A friend recently asked me if I could create a sugar-free/diabetic-friendly cheesecake. As is so often the case, she found that recipes included biscuits as the base, so were packed full of sugar, or that the sugar-free recipes she found were so bland, they were not very enjoyable.
So, challenge accepted! I have used nuts instead of biscuits for the base. Not only are they obviously sugar free, but they have so many other health benefits. They are full of protein and fibre. Hazelnuts in particular are great for diabetics as they are a good source of monounsaturated fats and apparently improve glucose intolerance.
For those of you with a generally sugar-free lifestyle, you’ll know that naturally sweet foods start to taste sweeter than ever, including fruit. I have used raspberries in this recipe because they have a tartness to them, but I think strawberries would work very well if you prefer something sweeter.
Making the cheesecake doesn’t really take very long, but it does require patience once it’s in the oven! Keep an eye on your cheesecake, for 15-20 minute intervals to ensure it isn’t browning too quickly. It may require turning occasionally to give an even bake, depending on how efficient your oven is.
For the base:
185g nuts (I used 150g mixed nuts and 35g hazelnuts)
100g pitted dates
45g butter, melted
1 heaped tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
For the filling:
800g cream cheese
200ml double cream
3tsp vanilla extract
150g raspberries (if using frozen, let them come to room temperature first)
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F/GM3
- Half fill a baking tin with water and place on the lower shelf of the oven.
- Grease a high-sided 20cm/8in springform tin.
- Put all the base ingredients into a food processor and blitz until a fine consistency but sticking together.
- Press into the tin to create a firm, even base. Pop into the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
- In a bowl, add the cream cheese, double cream & vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully combined into the mixture.
- Add in the raspberries and mix. Some will breakdown, and some should remain in chunky pieces. This makes for a more interesting texture and pockets of flavour.
- Pour the raspberry mixture over the base and smooth over to create an even surface.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour until it is just set with a slight wobble.
- Turn the oven off, but leave the baked cheesecake in the oven to cool for 15 minutes, as this will help prevent cracking.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin, then chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
- Remove carefully from the tin, and serve with fresh berries, a raspberry/berry coulis (this is a good recipe) or on its own.