Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gluten Free Cheesecake Recipe

Last week was my mother's 70th birthday!  She just moved out to Oregon in December, and my father will be moving here within the week.  My parents live 1/4 of a mile from us now, and I am extremely thankful that they have moved to be closer to us.  Since my father is not here yet, I wanted to make my mother's birthday special.  So, my husband made salmon (per my mother's and son's request) and popcorn shrimp (per my daughter's request).  And we ended the evening with this cheesecake, my mother's favorite dessert.  The kids made some birthday cards, and my son played "Happy Birthday" to her on his guitar.  It was a wonderful evening, and I was so happy to get to spend the special day with her!  Here is my recipe.

Gluten Free Cheesecake
  • 1 cup whole almonds (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds nuefchatel cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Boiling water, for baking
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Using a food processor, pulse the almonds and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar until finely chopped.   Add the butter and pulse until combined.  Press the nut mixture evenly into a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake until the crust is slightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.  Take it out of the oven and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  

While the crust is cooling, place the pan on a long piece of aluminum foil.  Fold the foil up the sides of the pan.  Set it in a large baking dish or roasting pan.  

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at low speed until it is fluffy for about 1 minute.  Gradually beat in the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar until smooth and creamy.  It should take 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs and egg yolks 1 at a time, making sure that all of the ingredients are combining well together.  Beat in the sour cream, lemon peel, and vanilla.

Pour the filling into the already baked crust.  Transfer to the oven and pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly.  In my oven, the cheesecake only took 60 minutes, but I have made this before in a different oven and it took 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Turn off the oven, prop the door open slightly and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove the cake from the water bath and discard the foil.  Let the cake cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.  Then serve.

Cook's Notes:  Remember that this recipe calls for 2 pounds of cream cheese, which is 4- 8oz boxes.  I always seems to forget that and have to make a second trip to the grocery store!

This recipe is inspired by a recipe that was in the Rachael Ray Magazine a few years ago, and we fell in love with it.  My husband and I had never made cheesecake, but we thought we would give it a try.  This recipe is easy to follow, and I have never been disappointed the way it turns out.  It is light and fluffy, and the crushed up almonds in the crust blend well with the creamy cheesecake.  It is absolutely delicious!  I hope you enjoy it!

<3 Cassidy

Gluten Free Poke Hole Cake Recipe

Have you ever heard of a Poke Hole Cake?  This is a recipe that my family has been used many times, including for my first birthday.  It is extremely easy to make, and there are lots of opportunities for your children to help.  My kids really wanted to help make a birthday cake for their father, so I decided that this was the perfect recipe.  

Poke Hole Cake

4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup honey
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 packages instant pudding
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 cups cold milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with crisco and dust with almond flour.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.  Then add the honey, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Mix all of the ingredients together until it has been combined thoroughly.  Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, until a knitting needle inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  While the cake is still warm, poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon throughout the cake.  Ideally, the holes should be about 2 inches apart.  Since my children were the ones who poked the holes, I just made sure that the holes were spread out throughout the whole cake.

After poking holes, mix the pudding mix and sugar together.  Gradually add milk and stir.  Then beat at a low speed for no more than 1 minute.  Pour the pudding over the whole cake, making sure that the pudding fills all of the holes.  Chill the cake for 1 hour and then serve.

Cook's Notes:  My mother used to make this recipe with a cake mix instead of a made from scratch cake.  You could also make this using any flavor you want of cake or pudding.  We are chocolate lovers, so tend to choose chocolate over any other flavors.

So, get your kids in the kitchen and have some fun baking!  They will feel so proud when they get to share what they made.

<3 Cassidy