I have a love-hate relationship with cheesecake. On one hand you have the filling which is pure, creamy, fluffy, cream cheese heaven. Then there's the crust... it's not even the best part and still it ruins my favorite dessert with all of its gluten-ness. Sometimes it's hard to resist when I'm at a restaurant and it sits there tempting me from the dessert menu.
So when the Lovely Healthy Maven threw down with a Valentines Day Bake Off, I knew instantly what I had to make. Now I know this is supposed to be a healthy challenge, but what's the point of a cheesecake if it doesn't have the cheese?
You'll find none of that fat free cream cheese around here. My healthy twist came from the mini size, which allows the cheesecake to still have all its cheesy decadence. The crust also got a Gluten Free and Grain Free makeover with no added sugar.
The BF is a big cheesecake fan as well so for us these make the perfect Valentine treat.
Grain Free Mini Cheesecakes
Makes 6 cheesecakes
Hands on time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
1 cup almond meal
3 TBSP cold butter
1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar (or comparable amount of your sweetener of choice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon zested
Fresh or frozen berries for topping
Preheat the oven to 350*. To make the crust add almond meal and butter to a food processor and pulse to combine (mixture should resemble wet sand). Press crust mixture into the bottom of a regular sized muffin tin, there should be enough to evenly divide between six tins. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Evenly divide filling mixture over the 6 crust layers. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake 12-15 minutes until filling is set and starting to brown around the edges.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan (trust me on this one!) and then top with fruit.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go eat some cheesecake... I may have to make another batch before I celebrate with the BF on Sunday ;)