Showing posts with label cheesecake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheesecake. Show all posts

Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust

It's fall again, and time for pumpkins and fall dishes and desserts. This is a pumpkin cheesecake that I've been making for the last few years. I wanted to get that baked type cheesecake that you get at a restaurant, like a New York style cheesecake. So I've been playing around with a few recipes and came up with this one. The difference is that I didn't use graham crackers for the crust. I used Anna's Swedish almond thin cookies since they have no soy in them. As for the gluten free version, I took the leftover cheesecake batter, placed in ramekins without a crust and baked them in the oven along with the cheesecake. Since my daughter is gluten free she was able to enjoy the cheesecake without having to worry about gluten. It's a delicious dessert and can be enjoyed during this time of the year. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 18 servings = 4.2oz each serving)

5 ¼ oz Anna's almond thin cookies crushed (about 1.5 cups)
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. butter
16 oz. cream cheese
16 oz one third less fat cream cheese (cream cheese that has 1/3 less fat)
1 ¼ cups sugar
16 oz canned pumpkin
½-cup sour cream
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs


Crush the box of Anna's almond thin cookies. It will make 1 and 1/2 cups.
Melt the butter. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the crushed cookies along with the butter. Mix together and press into a 9" spring form pan. Refrigerate.

At room temperature mix together the regular cream cheese with the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and the sugar. Mix till well blended. Add the canned pumpkin packed solid, the sour cream, the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Mix well together. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Pour into the 9" spring form pan and the rest into 9 ramekins without crust. Place the 9" spring form pan into a 350°F preheated oven. Place the 9 ramekins into a baking sheet that's 1/4 filled with lukewarm water. Place those in the oven too. Bake the 9" spring form pan for 1 hour and 30 minutes and the ramekins for 1 hour and 15 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Some oven temperatures vary so it's best to use the toothpick method as a guide. Remove from the oven and let them cool before serving.

Nutrition FactsServing Size 1 serving (117.6 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294
Calories from Fat 180
Total Fat 20.0g
Saturated Fat 12.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 263mg
Potassium 107mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Sugars 19.0g
Protein 5.6g

Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust
 Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust and Dream whip cream 

 Gluten free cheesecake baked in ramekins
Gluten free cheesecake in ramekin sprinkled with icing sugar

Gluten Free Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake with Almond Chocolate Crust and Chocolate Mousse topping

I made this cheesecake at Christmas time. Since my daughter has to have gluten free food, and I can't have any soy products (they are usually in graham crackers/crumbs) I decided to come up with something different that will be tasteful and we can all have. In Greek cuisine there are quite a few cakes and cookies that are made with ground almonds; like my almond macaroons (Gluten Free Greek Almond Macaroons - Ergolavi) and the Greek almond cookies (Kourabiedes or Greek Almond Cookies in Icing sugar). So I thought: "why don't I try to make the crust from ground almonds." And honestly the texture turned out like any other crust I might have used, but more tasteful. The cake came out delicious, rich and creamy and very decadent. It tasted like the ones you have at Cheesecake Factory, but healthier and with a lot less calories. I also made a chocolate whip topping to spread on top of the cheesecake. That is absolutely optional. But the topping came out so thick and velvety that I couldn't resit. It's a perfect cake to make for your honey this Valentine Day. Enjoy!

Makes 18 servings (about 3oz each serving)

Ingredients for almond chocolate crust:
1 ½ cups ground almonds
2 tbsp. butter
1 oz. Baker's chocolate
¼-cup sugar

Ingredients for the cake:
16 oz. cream cheese
¾-cup sugar
½-cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz. Baker's chocolate
½-cup sugar

Directions for the crust:

Melt the 1oz Baker's chocolate over a double boiler. In the meantime, pulverize the ground almonds as fine as you can get them in a food processor. Melt the butter. In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, and melted chocolate. With a pastry blender, mix the crumbly mixture together. The chocolate will harden as soon as you pour it in the almond mixture. With the pastry blender you will be able to evenly spread the chocolate. Like making a pie crust. Add the melted butter and mix well together. In a 9" spring form pan, spread the ground almond/chocolate/sugar/butter mixture evenly. Set aside.

Directions for the cake:
Melt the 6 oz Baker's chocolate over a double boiler along with the 1/2 cup sugar. Stir continuously till completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, remove the double boiler from the hot element, and let the chocolate sit over the hot water, while you are mixing the cream cheese mixture.

In a mixing bowl, beat the 16 oz (2-8oz packages) of cream cheese till soft. Add the 3/4 cup sugar and mix well. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and 1tsp vanilla. Mix well together. Add the 4 eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Separate the cheese mixture in half. In the one-half add the melted chocolate/sugar mixture and mix well together.

