Tag Archives: cream cheese

Irish Cream Ricotta Cheesecake Tops St. Patrick’s Day

Photo: Irish Cream Ricotta Cheesecake

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Oddly, it’s one of those holidays that tons of people celebrate whether they have even an ounce of Irish blood or not. That’s because it’s fun! Irish music can get your toes tapping or move you to tears. Then you toast the Irish and have another beer or an Irish Coffee or whatever floats your boat. The point is, people get together and have a good time.

The same thing applies to eating some great Irish-styled food on March 17th. Sure, lots of it isn’t actually Irish food, but it’s the spirit (sometimes in actuality) that contributes to the festivities.

While I’ve made an Irish Cream Cheesecake before, here’s a different version drawing on the ricotta-style cheesecake.  I adapted this from the basic recipe and used a combination of real Irish Cream and sugar-free Irish Cream Syrup to give it the yummy flavor. You could make it with all Irish Cream (add about 1 net carb per slice) or with all sugar-free Irish Cream syrup (subtract about 1 net carb per slice). While it makes six good-sized slices, I find that one-eighth of the cake is enough to satisfy me, but I’ve given the nutrition information for both size options.

Irish Cream Ricotta Cheesecake

Adapted by Rene Averett

8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 cup whole milk Ricotta Cheese
3/4 cup Sugar Substitute
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Irish Cream
2 tablespoons sugar-free Irish Cream Syrup
2 tablespoons Low Carb Flour, Almond Flour, or Soy flour,
or 1 tablespoon Coconut Flour
3 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/4 cup Heavy Cream or Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 6″x6″ spring-form pan and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until well mixed. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon mix, vanilla, flour, and butter. Mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in the heavy cream or sour cream last.

Pour the mixture in the cake pan and smooth.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for another 30 minutes. Let sit to cool about 10 minutes. Remove from spring-form pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool before serving.

Makes six to eight servings.

Irish Cream Chocolate Sauce

2 tablespoons Sugar-free Irish Cream Syrup
2 tablespoons Sugar-free Chocolate Topping (Walden Farms)

Mix together and drizzle over the top of each slice as you serve it. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

To make your own sugar-free chocolate syrup, add 2 tablespoons unsweetened chocolate, 2 tablespoons sugar substitute, and 2 tablespoons hot water together, add a bit of vanilla extract and stir until you have a syrup. To thicken it a little, cook in microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir again and let cool.

Here are more recipes on this site for more St. Patrick’s Day dining options:

Not Quite Traditional Corned Beef Hash

 

 

Photo: Corned Beef Pie Corned Beef Cottage Pie

 

 

Photo: Irish Benedict Irish Benedict Brunch

 

 

Photo: Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Corned Beef and Cabbage

 

 

Photo: Irish Soda Bread Irish Soda Bread – low carb

 

 

Photo: Irish Apple Cake Irish Apple Cake

 

 

For even more foods for St. Patrick’s, type in Irish in the search box to get more recipes. Erin go Bragh to you all!

Rugalach for the Holidays

Photo: Close up of rugalach

Just a little late for the Jewish holiday, I made a batch of low carb Rugalach cookies. These are simple to make, although a little time-consuming, and make a delightful cookie for the holidays. After my first batch, I plan to make a few minor changes to the next batch I make, but I wanted to get this recipe up before I do that. I cut down a little on the chocolate used, and this recipe reflects that.

Rugalach Cookies

FOR THE DOUGH:
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup low carb all-purpose flour *

FOR THE FILLING:
1/2 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
3 tablespoons sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, but you can use walnuts or almonds)
1/3 cup chopped cranberries
2 ounces sugar-free chocolate, finely chopped

FOR THE GLAZE:
2 tablespoons egg whites
1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coarse sugar

For this recipe, I used Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Low Carb Flour rather than their biscuit mix. Tova Foods also has an All Purpose Low Carb Flour as does LC Foods. I have not tried this with Almond Flour, but I believe it would work fine since it is mixed with cream cheese.  You will need to make sure the dough is chilled well or it will break easily.

Make the dough first. In a food processor, place the softened cream cheese pieces and the softened butter pieces. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse until the cream cheese and butter are blended together. Add the flour and pulse several times to mix it in. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed to get all the flour mixed in. Pulse until the dough forms large curds.

You can mix it with a hand mixer also, but don’t let the dough form into a ball on the blades.

Turn the dough out into a bowl and gather it into a large ball. Divide it in half, shape each into a disk, wrap in plastic, then put into the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.

Before you begin rolling the dough out, make the filling. Heat the jam over low heat or in the microwave until it liquefies. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar substitute and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. Chop the cranberries in a small food processor. In a microwavable bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the cranberries. Microwave for 40 seconds. Stir well.

Ready two baking sheets.

