Monday, February 9, 2009

Almond Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

I am a huge fan of cheesecake. I learned to make the baked variety last year during a Daring Baker's Challenge and I've found any excuse to make it ever since.

I've been successfully following a low carb diet since Christmas and I wanted to create a low carb, but delicious dessert for Valentine's Day this year.

I wanted the dessert to be light, yet decadent with a swirl of chocolate and a hint of almonds!

This particular recipe is for a no-bake cheesecake that relies on unflavored gelatin added to the base to help the recipe firm. It is quickly created and will be ready to serve within 2 hours of refrigeration.

This recipe does not taste like a traditional dense baked cheesecake. It is a much lighter version with an "airy" texture, much like a whipped cream cheese based dessert.

For sweetness, I combined two of my favorite all natural sugar-free substitutes: erythritol and a non-bitter stevia. These sweeteners are perfect in this light and delicious almond-hinted cheesecake.

I love regular baked cheesecake that uses eggs, but this recipe is a low carb time saver, and it makes a truly beautiful presentation!

Happy Low Carb and Gluten Free Valentine's Day!

Almond Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
(A No-Bake Cheesecake)

Cheesecake Ingredients
16 ounces cream cheese or greek yogurt, softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar-free cool whip, or whipped cream (whipped until stiff peaks appear)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup erythritol (or sugar substitute of your choice)
1/8 teaspoon stevia
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugar-Free chocolate syrup, for swirling on top

Crust Ingredients
3/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons erythritol
3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted


In a large glass bowl, mix boiling water with both packages of unflavored gelatin, erythritol, and stevia. Mix in cream cheese or greek yogurt until mixture is very smooth. Add vanilla and almond extracts, and finally fold in whipped cream. Mix thoroughly and set aside while you make the crust.

In a small bowl mix together all crust ingredients until crumbly. Pour into an 9" pie plate, press and shape into the bottom and sides of pan to form the crust.

Pour prepared cheesecake batter into crust. Gently spread batter with a spatula so it covers the crust evenly. Stream 2-3 tablespoons of sugar free chocolate syrup back and forth over the cheesecake. Take a clean butter knife and pull it through the cheesecake batter and chocolate to form a decorative swirl pattern.

Refrigerate cheesecake for 2-4 hours until firm and set. Makes 12 delicious slices.
(6 net carbs per slice.)

Printer-friendly recipe.

Carrie's Notes:

  • DAIRY FREE OPTIONS: You can use soft tofu in place of the cream cheese/greek yogurt in this recipe. Clara also mentioned that you may be able to use strained coconut yogurt as well for a dairy free substitute!
  • You can certainly use the same amount of sugar in place of the erythritol and stevia if you are not watching your carb intake.
  • This recipe contains a total of 73 net carbs, divided by 12 peices equals about 6 net carbs per slice.
  • Regular cream cheese and full fat greek yogurt contain about the same amount of net carbs. I used greek yogurt in this recipe because I had some on hand, and it is as thick and creamy as cream cheese.
  • You can make this cheesecake crust free, and it will be 5 net carbs per serving for 12 slices.
  • If you like other flavors of gelatin (such as strawberry, lemon, or cherry) you can use 2 packages of sugar free jello of your choice, and leave out the erythritol and stevia.
  • This is truly a beautiful dessert! I think an individual marischino cherry placed on each slice would be a lovely addition!
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