Healthy Coco-Nutty Cheesecake


Those who know me know that I have a love-hate relationship with sugar. It's pretty simple: I love sugar and I hate how much I love it. When I started Kindred I had to actively avoid making too many candles that smelled like dessert! I'm not alone though, I noticed some of you were searching for our old Vanilla + Cardamom candle recently, maybe I should add it back to the collection for my fellow sugar-addicts. I have loved sweets and baking for as long as I can remember. My Grandmother was a baker and I have the fondest memories of baking with her. She was a pro. She taught me how to make flowers out of frosting and once I watched her make a tiered wedding cake with a chocolate fountain cascading down the side! What's more, I was born in the eighties (what a time to be alive) when sugar-free eating wasn't particularly en vogue. I remember baking cupcakes in my Easy Bake Oven (even though I preferred the batter even if it meant risking salmonella), and making Ice Cream in my child-sized ice cream maker - remember how you had to churn for hours on end and the ice cream still tasted questionable! Those were the days. 
All of this preamble is to say that I'm fully aware of my sugar addiction so I try to curb my intake. Before my wedding I cut sugar out of my diet for two whole months. They were the longest two months of my life and once our wedding day arrived I totally fell off the sugar-free wagon. I went cold turkey when I quit sugar and I even stopped craving it, but it felt a little unsustainable because I wasn't going out with my friends as much and I missed that. It took me a long time to find my way back to the sugar-free path but I'm not going to be quite as strict this time. Going out with friends is equally as important to me as eating healthy on a regular basis. Everything in moderation, right? After my first week back on a reduced sugar diet I made my favorite healthy coco-nutty cheesecake, you might have seen it in my Instagram story. So many people reached out asking for the recipe I decided I'd post it for those of you interested in giving it a try. Here it is, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Kindred_Coco_Nutty_Cheesecake

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup shelled hazelnuts (or pistachios)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup almond meal (or other nut meal)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
Filling Ingredients:
24 ounces full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream (or plain yogurt if you prefer)
3 tablespoons coconut cream
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or Truvia baking blend)*
1 egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping Ingredients:
A handful of coconut lighted toasted (optional)
Steps:
Preheat the oven to 325º
Grease the sides of a 9" springform pan
For the crust grind the nuts in a food processor. When the nuts are semi-fine add the almond meal, coconut and butter
When it's well-blended remove the crust from the food processor and gently knead to make the dough in to a ball
Press the dough in to the greased pan covering the bottom and sides to an even thickness
Bake for 7 minutes or until the dough looks golden. Allow to cool completely. Baker's Note: I actually left my dough on the counter overnight and finished the process the following day.
While the crust cooks and cools combine the cream cheese, sour cream, coconut cream, egg, syrup (or Truvia), and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Use a stand or handheld mixer for this step. Baker's Note: Be careful not to over mix these wet ingredients (as with any cheesecake too much air trapped in the filling will cause it to puff up and then collapse in the oven).
Spoon this delicious mixture in the cooled crust.
Bake for 25 minutes or just until the center is custard like. It should jiggle a little bit and look like custard in the center. Baker's Note: it's easy to overcook cheesecake trust that it will be OK.
Cool on the counter overnight or in the fridge for 2 hours.
If you're making the optional topping do so while your cheesecake bakes. Take some unsweetened coconut flakes, toss them in a pan on the stove and toast until golden. Sprinkle on top.
*Baker's Note: Truvia is a great alternative to sugar, you can learn more about it here.
Enjoy!

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