesecake!” was her response, I inwardly thought ” Oh. man! I was hoping for a challenge!” But I”ll do anything to make my momma happy! 🙂
So now, I bring to you a tried and true recipe which I have Trimmified. It’s perfectly creamy, sweet, & fruity. And 100% not complicated! 🙂
As far as crust options go..I’ve done it 2 ways.
Classic Graham Cracker Style: For this one, mix up a 1/2 batch of this graham cracker crumb recipe from THM Coach Becky at A Better Life. Just mix up a 1/2 batch of the recipe and press it FIRMLY into your pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350°. Cool completely before filling.
Shortbread-ish style: Use the crust recipe from my Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars, once again mixing up a 1/2 batch and pressing it FIRMLY into the bottom and partway up the sides of your cheesecake pan and bake for 8 minutes 350°.
3Tablespoonsswerve confectioners style sweetener,or equivalent of other on plan powdered sweetener
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1 cupheavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350° Bake desired crust in a 8 or 9 in cheesecake or springform pan for 8 minutes.Remove from oven and let cool while mixing batter
Blend neufchâtel cheese and gentle sweet together until smooth, using either a food processor or a stand mixer on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl VERY well to ensure there are no lumps of neufchâtel cheese.
Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix until combined. Scrape down bowl again.
Add eggs slowly, mixing just until completely mixed in.
Scrape into prepared crust.
Place in oven and turn down to 250°. (Yes, 250° degrees is correct!)
Bake 1 hour or until thermometer inserted into center reads 160 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, if a quarter size in the center is still jiggly, it’s done.
Let cool for an hour on the counter and then refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Combine raspberries, salt, gentle sweet, & lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until saucy and then bring to a boil.
Whisk in glucomannan and bring back to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it starts to thicken, remove from heat and refrigerate until needed.
WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
Using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat neufchâtel cheese, vanilla extract & sweetener together until smooth and completely lump free, scraping down bowl as needed.
Add heavy cream slowly, mixing constantly. Scrape down bowl and then whip on medium speed until medium peaks form.
Remove cheesecake from pan. Spread raspberry filling evenly on top. If you're using the whipped cream topping, leave a 1/2 -1 inch border. It not, just spread topping to the edges. Pipe a border of whipped cream around edges. Top with fresh raspberries if desired.
To remove cheesecake from pan: Warm pan up slightly by dipping in a bowl of hot water for about 20 seconds. Run thin knife between the cheesecake and the pan to loosen. You may also warm it up by placing on a LOW flame for 30 seconds or a warm hot plate. The VERY BEST stevia powder I’ve found is the THM brand. It’s the first stevia powder that I have ever liked. Find it in their online store here or check at your local health food store. (Sadly mine doesn’t carry it, so I do have to buy it online!)
Perfectly lemony cheesecake bars to brighten up your gloomy winter doldrums!
With winter upon us here in the North-woods of Wisconsin, we sometimes need some cheering up and a boost of Vitamin C! What better way than to combine the answer to both needs in a deliciously lemony cheesecake bar!?
One day I had a TON of egg yolks I needed to use PRONTO, so I made lemon curd, which I then stuck in the freezer until I could think of ways to use it besides Lemon Meringue Pie.
Enter these bars…years ago at the bakery where I work we had a cheesecake crumb bar. It wasn’t extremely popular so it was discontinued. I’d completely forgotten about those bars until I was discussing with a coworker about items that we had made in the past and this memory floating to the front of my mind.
As soon as possible I got into my kitchen and made these. It’s one of the few recipes I’ve created that was perfect from the first shot….now if only I could get that to happen more often! 🙂
For zesting lemons, I highly recommend this zester. I use it pretty much on a daily basis between work and home. In fact, I own 2 or 3 of them myself! You need to garnish your pie, whipped cream topped hot cocoa, with beautiful chocolate shavings, etc? You need to pile the Parmesan cheese on your pizza? Your rice pudding needs a bit of fresh nutmeg? You need fresh lemon zest for this recipe? Then this is the right tool for you!! 🙂
1 cupTHM Gentle Sweet or desired alternative sweetener of your choice
1 freshlemon, zested
1 –8 oz.package Neufchâtel cheese,softened
2 cupslemon curd(I recommend this one from Joy & Simplicity.)
½cupsour cream or nonfat greek yogurt
1 cupSwerve Confectioners Style sweetener, or other powdered sweetener of your choice
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13×9 pan and line with parchment paper and then lightly grease parchment paper.
Whisk all crust ingredients in a medium bowl except for melted butter.
Add melted butter and mix using a hand mixer on low or a wooden spoon until butter is completely mixed in with no dry spots remaining.
Place ½ of crumb mixture in prepared pan and press down firmly. ( I like to use a measuring cup or a tamper to get it pressed down evenly.) Set remaining ½ of crumbs aside
Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Whisk Neufchâtel cheese until smooth.
Add lemon curd and sour cream and whisk until smooth and evenly mixed, scraping down bowl as needed.
Whisk in egg until smooth.
Spread Neufchâtel cheese mixture evenly over baked crust. (There’s no need to let the crust cool completely.)
Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture evenly over top of cheesecake batter and LIGHTLY pat down.
Place in oven and turn oven temperature down to 325°. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly browned and instant read thermometer inserted in center of bars reads 160°.
Set aside to cool.
Glaze & finishing:
Whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth.
Once bars are cooled, drizzle glaze over top of bars.
Place in refrigerator until chilled.
You may cut and serve in pan as-is, or using excess parchment paper as handles, remove chilled bars from pan to cutting board and cut into desired size.
Store covered in refrigerator.
After zesting lemon, juice lemon and set the juice aside to use in the glaze.If you don’t have parchment paper you can make these without it, it just greatly aids in removal of the bars without sticking and makes the pan MUCH easier to clean.If you don’t have a fresh lemon available: omit zest from crust. Use 3-4 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice in the glaze.