Back in the good old days when I used to eat cheesecake in the mistaken impression that it was lower GI than pure sugar, and therefore ‘better’ for you, I used to make Nigel Slater’s Creamy Cheesecake with Damson Sauce.
Forsaking cheesecake has been one of the most difficult parts of the Dissident Diet, not that I ate it all that often but it was a favourite. So just lately I’ve turned my mind to adapting Nigel’s recipe to a low carb formula and I’m providing it here just in time for Easter Day celebrations.
This is an exceptionally soft-textured cheesecake, but will firm up a little if you keep it in the fridge overnight. Best served in thinnish slices, with a little trickle of poached blackcurrants (or damsons as per the original) over the top. Gooseberries would work too.
In theory the xylitol shouldn’t change the taste experience but might make it slightly less addictive than usual. Let me know what you think about that.
For the biscuit base:
- 90g butter (or less if you prefer a very crumbly base)
- 50g Xylitol
- 100g ground almonds
- 50g chopped hazelnuts (optional)
- 150g gluten-free oatcakes
For the filling:
- 350ml double cream
- 150g Xylitol
- 650g cream cheese
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the blackcurrant sauce:
- 500g blackcurrants
- 50g xylitol
- 4 tbsp cassis
Line the base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin with cooking parchment or strong greaseproof paper. Melt the butter in a small pan. Crush the oatcakes to fine crumbs and stir them into the melted butter with the ground almonds, nuts and xylitol. Tip them into the cake tin and smooth them flat. Refrigerate for half an hour or so until firm. You can speed up the process by putting them in the freezer if you wish.
For the filling, put the cream and xylitol in the bowl of a food mixer and whisk until just starting to thicken. Keep an eye on the mixture all the time, stopping once it starts to thicken, you don’t want it to go buttery. Remove the whisk. Add the cream cheese in tablespoon sized dollops, along with the grated lemon zest, juice and vanilla. Gently stir it all together until well mixed. Tip the mixture into the crumb-lined cake tin, cover with film and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
To make the sauce, remove the stalks, tip the fruit into a stainless steel pan with the xylitol and cassis bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes until the skins have split and the fruits have softened. Leave to cool, then transfer to a dish, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
To serve, run a palette knife around the sides of the cake then release it from the tin. Slide it on to a serving plate. Serve in thick slices, spooning over the sauce as you go.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Source: Adapted from Nigel Slater’s recipe.