Crème Brûlée Cheesecake – Grain Free & Naturally Sweetened
I have no idea how to categorize this totally indulgent Crème Brûlée Cheesecake, to be honest with you.
Is it paleo, is it not paleo? I mean sure, my version of Paleo does include the occasional addition of cheese, but this is more than just “a little” cheese indulgence. This is cheese feast galore to the tenth power.
Heck, at that rate, I’m wondering if it’s even healthy! 😉
Frankly, I don’t know and I don’t really care. All I know is I want to marry this thing. I want to honor it and cherish it and love it and live by its side and hold hands and skip with it for the rest of my life.
Seriously folks? I’m a real hard core cheesecake lover. And this Crème Brûlée Cheescake has got the be the creamiest, smoothest, most luscious cheesecake I have eaten in my entire life. It is the absolute perfection in every possible way. It’s sweet, but not overly so. It has a little bit of a zing, thanks to the addition of lime juice, but still retains the delicate aroma of the cacao butter and the graceful fragrance of the fresh vanilla beans.
And that brûlée crust! OH! The sweet and crunchy layer that tops this cake really takes it… over the top!
I’m not gonna lie, though. This cake does not come together in the blink of an eye. It really is a food of love thing. It will ask of you that you devote quite a chunk of your time to it. But trust me when I say that it’s ENTIRELY worth it.
This dessert might be of the high maintenance kind, but it may very well end up being the most exquisite dessert experience you’ll have ever had. One that you will never forget and may even choose to elect as your final meal.
I think it’s just become mine. Scratch that. I KNOW it’s just become mine.
So join me if you will, as we make one together. You’ll see, it’s not as bad as it looks!
Start by lining the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper.
To do that, remove the ring and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Fold the excess paper back under the plate and, while holding it in place with one hand, put the ring back in its position with the other hand. Bring the excess paper back from under the pan but do not cut it off.
Make the crust and press it firmly to the bottom and side of the pan. You want to bring the crust up to about halfway up the side of the pan.
This goes in a 375F oven for 8 minutes and is then set aside to cool.
Wrap your springform pan in aluminum foil and place this in a roasting pan. We will later be adding water to this roasting pan and the aluminum foil will ensure that none of that water gets to your cheesecake.
When your cheese mixture is ready, pour it right over the baked and cooled crust. Place that rig on the middle rack of your oven and delicately pour boiling water into the roasting pan so it goes to about 1/4 of the way up the side of the springform pan.
This will bake for a total of 60 minutes.
While the cheesecake is in the oven, work on the Crème Anglaise: bring the cream and honey to a simmer in a small saucepan then slowly pour that over the egg yolks. Return to heat source and stir constantly until the cream thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool until your cake is ready to come out of the oven.
Try not to eat it all by the spoonful! Seriously. STAY AWAY!
After your cake has been in the oven for a total of 60 minutes, take it out and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Very gently spoon or ladle (do not pour!) the Crème Anglaise on top of the cheesecake. This will probably go all the way up to the very edge of the rim. There’s a slight chance that you might even have a tablespoon or two that you won’t be able to fit in. Shame… I wonder what you could do with it?
Fear not, though, for this will not rise at all, so you can fill that pan right up to the top.
Return the cake to the oven and bake for an additional 60 minutes at 250F, then kill the heat, crack the door open and leave the cake to cool in the oven, undisturbed, for about 1 hour, or until cool enough to be handled with your bare hands. Then, and only then, will you remove it from the oven and transfer it to the fridge to chill completely.
Allowing the cake to cool slowly like this helps it not to crack. Looks like it really worked for me this time!
See? NO CRACKS! Not a single one! Never in my life have I seen such a perfect surface on a cheesecake. I HAD to take a picture!
When the cheesecake is completely cooled, sprinkle an even layer of grated palm sugar all over the top. It’s really important here that you use the natural palm sugar that comes in pucks or blocks, NOT the granulated coconut sugar, as the latter will not melt nicely at all but rather, it will scorch and burn.
Once the top is completely covered with sugar, burn it with a propane torch, keeping the flame about 1-2 centimeters away from the surface. Just work your way around the cake until all the sugar is nice and golden and bubbly.
