There’s nothing cooler than going directly from a midlife crisis into a cheesecake baking bender. Little else lifts the spirits like the smell of pumpkin baking in the oven–especially in a cheesecake.
And now, thanks to Ideal Sweetener, options for baking are sexier than Fabio dipped in ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’. Ideal Sweetener comes in regular granular baking blend (in the cheesecake) and–are you ready for this– brown sugar (in the caramel layer), both of which lend to the extreme gorgeousness of this 10″ cheesecake. The pecans add a bit of ‘hey baby’ to the crust, the perfect mix of sweet and sultry to warm the soul on these cool days.
Don’t let the steps below deter you. This isn’t as rough as it looks, and the different elements really add to the overall effect. If you don’t have access to Ideal Brown Sugar blend to make the caramel sauce, you can score some Walden Farms low carb caramel dip for a similar effect.
Better yet, for a simple pumpkin cheesecake, simply eliminate the whipped topping and the caramel. It’s wonderful enough without the added dadoos, too. You can definitely freeze this cheesecake, make into smaller portions, and appreciate the bounty of this gorgeous gourd in so many ways!
|Adding the caramel and whipped topping also hides surface imperfections|
Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake
1/3 cup processed macadamias
1/3 cup processed pecans
1/3 cup processed almonds
4-6 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp xylitol
4-8 ounce pkgs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup Ideal baking blend sweetener**
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1-15 ounce can packed pumpkin
5 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Ideal brown sugar substitute***
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp ThickenThin/Not Sugar (or 1 tsp xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Sweet Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp Ideal sweetener**
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the Crust:
Combine processed nuts, sweetener and butter in a bowl, and mix well. Press mixture firmly into prepared 10″ spring form pan.
For the Filling:
In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetener, spices and pumpkin; mix until just blended. Stir in cream. Add eggs, beating until just blended. Pour batter into crust. Bake in center of oven until cheesecake is firm to touch and slightly puffy, about 50 minutes. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours..
For the Caramel Sauce:
Place all ingredients except vanilla in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Let cool 5 minutes; stir in vanilla extract.
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
Whip cream with an electric mixer at highest speed until soft peaks form. Add sweetener and vanilla. Mix until firm peaks form. Spread on top of cheesecake. Edge with piped whipped cream to serving. Top with cinnamon.
After cheesecake has had ample time to chill, make and cool caramel sauce (stir the sauce occasionally to keep the liquids from separating.) Pour sauce over the cheesecake, keeping to the center if possible. Refrigerate cheesecake for 30 minutes or until the caramel is set. Add whipped topping after cheesecake has cooled a second time.
Store for 4-5 days in refrigerator or 2 weeks in the freezer.
Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional Information forthcoming
**Ideal sweetener can be subbed out for Splenda at a 1:1 ratio
*** If you don’t have brown sugar blend, you can skip the caramel