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Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake
Serves 14 to 16
7 ounces high quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
6 eggs, separated
3/4 cup granular sugar substitute
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Confectioners sugar or finely ground granular sugar substitute for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and butter a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. In a double boiler set over low heat (or use a large metal bowl set over a pan of water), combine the chocolate and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. Stir in almonds and set aside to cool slightly.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar substitute until well-combined. Slowly add egg mixture to the melted chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in almond extract.
3. Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric hand-mixer, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Use a large spatula and fold in one-fourth of the beaten whites to the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just blended, making sure that egg white is distributed evenly throughout chocolate mixture.
4. Pour batter into springform pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake has puffed and is just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and deflate slightly. When ready to serve, use a dull knife or a thin metal spatula and run it between the cake and springform pan. Release the sides of the springform pan. Dust with sugar or substitute and serve. For best results, use a sharp knife to cut cake into slices, dipping knife in water and wiping it off after each slice.
Vanilla Citrus Cheesecake
Serves 14 to 16
1 cup almond flour or meal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granular sugar substitute or more to taste
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
8 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature
5 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Zest (minced) and juice from half an orange
1 cup granular sugar substitute or equivalent liquid sweetener
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine almond meal, butter and 1 tablespoons sugar substitute. Pour into the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan, and use your fingers or the bottom of a glass to press evenly. Bake for 10 minutes or until just lightly browned. Set aside to cool while you prepare filling.
2. Put cream cheese in the bowl of a standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until fluffy. Add ricotta and beat until well-combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition. Use a spatula to scrape down bowl.
3. Add vanilla, orange zest and juice and beat to incorporate. Add sugar substitute and beat until well-combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Wrap bottom and sides of springform pan with foil. Pour batter into springform pan and smooth top with a spatula.
4. Place springform pan in a large, deep baking dish and pour boiling water into baking dish until it is half full. Bake for 1 hour. Check cheesecake – if it is just set and no longer liquidy, remove from oven. If it is still jiggly with liquid, bake for 15 minutes or until the top sets. Do not overcook to the point that the cheesecake dries out and cracks (if it does, top it with low carb preserves and fresh berries).
5. Remove cheesecake from water bath and cool on a wire rack. Remove foil and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to allow filling to set. When you are ready to serve, run a dull knife or thin spatula in between the cake and the sides of the pan. Loosen and remove sides of pan. Slice and serve with orange segments. You can also warm low carb orange marmalade and drizzle on slices of cheesecake before serving.
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