in time for Valentine's Day: A cheesecake confection
By Shannon K. Johnson
February 11, 2009 | Nothing is more
dreaded than the chocolate soaked holiday that boyfriends
dread and girlfriends brag about. Valentine's day, a
day for lovers, cheesy poetry, and sugary food, one
of my favorites happens to be cheesecake.
But for those who must live without
wheat this decadent blend is off limits thanks to the
cookie crust that restaurants use for the bottom of
their cakes. So the celiac is again forced into the
kitchen where we must improvise, compromise and occasionally
fail to satisfy our sweet tooth.
This dish is perfect for Valentine's
Day it is tasty and decadent, a great way to follow
up a romantic date. Or a great treat to eat off paper
plates while watching romantic comedies and cursing
Ironically the primary ingredient
in cheese cake is-cheese, cream cheese, two eight-ounce
packages is plenty. Be sure to let the cream cheese
soften prior to mixing other wise the cold cheese blends
unevenly and you get a lumpy cheese cake.
Today I am prepared to make an Orange
Chocolate Vanilla Swirl cheesecake.
To begin with you are left with something
of a problem—what to do about the crust? It you are
fortunate enough to live near enough to a grocery store
that sell gluten-free chocolate cookies you have no
problem. But if access to gluten-free cookies is limited
this cheesecake is fine crustless.
Making a gluten-free crust is simple:
crush the cookies into fine crumbs and mix with butter
(measurements here are imprecise I usually use a stick
about one-fourth of a cup). Then spread the mixture
across the bottom of the pan after you have sprayed
the whole tray with non-stick spray.
Today I have no cookies so my cake
will be shorter and poured directly into the circular,
glass Pyrex dish. The recipe is modified from the Philadephia
To make this tasty cheesecake you
will need four ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, I will
add a bit of orange extract this time purely for the
sake of experimentation. To make this cake take a large
bowl and in it crack two eggs, one-half cup of sugar
and two packs of softened cream cheese and mix in the
The recipe calls for use of a whisk,
but the lazy chef in me uses my hand mixer. Be sure
to wait until the mix is smooth. After making the creamy
filling separate half the batter into a small bowl.
The next step is to make one half the mix vanilla. In
a surprising culinary development simply add one-half
teaspoon of vanilla extract. I then take a spatula and
scrape the mix into the pan.
To make the chocolate orange swirl,
take the four squares of semi-sweet chocolate add about
one-fouth of a teaspoon of orange extract and melt the
chocolate in the microwave.
It should take about a minute or
two to fully melt the chocolate, but take the mix out
every thirty seconds to stir to make sure the chocolate
melts evenly and does not burn.
Once melted simply whisk the chocolate
into the remaining batter and pour into the pan.
To obtain the desired swirl effect
take a knife and drag it through the batter this should
make a marbled effect.
Once your satisfied with the level
of marbling simply place the cheesecake pan in 350-degree
oven and bake for forty minutes.
The cheesecake is done when the cake
center is firm to the touch.
Be advised this cake needs at least
three hours in the refrigerator to set up. So don't
make it 30 minutes before a romantic dinner.