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January 27, 2014

Caramel Swirl Cheesecake {SRC}

Hi there! It's time for another delicious round of recipes from Group D at the Secret Recipe Club.

What’s The Secret Recipe Club you ask? Why, just the original and most fun Secret Santa of the food blog world! Members of the club are assigned another members blog each month. They pick any recipe from that blogger’s site, make it and write about it. Who has who is a secret until reveal day though (today!).

My assignment this month was Food. Baby. Life., a blog written by Susan, a happily married business owner, wannabe domestic goddess and mom of two boys. She also lives in beautiful Australia, the land down under, and a country that is on my bucket list of places I'd like to visit. She follows the same food philosophy I do, reading labels, not buying processed foods, and making everything she can from scratch. She's not the food police though, and like my family and I, we do enjoy the occasional fried food and ice cream.



I spent quite a bit of time perusing her blog, but when I seen her recipe for Caramel Swirl Cheesecake, I was hooked. Cheesecake is my absolute weakness, and is always my dessert of choice at a restaurant or party. Although I continued looking through her recipes, and marking several for future baking, Perfection Pound CakeBaked Scotch Eggs, and Baked Churros with Chili Chocolate Sauce, I couldn't get that yummy looking cheesecake out of my head. I stayed as true to her recipe as possible, but did make a few changes to adapt the recipe to my dietary restrictions.

Almond Meal Pie Crust, refined-sugar and grain-free.

I made a grain-free faux graham cracker crust for my gluten intolerance, used an egg white instead of a whole egg because I'm allergic to egg yolks, subbed Greek yogurt for the sour cream, which is something I do all the time for an extra shot of protein and probiotics, and coconut sugar for the regular sugar to make it refined sugar free.

I also made my own caramel sauce instead of the canned stuff, and halved the recipe so I could make it in a regular pie pan instead of a springform pan. Let me tell you, this cheesecake is Ah-Maz-Ing! It was seriously love at first bite. Whats not to love about cool, creamy cheesecake, laced with smooth, rich caramel? This recipe was a definite winner, and will see itself on my menu many more times in the future.

Homemade Caramel, I could eat this stuff by the spoonful.

Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

Ingredients

For The Caramel

1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup heavy cream

For The Crust

4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups almond flour, packed
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

For The Cheesecake Filling

1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 egg white
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions

To Prepare The Caramel

In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine butter and honey.
Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently with a whisk, until it turns a dark caramel color.
Remove from burner and add cream, (be careful, it will splatter) and stir to combine.
Set aside to cool, it will thicken as it stands.

To Prepare The Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all of the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.
Using your hands, spread the mixture into a well-greased 9 inch pie plate.
Bake for 7 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Prepare The Cheesecake

Place the cream cheese and sugar into a stand mixer and blend them together until smooth, (This should take about 4 minutes) scraping the bowl down with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add the egg white and mix for another minute.
Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla and continue mixing for a few more minutes. The mixture should be smooth and velvety.
Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the prepared crust.
Spoon teaspoonfuls of the caramel randomly over the cheesecake mixture.
Pour the remaining cheesecake mixture over all and dot with the remaining caramel.
Gently run a butterknife through the mixture to create swirls of caramel, being careful not to touch the crust. Don't over swirl or you will have a caramel cheesecake instead of a swirled one.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 325 degrees or until just set. Be careful as almond flour tends to brown quicker then regular flour, and can burn if your not watchful. Cover edges with foil if necessary.
Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before slicing.
Cut into slices to serve and garnish with additional caramel sauce if desired.

Note: When preparing this cheesecake make the caramel sauce first, so it has time to thicken up before you use it.


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