Monday, January 7, 2013

Mocha Yogurt Cheesecake

Hello 2013- You sure opened the door to the new year with a bang! First, this delicious cheesecake and second, the flu hitting our house starting with my little 2 year old son. I made this last week to celebrate the new year and then...I kinda forgot about it. Life goes on pause while you nurse the sickness and try to get back to normal again (I will have to write another post about some of the cold/flu remedies we survived with another time).

But really, just the lack of sleep alone knocks you out for a few days. The good news is that this cheesecake still tasted good after being found again a few days later. And some would say that cheesecakes only gets better the more chilled it stays. I had to quick snap a photo and share before it was all finished up. Perfectly chilled, slightly honey sweetened and rich and delectable with each bite!
Like I said in my last post, this baby likes it's desserts. And because I have been occasionally eating some organic dairy while pregnant I had some plain yogurt to use up as well. This idea came to me when I thought about how plain organic yogurt, strained, makes a really great yogurt-cheese. Add some leftover coffee and chocolate from the holidays and a magical cheesecake comes into play. This was a new experiment for me, and I am very happy with how it turned out and will be trying this again in the future for sure.
You could easily make this recipe grain-free by omitting the GF oat flour in the crust and subbing it for almond or another favorite nut-flour. Not coconut flour though, it would be to fibrous, but if you like almond flour or meal that would be a great sub there. I was surprised at how the yogurt and eggs really do the trick to make this cake creamy and thick and rich. You won't even miss the traditionally cheesecake made with lots of cream cheese. This is a great healthy cheesecake alternative that I am not ashamed to eat or share.

Mocha Yogurt Cheesecake Recipe
{gluten-free, grain-free option}

1 cup of freshly ground gluten-free oat flour
1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup of raw cocoa powder
dash-1/4 ts. of sea salt
1/2 cup of soft organic coconut oil
2-3 TB of local honey or maple syrup
2-3 TB of strongly brewed leftover coffee

First grind some gluten-free rolled oats in a high powered blender to make your own flour. And then mix all of the above ingredients in mixing bowl together well with a spatula or your hands. Then sprinkle into a 10 inch spring form pan, or a 9x13 Pyrex glass pan and press down firmly, and evenly with a spoon or your hands. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool down for at least 15 minutes and then pour the cheesecake on top and continue to bake.

Cheesecake Filling
1 quart organic plain yogurt- strained to equal about 2 cups after whey is removed
6 farm fresh eggs
1 TB of pure vanilla
2-3 TB of strongly brewed leftover coffee
1 cup (4 ounces) of melted chocolate chips or bar pieces
1/2 cup of local honey

First, even before making the crust, you need to pour a quart-sized container of organic plain yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic Low Fat Yogurt) into a strainer that is covered with cheesecloth (or even a paper towel works too) that has a bowl underneath. Stick back in the fridge for 2-4 hours and let it reduce by half and pour out the whey collecting in the bowl underneath the strainer. Then use the "yogurt cheese" in the cheesecake filling mix.

Mix the yogurt cheese and eggs together then add the rest of the ingredients. You can melt the chocolate over a double-boiler or in 30 second intervals in the microwave. Pour in the melted chocolate last and then whisk well for a minute by hand and then pour over the already baked crust. Bake in the preheated 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes until the middle of the cake is firm and not liquid. 

Let cool on the counter for an hour and then put in the fridge with a plastic wrap or fitted cover top. Chill for 8-24 hours before serving and then sprinkle with decaffeinated ground coffee beans, grated chocolate or fresh fruit of choice. A simple berry compote could be made as well for topping and serving if you desire. Or if you have a favorite chocolate sauce or glaze for serving that would just put it over the edge!

I hope you enjoy this one or save it in your back pocket for a special occasion.

Until then, much love to you!

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