Wait a few minutes until the sugar hardens. Just look at that beautiful golden crust. This will crack ever so easily under your teeth and melt slowly on your tongue… oh, and it tastes just like cotton candy. Can you say YUM?
I’m telling you, forget Crème Brûlée. This stuff was MEANT to go over cheesecake. Whoever thought of doing this is a real genius and deserves to be awarded a medal of some kind. Honestly.
Garnish your cake with pretty little pieces of fruits. I used clementines, because this is what I had on hand, but had I made this cake during summer, you can be sure that I’d have used strawberries or fresh raspberries.
A few fresh mint leaves and a sprinkle of coconut shavings put the finishing touch to this elegant cake.
So pretty, you almost don’t want to cut into it…
I came real close to shedding a tear when I did. As did I when I took the first bite… and the last. I simply never wanted this cake to end.
Look at how creamy!!!
There is but one word to describe the texture of this cake: heavenly!
Can you imagine how this cake would feel in your mouth?
Just look at those little pieces of crunchy caramelized sugar, digging right into the layer of Crème Brulée, and making their way to the creamy, smooth and velvety cheese custard. Now think of your teeth biting into that entire lot. The explosion of taste and texture that happens in your mouth is just too extraordinary to even describe. It’s something that needs to be experienced.
So, here. Go ahead and indulge. I saved one bite just for you!
Just this one, though. Sorry, this dessert’s just too good to share!
Crème Brûlée Cheesecake - Grain Free & Naturally Sweetened
THE CHEESE MIXTURE
- 1.1 lb full fat cream cheese or mascarpone, at room temperature
- 1.1 lb full fat sour cream
- 3 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup unpasteurized honey
- 5 whole eggs
- 3/4 cup cacao butter, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup unpasteurized honey
- ½ cup heavy cream, or full fat coconut milk
- 2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Line the bottom of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. To do that, remove the ring and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Fold the excess paper back under the plate and, while holding it in place with one hand, put the ring back in its position with the other hand. Bring the excess paper back from under the pan but do not cut it off.
- Add all the ingredients to your food processor and process until well combined and the mixture has the texture of coarse sand. Press at the bottom and side of the pan. You want to bring the crust up to about halfway up the side of the pan.
- Bake at 375°F for 8 minutes and set aside to cool.
- Decrease oven temp to 350°F – Bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil.
- Beat the cream cheese or mascarpone in the food processor until smooth and creamy
- Add sour cream, process until smooth and well combined for about 1 minute.
- Add honey and resume processing until well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds between each addition.
- In a small saucepan, bring honey, heavy cream and vanilla to a simmer. Kill the heat, add cacao butter and mix until completely melted. Slowly incorporate that to the cheese mixture, while the motor is turning.
- Add lemon juice, salt and tapioca flour and resume mixing for a final 20 to 30 seconds.
- Place springform pan over a piece of aluminum foil and fold it over the rim so the exterior is completely covered. Place this in a roasting pan and pour the cheese mixture right over the crust.
- Place that rig onto the middle rack of your oven and delicately pour boiling water into the roasting pan so it goes to about 1/4 of the way up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes then decrease the temperature to 250°F and bake for a further 45 minutes.
- While the cheesecake is in the oven, bring the cream and honey to a simmer in a small saucepan. Slowly pour that over the egg yolks while whisking constantly then return to heat source, on the lowest possible setting, and stir constantly until the cream thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- After the 45 minutes have passed, delicately remove the cheesecake from the oven (do not turn it off!). Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then very gently spoon (do not pour!) the crème anglaise on top of the cheesecake.
- Carefully return the cake to the oven. Bake for an additional 60 minutes at 250°F, until the cream has set but remains soft in the center; it will further stiffen in the refrigerator.
- Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Leave the cake in the oven, undisturbed, for about 1 hour, or until cool enough to be handled with your bare hands, and then slide it out of the oven.
- When the cheesecake is completely cooled, run a knife around the rim and refrigerate uncovered for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Sprinkle an even layer of grated palm sugar all over the top then burn with propane torch, keeping the flame about 1-2 centimeters away from the surface. Wait a few minutes until the sugar hardens.
- Garnish with fresh fruits and mint leaves.