I had done Atkins years ago, immediately prior to conceiving my daughter, so I had some personal knowledge that, at least, it won't hurt my chances and was comfortable that I'd be able to "handle" the changes necessary to eat significantly low-carb.
Since late July, I have been following a more-or-less Atkins approach to my dietary life and, after cheating only once (at a fantastic US-themed party in August) and ironing out some kinks (having too much fruit), my body has been responding quite positively and I have now lost more than 8.5 cm from my waist.
My journey isn't over, however, as I would like to be still significantly smaller than I currently am, but I can already feel the benefits (not least of which is gaining some semblance of confidence).
Now that I have made the change and done the hard work of "coming off of sugar" (for the skeptics, research proving sugar addiction exists linked here), I genuinely hope I can spend the rest of my life avoiding it altogether.* Luckily, I've always had more of a garlic-tooth than a sweet-tooth!
This doesn't mean, however, that I don't like the occasional sweet thing (hence the cheating at that party).
When trying to decide something of the dessert/sweet variety to revamp, my mind went immediately to the one thing, the only thing I had cheated with since starting this journey: Cheesecake.
The cheesecake I had at that fateful party was, in fact, Cheesecake Factory cheesecake and the recipe below doesn't compare to how that magical dessert tastes, but it's a place for me to start, a springboard off which I can launch further trials and experiments in trying to recreate the famous and specific flavours of the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.
Without further ado:
Low-Carb Individual** Cheesecakes
- 450g cream cheese
- 100g xylitol (or appropriate ratio of other sweetener)
- 1 1/2 tbsp almond flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 140 ml crème fraîche
- Preheat the oven to fan 200C.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed until creamy (about 2 minutes). With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, then the flour and salt, being careful to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Add the vanilla, lemon juice.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl to ensure everything is properly blended.
- Add the crème fraîche.
- Whisk to blend but do not over-work the filling.
- Pour filling into 8 ramekins.
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet and put them into the oven.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to fan 90C and bake for 15 minutes more. If you gently shake the baking tray, the filling should have a slight wobble.
- Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that's creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool completely in the oven.
- Refrigerate overnight for best flavour/texture.
I originally made this both with and without a base and both turned out delicious, but because the base I chose is actually a shortbread, it wasn't quite the same as what I as used to so I preferred the cheesecakes without. The shortbread I used for a base. I hope to eventually develop something closer to the Cheesecake Factory base.
*Before I have reached my goal size, I plan on thoroughly investigating the "Keto" way of eating and, considering the results of that research, may switch to that for the maintenance phase of life.
**Due to unforeseen circumstances, our kitchen is without some large appliances - namely, an oven and hob, both of which were gas-powered. Because of this, I made these in a small batch in my toaster oven. If you would like to make a full-size cheesecake, I recommend you:
- Double everything above
- Brush the sides of a springform tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet.
- Pour in the cheesecake filling
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to fan 90C fan and bake for 25 minutes more. (Gently shaking the tin should give the filling a slight wobble.)
- Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that's creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture.
- Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.
- Refrigerate overnight.