03/10/2012

Easy as Cheesecake

More primal than paleo, because it's practically all dairy, but even paleo purists seem to be warming to good dairy.

Seriously, this is so easy to make, even a fellow who'd just overindulged in sensible indulgences can put this together ... and I'm not talking eating too much chocolate :)

You need:

Some cream cheese - check the ingredients, coz Philadephia is NOT primal. Cream Cheese which lists the ingredients and milk is what you want.

Some soured cream - again, check the ingredients ... blah blah blah ... cream needs to be the ingredient. Soured cream adds the tang that cheesecake needs without spoiling the vanilla flavour with lemon juice.

Some honey - check your sources. Much honey is cut with HFCS nowadays, so get your honey from a local apiary that you know collects their honey from their hives. Honey is a superb sweetener, packed with all manner of complex health goodies - it's more than just a sweetener!

There is an important note here about honey. Is it primal? Would something like agave nectar be better?

Well, I'll link to a few resources and you can make your own mind up:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-sugar/
http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/agave-nectar-worse-than-we-thought
http://jonnybowdenblog.com/the-truth-about-agave-nectar-it%E2%80%99s-all-hype/

... and so:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-honey-a-safer-sweetener/ ... I tend to think so.

Vanilla essence - or, vanilla seeds extracted from a pod. I only had essence in, so that's what I used.

Gluten-free biscuit. Fauxfood, I know (after all the care I took over my sweetener), but I lacked the inspiration to whip up a nutty base at that time of night but reckon something like crushed hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and maybe a little butter would do the trick.

Hand whisk.

Get to it!

2/3 cream cheese, 1/3 soured cream, touch of honey, whisk like the clappers until it stands up. Get the bowl in a headlock to work the core and swap hands part way through to ensure an even workout. Yes, I mean a hand whisk, not an electric whisk you hold in your hand!

[I've done this a few times since (without any base) using Greek yoghurt, goat yoghurt and double cream ... that 2 parts cream cheese to 1 part something creamy works out perfect. When using soured products, like soured cream or yoghurt, the right bitterness is imparted. Using straight cream, some tartness can be imparted with some sour berries on top ... bilberries are perfect; for US readers, these are related to wild blueberries.]

Form your base in a Chef's ring and spoon the mixture over. Pop into the fridge to set.

When ready to eat, retrieve from the fridge, warm the metal ring with your body heat and allow the cake to slide out. The cheesecake will set in about an hour, so this is something that can be made and eaten the same evening.

Eat, enjoy, feel fantastic!

9 comments :

  1. A cake AND a workout. Perfect!

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  2. I've been searching marksdailyapple.com for an hour and CANNOT find where Philadelphia cream cheese is mentioned as nonprimal. Someone does reference 0% fat Philadelphia in a comment, but my block of this brand lists the ingredients and milk is it's first one. And, here in the states, most honey is not adulterated. What I found was there was a problem with Chinese and Indian honey being banned in Europe, but it was also banned here.

    Please don't just parrot comments you've overheard somewhere; look into them first.

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    Replies
    1. Lauri - Thanks for stopping by. Philadelphia contains stabilisers - xanthan gum, carob bean gum or guar gum. These are not primal (nor, do I think they are capitalised Primal, as in Primal Blueprint), but if you're happy with those as part of your primal lifestyle, feel free to use it.

      Cream cheese, for me, should list its ingredients as: milk.

      The point about 0% fat is useful, since all the goodness in cream cheese (those vitamins) are fat soluble, meaning ... you need the fat to make them bioavailable.

      Glad your honey is good.

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    2. Hi Paul/Lauri,

      Philly is simply not "real food" for the simple reason of all the other ingredients it contains.
      I recently came across a danish cream cheese (here in Vancouver) that listed the ingredients as "cream, culture" - that is more like it!

      However, it is as easy as pie (pun intended) to make your own cream cheese. But some full fat, unflavoured "greek style" yoghurt, the higher the milk fat%, the better. I can buy 11%.
      open the tub and slowly "cut" the youghurt into 1" cubes, and let sit for 10 mins. Then line a colander with some cheesecloth, or use a "jelly bag, or some other fine cloth like a thin handkerchief or (so I'm told...) pantyhose! before lining the colander, put the cloth into some boiling water for a few minutes.
      Put the colander over a bowl and carefully pour in the yoghurt, then gather the corners and tie to make a bag. Hang this from something ( a cabinet door handle works for me) over the bowl and leave over night.


      The curds are now cream cheese, probably 15-20% milk fat, and ready to use.

      At this point, you can also salt and spice the cheese ( i like smoked paprika) to make dips etc.

      I can buy a big tub of greek yogurt (1.3kg) for $7 and make the equivalent of probably $20 of Philly cheese, minus all the additives.

      The collected liquid is, of course, whey, which you can use for doing some ferments/pickles.

      But be warned - it is addictive!



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    3. My mother used to make yoghurt. As a child, I recall our family kitchen always seemed to have muslin bags hanging around. We were made to drink the whey, which then was disgusting, but I reckon I'd like it now.

      Easy method. Thanks for the tips, Paul.

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    4. Making kefir is actually the easiest, as it does its thing at room temperature, yoghurt needs 35C.
      You simply get store bought kefir, add some to fresh (full fat) milk at about 1:6, leave it out for a day, and then put in the fridge for two more. You then mix that 1:6 with more milk and just keep going.
      I kefir cream in the same way and then make my own butter - after the 24hrs at room temp, in a half full canning jar, it takes just two minutes of shaking and I have butter!

      I am always amazed at bodybuilders who spend a fortune on powdered whey (and buy yogurt) when they can have the real version of both cheaper and less processed.

      Whey still doesn't taste that great on its own, but can be made into some good drinks. A great starting point for barley water, rejuvelac etc.

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  3. Is soured cream the same as sour cream? I'm in Canada and only heard of the latter. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is, Agatha. The purpose is to put in an astringency without using lemon which might offset the delicate flavour of the vanilla.

      Have fun ...

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    2. That's great, I have everything in my pantry, I'll try it tonight.
      Awesome blog by the way!!!

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