So when I was a raging overeater, cheesecake was my favourite type of cake. (See story… the cheesecake is calling me…)
I can clearly understand the attraction now as I am not a dry cake or dry anything type of eater. I prefer everything rich, creamy, decadent, satisfying and the fat content in these types of cakes fits the bill.
And when I think of it – when I used to eat bread or rolls, I preferred the gooey middle and never the crust, if I ate chips as in fish and chips, I would always eat the soft ones and not the crunchy ones, if I do have dry cake I prefer it with a rich chocolate sauce on top and preferably cream, even if it’s salad the creamier the dressing the happier I am.
I had better stop now; I’m making myself hungry!
Anyway, you get the point and now with the latest revelations seeing a move back towards good fats and stories of how and why scientists and nutritionists got it all wrong in the past and perhaps their high carb/low fat focus has been the cause of the obesity epidemic; I understand my preferences even more. I did however get to my conclusion though listening to my body first and following that rather than wait for everyone else to catch up. I would have still been overweight if I waited for someone else to figure out my body preferences.
Anyhoo, I realise now that cheesecake was only a psycho food for me (eating out of control and can’t seem to stop) because of the sugar content. Refined sugar is my No.1 nemesis. If I tried to keep it in my diet at all, I would be battling it constantly every day, every hour and the next ‘hit’ would dominate my thoughts just like a junkie.
So knowing this is really liberating because I just replace it with something else that doesn’t have this effect for me. In my cooking this is organic maple syrup or rice malt syrup – more nutrients, less or no fructose, no physical after effects such as headache, feeling irritated then ‘fall asleep’ tired as normal sugar does to me, no psycho addiction effects – I can eat a piece, thoroughly enjoy it and leave the rest easily – just like normal people eat! Nothing short of a miracle compared to how I used to be.
One last thing though, before I launch into the recipe (I know you are hanging out!), I just wanted to make mention of the cream cheese. Now I have read all the information on dairy being inflammatory and lots of people cutting it out because of the adverse effects it has on them and fair enough. If any food makes you feel physically bad, cut it out or reduce it if it has no lingering psycho effects.
For me, I have chosen the reduction option because it feels the best to me. I eat plain yoghurt, the best quality cheddar cheese I can find – Nimbin -, goat’s feta cheese, a bit of parmesan for flavour and about once a month or every 2 months I might have the cream cheese in the recipe below or in the orange cup cake icing. I don’t drink milk because it makes me feel weird and coconut cream now goes in my tea, so everyone is happy.
So if you are a non-dairy eater though simply substitute 1 cup of cashews soaked for 2 or more hours, then whizzed in the food processor or blender instead of the cheese. Then bazinga! dairy free too. Now the reason I don’t do this myself is:-
1. a whole cake made of nothing but nuts is too heavy for my digestive system to handle
2. I only have a food processor and a normal blender; I don’t have a Vitamix or one of those high-speed blenders that makes ground nuts completely smooth and creamy. The result is then a gritty, lumpy texture, which is fine in slices and spongy cake but when you are after creamy smooth like this recipe or ice-cream especially, then that texture just doesn’t cut it for me.
So onward, let’s get cooking – deliciousness awaits…
Yes Please! Baked Cheesecake
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 TBS organic maple syrup
1 250g packet Philly cream cheese (1 cup)
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic maple syrup
How you do it…
Preheat oven to 180ºC / 350ºF and line the sides and base of whatever tin you are using with baking paper.
Whizz base ingredients together in a food processor and press evenly into the tin. Bake 10 mins until golden. Decrease the oven to 160ºC / 325°F.
Whizz filling ingredients in a food processor. Top the base with the filling and bake for 30 mins.
Chill 2 hours.
So delish! And as one taster said, “beautiful and not so sickly sweet as you usually get.”
That’s the great thing about making your own, you can adjust everything to suit your goals and not be sugar-bombed by the pre-made stuff.
Happy easy cooking!
Original Slim Birdy recipe created February 2014.
(This recipe has featured on facebook previously but not in a blog post.)