Carob Swirl Cheesecake

Cheesecake. There’s just really nothing like it. This recipe is something special for three reasons. (1) It uses carob powder (caffeine free + calcium) instead of chocolate, (2) It has whole wheat crust, and (3) It has a pretty swirl effect that I just love. So this may sound like one of those healthy dessert recipes that tastes like dirt, but it’s absolutely delicious. Give it a try.

:: You will need ::

for the crust:

1 C. whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 C. butter, room temperature

2 tbsp. sugar

for the swirl:

1/2 C. butter

1/2 C. carob powder (can be found at specialty or health food stores)

for the filling:

24 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

2/3 C. honey

5 large eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla

:: Let’s get going ::

(1)  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Mix together the crust ingredients until it resembles sand.  Press into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan, forming a crust up the sides of the pan.  If you don’t have a springform pan, you could halve the recipe and fill a pie plate instead … but the springform definitely allows for a prettier presentation in the end.  You’ll see.

(2)  Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned.  Remove the pan from the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees.

(3)  In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Then add the carob powder and stir until smooth.  Take the pan off the heat and set aside.

(4)  Combine the cream cheese and honey with an electric mixer.  A trick for the honey … spray your measuring cup with cooking spray first – the honey will slide right out and you won’t waste time trying to scrape half of it out.

(5) Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.  Then mix in the vanilla.

(6)  Here’s the fun part.  Grab another bowl and pour half of the filling in.  Then add the reserved carob sauce to one of the bowls and mix it up.   Layer 1/2 of the plain filling on top of the crust, then 1/2 of the carob filling, spreading each layer across the surface of the crust.  Repeat that step, so that the carob filling ends up on top.

(7)  Still more fun to come … Now we get to make a mess of that pretty layered beauty.  Take a bread knife and hold it perpendicular to the counter.  Start from the center and work your way towards the outside of the pan in a spiral. 

(8)  Smooth over the top of the swirl and place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.  Carob can’t handle heat above 325 degrees, so be sure that you’ve preheated the oven to the correct temperature. Then turn the oven off and let the cheesecake stay in the closed oven for 20-25 minutes.  Place on a wire rack to cool; Loosen the springform, but leave it in place until it cools completely.

Don’t fret about the cracks. It happens, and it adds a little personality. Notice the ‘k’ … ?! It did that all on it’s own. I forgot to take a picture of a sliced piece, but when you cut it open you can definitely see the layered goodness. Here’s to cream cheese and “chocolate“.

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One Comment to “Carob Swirl Cheesecake”

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