Cherry Almond Cheesecake, Low Carb Extravaganza Redux

So, after the Cafe Cubano Cheesecake was a smashing hit, I decided to make a new one.  We’re living the low carb lifestyle, so almonds are very prevalent in our world. I love the fusion of Almonds and Cherries, so…

Pan

Get a springform pan.  Mine is large, and was a cheapy one we picked up at a grocery store for 7 or 8 bucks. I’d love to have the matching Calphalon or Cuisinart or even KitchenAid pan, but this one does just fine.  Tear off 5-6 sheets of aluminum foil just larger than the bottom of your springform pan, set your springform pan on top of the stack, and fold the edges upward.  The idea is to make your springform pan watertight.  The mechanism that makes it “spring” is supposed to do this.  We’re just going out of our way to be “sure”. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 375F.

Crust

Low carb means almonds. Almonds mean almond flour – the perfect alternative to a graham cracker crust. If you’re not doing the low carb thing, live it up with the graham cracker crust here, it would work very well I’m guessing.

  • 2 cups almond flour (aka ground up almonds)
  • 4 Tbsp splenda
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tsp almond extract
  • 1 small bag of sliced almonds

Mix dry ingredients.  Add extract to melted butter and mix with dry ingredients.  Press into springform pan.  Top with the almonds in as close to a single layer as you can get it. Press the crust up the sides about an inch if you can – it will make the presentation nicer, even distribution works well too. Bake this lovely goodness for around 12 minutes or until you can start to smell it and it’s browning…in your 375F oven.  Take it out of the oven.

Bain-marie

Now we’re going to get French and technical. We’re also going to do this the easy way. Put a jelly roll pan (or any other flat pan that is large enough to fit your springform pan and also some water) into the oven. You might be able to get away with what is called a “lasagne pan”.  Fill this with a few cups of water and close the oven.  Turn the oven down to 350F. if you don’t have a jelly roll pan or can’t do the Bain-marie, you’re not serious about this.

Batter  

While the crust is baking, it’s a great time to make what goes into the cheesecake itself.

  • 5 16oz bricks cream cheese, preferably room temperature
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups splenda
  • 1 Tbsp almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Somewhere between 1/3-1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 small bag of slivered or sliced almonds

Beat the cream cheese until it’s somewhat fluffy.  The aforementioned KitchenAid mixer really helps here. Add the eggs two at a time, scraping the bowl and fully incorporating each pair. Scrape the sides of the bowl again, and start adding the splenda, 1/2 cup at a time. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you could use real live sugar here – or one of the popular sugar/splenda blends. I’d decrease a little and work from there. Scrape again. Add the almond extract and lemon juice. Incorporate. Scrape again. Add your sour cream. If you don’t have sour cream, you can also use cream with a Tbsp of vinegar in a pinch. Worst case, milk with the Tbsp of vinegar would work here too.  Incorporate everything…without overmixing. Ha. Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared and baked crust. Top with your slivered or sliced almonds. Drop in the remainder of the cheesecake batter. Scrape the mixing bowl into and then and tap the springform pan on the counter a few times to release any large trapped air bubbles that might cause problems later. Set the foil-enclosed springform pan containing pre-baked crust and batter into your now 350F oven and bake for around 1hr…you are aiming for an internal temperature near the center of 155-160F. I measure with a meat thermometer. It may bake very differently if you use sugar, or if you don’t use a Bain-marie (actually, the recipe I adapted from says if you don’t, to reduce heat to 200F and bake for 90 minutes…your mileage may vary). Cool for a while.

Topping

Top with a jar of Smucker’s Sugar Free Cherry Preserves (sweetened with Splenda). Refrigerate for even longer – we actually made it overnight and had our first pieces for breakfast. To Die For… It should come out a little like this… 🙂

What a great cherry almond low carb cheesecake
Less than 10g net carbs per slice!

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