Pull one disc of dough from the refrigerator, place a sheet of parchment over the breadboard, and sprinkle low carb flour on it. Roll out the dough into a circle about eight or nine inches in diameter. If it is too firm to roll easily, let it sit for about 10 minutes. Spoon or brush about 1/2 of the melted jam in a thin layer over the dough and sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar over the top. Scatter 1/2 of the nuts, 1/2 of the cranberries, and 1/2 of the chopped chocolate over the jam. Cover the filling with a piece of waxed paper and gently press on it to push the filling into the dough. Remove the waxed paper, Slide the disk onto a baking pan and put the pan in the refrigerator to chill while you roll the second disc and repeat the steps.

Pull out the first pan when you put the second pan in, then cut the original dough into quarters, like you would a pizza. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter for this. Try to get it separated evenly. Now, cut each wedge into three triangular slices. Starting at the outside edge, roll the dough toward the middle to form a crescent cookie and tuck the end tip under the dough on the baking sheet, curving the cookie a little. Repeat with each triangular shape, cutting each of the quarter wedges into three triangles.

Pie cut for 12 slices.

Repeat with the second round of cookies. Put the shaped cookies in the refrigerator or other cold place on their baking sheets  to firm up for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.) Position the racks in the oven to divide it into thirds.

Before baking the cookies, mix the egg white and water together and brush over the tops of the cookies and sprinkle the granulated sugar substitute over each.

Photo: One dozen rugalach cookies

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom racks and turning them from the front to the back of the oven about mid-way through the baking. Remove when they are golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack until they are just warm or at room temperature.

Makes 24 cookies.

Nutrition information per cookie:
Calories:102.2 Fat: 8.9 g Net Carbs: 1.0 g Protein: 3.3 g

Creamy Italian-style Lemonade Ricotta Cheesecake

Photo: Ricotta Cheesecake

It’s Fall here in Reno, and it’s welcome as this is my favorite time of year. I love watching the trees turn, attempting to salvage any pears from my tree before the birds get them, and tasting all the wonderful flavors that come with the season. Pumpkin is back in all the restaurants, but there are other fantastic seasonal squashes coming up as well. I plan to be experimenting with more new recipes over the next few weeks, so look for that.

In the meantime, I spent most of September in Las Vegas house/dog sitting for my friends who jetted off to their home they are renovating in France. Sounds so posh, doesn’t it? The house in the country in France. I may even get over to see it when they are completely through with the massive renovation. Anyway, I didn’t do much creative cooking while I was there, keeping mostly to the basics and trying to get my body reset to a tight low carb diet.  However, I did experiment a little with this wonderful recipe for an Italian Ricotta Cream Cheesecake. It is adapted for a smaller cake and I use sugar-free lemonade mix in it to give it a very lemony flavor that is sensational. As a bonus, I created it in both a baked form, and as a quick microwave version that serves two. Both are delightful.

Italian-Style Lemonade Ricotta Cheesecake

Adjusted to low carb and adapted from the original recipe by Rene Averett. Find the original at All Recipes.

6 oz. Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Sugar-free Lemonade mix
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
3 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/2 cup Heavy Cream or Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 6″x6″ cake pan and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until well mixed. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon mix, vanilla, flour, and butter. Mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in the heavy cream or sour cream last.

Pour the mixture in the cake pan and smooth.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for another 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool before serving.

Place a plate over the top and flip the cheesecake onto the plate. Cut into six slices. Tastes delicious with a tablespoon of sugar-free strawberry jam on top or top with whipped cream.

Makes six servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 272.8 Fat: 26.8 g Net Carbs: 2.6 g Protein: 6.7 g

Photo: Microwave Ricotta Cheesecake

Microwave Lemonade Ricotta Cheesecake

2 oz. Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
1 Egg
3/4 teaspoon Sugar-free Lemonade mix
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1 tablespoon Butter, softened
2 tablespoon Heavy Cream or Sour Cream

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and ricotta cheese together, blending as much as possible. Stir in the sugar, egg, lemonade mix, vanilla, and butter. Mix well, then add the flour and cream. Stir until mixed in.

Spoon 1/2 of the batter into a microwave safe 1/2 cup ramekin, then spoon the rest into another one. Put one ramekin in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Remove and stir the batter to smooth any lumps from it. Put back in the microwave and cook another 40 seconds. Check to make sure the cake is baked all the way through. If not cook, another 15 seconds.

Repeat baking with the second ramekin. Once cooked, cover both with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. Serve in the ramekin.

Makes two servings:

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 276.4 Fat: 26.4 g Net Carbs: 2.8 g Protein: 8.1 g

I hope you try this and love it as much as I did. I took the photos in Las Vegas and had to adjust to available cooking pans, but I  hope to make it again soon and will get better photos then.

Dessert Nachos Top Off a Spicy Meal

Photo: Cocoa Cream Cheese Nachos

While looking for a different Mexican-style dessert to end up a tasty Cinco de Mayo meal, I ran across a recipe for dessert nachos. It sounded intriguing, but I had to add my own spin on it. First, I made the tortillas and added a little sweetener and cinnamon to the dough. Then I made a cocoa cream cheese filling to add an extra layer of goodness to it and added chocolate chips. Yum. Bottom line? By the time I finished, it was my recipe. Very little remains of the original.

