My daughter and I both love chocolate. A lot. So when we were asked to bring something “chocolate and gluten-free” to a party the other evening, we decided to experiment with a chocolate cheesecake. To be honest, I didn’t have a backup plan… thankfully, it came out great!
A cheesecake is really an easy dessert to make gluten free. If you have a favorite cheesecake recipe, chances are that it is probably gluten free already – except, of course, for the crust. The beautiful part about making a cheesecake crust is that it is made up of crumbs and butter. Any kind of cookie crumbs will do … you might be used to making a cheesecake crust with graham crackers but we had mini gluten-free chocolate chip cookies on hand so we tossed those into the food processor … voila! Crumbs for a cheesecake crust. Crumbs are crumbs. On with the cheesecake…
|Mi-Del Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients for the crust:
20 mini chocolate chip cookies – about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Ingredients for the cheesecake:
4 packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips, melted (I used Hershey’s dark chocolate chips)
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cornstarch
|Crumbs + butter = delicious crust
1. Make the crust … process 20 mini cookies in your food processor until you have fine crumbs. In a small bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom only of a 9 inch spring form pan. Cook for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer, mix the softened cream cheese. Add the sugar and cornstarch and mix again – there should be no lumps – the batter should be completely creamy.
3. Melt your chocolate chips at half power in the microwave, one minute at a time, stir well until all the chips are melted.
4. Add melted chocolate to the cream cheese and sugar mixture. Add the vanilla. Mix again.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix briefly after each egg just to combine.
6. Pour the batter into the springform pan and place pan on a cookie sheet. Cook for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees until the center is just set. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit for about 45 minutes to an hour before removing it to the counter to finish cooling. This will help prevent the top from cracking.
7. Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to separate the cheesecake from the sides of the pan and let it continue cooling before you put it in the fridge to chill for a few hours before serving.
|Cook the cheesecake in a spring form pan on a cookie sheet
Let it cool in the oven to prevent (big) cracks!
8. Carefully remove the side of the pan, put the cheesecake on a pretty serving plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fresh fruit! Enjoy!
What is a spring form pan? A spring form pan is the perfect pan for baking cheesecake because you can carefully remove the sides of the pan when you are done without damaging your dessert. A spring form pan costs about $10 to $15 and can be found anywhere that sells kitchen essentials – Target, Sears, Sur la Table, etc. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on this great pan and it will make it so much easier to bake a beautiful cheesecake!