Pour the chocolate mixture  in the pan over the almond crust and spread evenly (the chocolate mixture will be thick in comparison to the cheese mixture). Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate mixture. With a knife swirl around in the pan, till you see a bit of the chocolate mixture to the top. (You can omit the step altogether, if you’d like. I ended up making a chocolate whip topping so the swirl really didn’t show).

Bake at 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, till the top is firm to the touch.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (78.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290
Calories from Fat 196
Total Fat 21.8g
Saturated Fat 11.3g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 70mg
Sodium 101mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.6g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Sugars 17.2g
Protein 6.6g

The almond crust with the pastry blender
The crust in the springform pan
The cheesecake out of the oven

Chocolate Mousse

Makes 18 servings (about 2 tbsp.)


6 oz baker's unsweetened chocolate
1 envelope Whipped Topping Mix (like Dream Whip)
1 cup skim milk
6 heaping tbsp. icing sugar


Melt the unsweetened chocolate over a double boiler. Remove from heat. In a bowl whip together the envelope of whip topping with the icing sugar and the 1 cup skim milk. Add the melted chocolate gradually. Beat well together. Spread over cheesecake, or use as  icing for any other cake.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (25.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 62
Calories from Fat 42
Total Fat 4.7g
Saturated Fat 3.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Sugars 3.4g
Protein 1.8g

Note:  I was able to freeze this cake with the chocolate whip topping.  And when I took it out it still tasted as if I had just made it.  

Covered with the chocolate mousse

You can see the layers of the almond crust, chocolate cheesecake, cheesecake and chocolate mousse. This picture and the one below, were taken after I froze the cake for about a month and took it out.  I let it defrost in the fridge overnight.  

Truly decadent and delicious. 

Cherry Cheesecake with Almond thin cookies for crust

I’ve been making this cheesecake for the past 35 years. It’s a Canadian recipe that I used to use. Both my daughters love this cheesecake. It’s light, easy to make and needs no baking. The original recipe asks for graham crackers crust. I found out though that graham crackers have soybean oil and since I am trying to stay away from any foods that contain soy, I experimented with a different crust. I found these almond thins at the European section of our local market. They are called Anna’s almond thins and they are Swedish.

 They contain no soy or any hydrogenated products (I used only one box).  This is a great desert to take to pot luck dinners or holiday parties. Enjoy!

 Cherry Cheesecake with Almond thin cookies for crust

Makes 35 pieces (approximately 2.4 oz each)

1.5 cups crushed almond thin cookies
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp sugar

1 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup Realemon Lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

1 – 21 oz can cherry pie filling

For the crust, crush the cookies by placing them in a ziplog bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. In a 12x7.5 pyrex pan pour the crushed cookies, add the melted butter and the sugar. Mix well and pat it at the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate.

For the filling: in a bowl put the cream cheese and beat with an electric beater. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk while beating. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla and continue beating till light and fluffy. Take the crust out of the refrigerator and pour the filling in. Smooth the top and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. It chills quite fast, but overnight will chill it quite firmly.  

When chilled pour the cherry pie filling on top and serve. You can cut it into individual pieces and then top with the cherry pie filling. 

Note 1: The above ingredients will also accommodate a 9” pie plate
Note 2: You can substitute the almond thins with graham cracker crust or nila wafers crushed. They are both equally good.  
Note 3: For topping, you can substitute blueberry or strawberry pie filling. They both taste good.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (66.6 g)
Amount Per Serving 
Calories 233
Calories from Fat 82
Total Fat 9.1g
Saturated Fat 5.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 30mg
Sodium 218mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.6g
Dietary Fiber 0.6g
Sugars 19.5g
Protein 4.5g

If you try this recipe and like it, please comment below.  If you like what you see on this blog, please feel free to follow it. Thank you.

Mixed Berry Sauce

5 cups mixed berries (I used strawberries and blueberries)
 7 tbsp sugar

 Wash and clean the berries. In a deep saucepan, add the berries and the sugar. Turn the heat on. With a potato masher, mash the berries. Let the berries and sugar cook while stirring constantly with a spoon. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer while stirring constantly. Let it cook for another 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. If it doesn’t look that thick in the beginning, don’t worry. As you let it sit, and it cools it will thicken.  

Once cooled pour into jars and refrigerate. It will last up to 3 months. Use to top ice cream or plain yogurt, or use it as spread for toast. It goes quite well on French toast or use as a topping for cheese cake.   

Makes about 20 servings of 2 tbsp per serving 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1.355 oz (38.4g)
 Amount Per Serving
 Calories 35
 Calories from Fat 1
 Total Fat 0.1g
 Saturated Fat 0.0g
 Trans Fat 0.0g
 Cholesterol 0mg
 Sodium 0mg
 Total Carbohydrates 8.7g
 Dietary Fiber 1.3g
 Sugars 6.9g
 Protein 0.2g
 Vitamin A 1%
 Vitamin C 13%
 Calcium 0%
Iron 1%