For the record, I used Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Flour, which has a slightly sweet taste. I don’t think this would work well with almond flour or coconut flour as they don’t hold together well enough to cook over a griddle. However, you could make almond flour pancakes and do pretty much the same thing.  I’ll put the recipe after the Nacho recipe if you want to try it.  I use Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup and Caramel Syrup, which are both 0 calories and 0 carbs. If you can find something else that comes close, then feel free to use it. You can also melt a sugar-free chocolate bar and sugar-free caramel candies to get the syrups. They will add about 1 net carb to the serving. (In fact, I found I was out of chocolate syrup and used chocolate chips melted in the microwave for my chocolate blobs of topping. I should have used a little coconut oil to thin them.)

Cocoa Cream Cheese Nachos

For the Tortillas:
1/2 cup Low Carb Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute
1/2 tablespoon ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Shortening or Lard
1/2 tablespoon or more Water

For the filling:
2 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute
1/2 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 tablespoon Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Chocolate Chips
1 tablespoon chopped Pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Chocolate Syrup
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Caramel Syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Allspice
1/2 tablespoon granulated Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoon Butter, melted

For the Tortillas:
In a bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, and sugar together. Cut in the shortening and mix until crumbs form.  Add the water and mix until all the flour is absorbed. If 1/2 tablespoon isn’t enough, add a little more until you have a pliable dough.

Separate the dough into two balls. Roll each into a circle about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle until hot. Brush with a little oil, then cook the tortillas, one at a time. The tortilla takes about two minutes for the first side and will lighten as the dough dries out. flip and cook about another minute until done. This time varies with the thickness of the tortilla.

Photo: almond flour pancakes and cinnamon tortillas
Cinnamon tortillas on the left and almond flour pancakes on the right.

For the topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Mix the Cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon sugar substitute, and allspice together.

Spread butter over the tortillas on both sides, then sprinkle half the seasonings onto each tortilla and cut them into quarters. Place on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes.

While the tortillas are cooking, prepare the topping. Mix cream cheese, cocoa powder, sugar substitute, and heavy cream together until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and spread evenly over each tortilla chip. Top with a little whipped cream and drizzle caramel and chocolate sauce over the tops.

Makes two servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories:395 Fat:32.2 g Net Carbs:5.0 g Protein: 15.7 g

To make Cinnamon Almond Flour Pancakes:
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Ricotta Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Oil

In a bowl, add the egg, oil, cinnamon and sugar and beat together. Stir in the ricotta cheese until blended. Add the baking powder and almond flour and sit until mixed. Add enough water to make a pourable batter.

Heat skillet or griddle until it is hot and a drop of water skitters across it. Reduce heat to medium high, then spoon in enough batter to make a 5 or 6 inch thin pancake–about half the batter. Cook the pancake until bubbles form and it begins to look dry, then flip and cook the other side. Set aside and cook the second pancake. Let them cool for a few minutes, then cut into quarters to make four wedges.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Mix the Cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon sugar substitute, and allspice together.

Spread butter over the tortillas on both sides, then sprinkle half the seasonings onto each tortilla and cut them into quarters. Place on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes.

While the tortillas are cooking, prepare the topping. Mix cream cheese, cocoa powder, sugar substitute, and heavy cream together until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and spread evenly over each tortilla wedge. Top with a little whipped cream and drizzle caramel and chocolate sauce over the tops.

Makes two servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories:395 Fat:32.2 g Net Carbs:5.0 g Protein: 15.7 g

To make Almond Flour Pancakes:

Easy Chicken with Mushrooms dish

So easy you can make it on a busy night!

This simple dish is one of my throw-together combinations. Let’s see, I have chicken, mushrooms, and spinach. What can I do with that? Well, this is one delicious option. Simple, yet completely satisfying.

For a side dish, I added cut-up turnips and kohlrabi, cooked in the microwave until fork tender, then added butter and seasoning salt. Yummy. The fresher the turnip or kohlrabi, the sweeter the taste. If they sit too long in the ‘fridge, they will get tough and a bit bitter.

Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms & Spinach

2 large Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Cream
1 oz. Cream cheese
1 teaspoon Mustard
1 cup fresh Spinach
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
2 tablespoons Butter

Cut chicken breasts into several pieces about the same size for even cooking.

In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Add the chicken and brown on both sides over medium heat. Chicken pieces should be cooked most of the way through. Remove chicken to a paper towel or plate.

Add mushrooms to the pan and sauté until brown, then add cream cheese, cream, mustard, and cumin and stir. Continue to stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Tear and add spinach and stir in. Return chicken to the pan and add rest of the butter. Cook for another five minutes until chicken is done.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 329.5 Fat: 22.4 g Net Carbs: 1.4 g Protein: 28.4 g