Remember when you were a kid and you had all these dreams about what you wanted to be when you grew up? Like, how you wanted to be a dentist until you realized that it involved looking into people's mouths. Or how you wanted to be a dancer, but you realized that you wouldn't always get to wear those pink tutus.
I remember in grade five when we were all asked to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up and the school would put our answers next to our pictures in the yearbooks. I said I wanted to be a doctor, along with about fifty other people. And it was true. I really wanted to be a doctor. Until I realized that it involved a lot of science, math, and blood. I quickly scratched that off the list.
But, looking back, I can't help but laugh at what some of the other ten year olds put down. One girl said she wanted to be a purchasing manager. Another said she wanted to be a biochemical engineer. Then, there were the true-to-their-age kids who said stuff like "pizza maker" and "astronout". Not that a purchasing manager isn't a noble profession, but I'm twenty and I don't even know what that is.
Either way, I can't get over the fact that, aside from doctors, my other childhood dreams are now ruined by my mature, responsible, vegetable-eating adult-self. I mean, a doctor is realistic, right? A chef is realistic, yeah? Well, I'm pretty sure that unless Puddies start attacking Earth and I'm one of the five teenagers selected to save the world, being a Power Ranger is out. Also, unless I somehow can find a vat of toxic waste and "accidentally" fall in to it, altering my molecular structure to give me superhuman abilities (preferably flying, telekinesis, or super strengh), superhero is out.
It's times like these, in my mature, responsible, vegetable-eating adult life that I look for comfort in sweets. Maybe I can use this as an excuse for my overindulgent sweet tooth. You think?
While you think about that, let me tell you about these Mini Low Carb Chocolate and Orange Cheesecakes I made the other day. They are absolutely, undeniably, certifiably, amazing. They're completely low carb, and the crust is made from unsweetened coconut, Splenda brown sugar, and almond flour. You don't have to call me a genius. I already know.
The cheesecake layer is amazingly creamy but not overly rich, which I like. The orange extract goes great with the unsweetened chocolate, to really give it a sweet, but not overly sweet, taste. The recipe makes approx. 4 mini cheesecakes. If you wanted to make one large cheesecake, just double the recipe below.
Mini Low Carb Chocolate and Orange Cheesecakes
Ingredients for Crust:
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar
1 egg white
Ingredients for Cheesecake:
1, 8 oz. pack cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 cup Splenda, granulated sweetener
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp. orange extract (or to taste)
1. Heat oven to 350'F. Grease four ramekins.
2. Mix almond flour, coconut, Splenda brown sugar, and egg white. If coconut mixture is too dry to hold together, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water, a few drops at a time, until mixture holds its shape when pinched together.
3. Separate mixture into four equal parts and press into the bottom of four ramekins. Bake in the oven for a few minutes until crust is slightly darkened. But you don't want to cook it completely. Just enough to firm it.
4. In another bowl, cream the cream cheese well. Add eggs plus egg yolk, one at a time and beat well after each addition.
5. Melt the unsweetened chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl. Cool to room temperature. Add melted chocolate to cream cheese mixture. Once incorporated, add the orange extract.
6. Bake in the oven, on a cookie sheet, for 30 minutes or until the top of the cheesecakes crack slightly.
7. Let cool before serving. The ramekins will be really hot. You can either eat directly from the ramekin or, with a knife, trace around the edges of the cheesecake, and slowly lift it out.
I love this recipe!
Until next time, happy baking!