Monthly Archives: October 2012

Low sugar Mocha Cheesecake


In honor of Halloween… I present to you low sugar mocha cheesecake.  I first made this last Halloween at the request of Bob – who in exchange for covering a reference desk shift, requested I make a low sugar/sugar-free cheesecake that went cooresponded with my Halloween costume.

Well I had two costume’s last year, and as I couldn’t figure out how to create a Steampunk inspired cheesecake, I went with the other option… cowgirl.  And what do cowgirls and cowboys drink?  Coffee.  So naturally a mocha cheesecake just made sense.

As you are trying to move off your sugar high of tonight, this might be a lovely option for you.  It is a really tasty cheesecake with a pecan and chocolate crust.  The pecans mix really well with the mocha of the filling.  As a sugar-free option, it is slightly sweeter than a normal cheesecake, but with the addition of sour cream, it really holds back the artifical sweet taste attached to most sweetners.

As a side note… I made a ridiculous number of cheesecakes this past year!

Potion Ingredients:

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups – sugar free Oreos, crumbled
1 1/2 cups – pecans, chopped
4 Tbsp – butter, melted

For the Filling:

3 – 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup – Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
3 eggs
1 tsp – vanilla
4 tsp – instant espresso, powder (I used Starbucks VIA, Italian Roast as both are dark roasts)
2 Tbsp – flour
1 cup – sour cream
4 Tbsp – dark cocoa powder (regular is fine too)

Brew the Potion:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the Oreos, pecans and butter. Mix well. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, pushing up about 1 inch along wall of pan.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and Splenda until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and espresso until smooth and well blended. Add flour and sour cream, beating until smooth. Divide into two bowls. Add cocoa powder to one bowl. Blend until smooth. Pour half without cocoa powder onto crust, and smooth out until even. Then gently add other half on top, smoothing until even.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F, bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheesecake is set along the edges and slightly jiggles in the middle.

Remove from oven and let cool for 2 to 3 hours and then refridgerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Run a knife along the edge of cheesecake to loosen from pan and then remove cheesecake from pan. Serve.



San Francisco Treats


I recently took a trip to San Francisco and quite heartily enjoyed their selection of food. I might have even gone a little crazy with avocado. Can you blame a girl. It is avocado. And yes, I do have more avocado recipes to share. I’m not stingy.

I’ve decided to share some of the tasty treats I found with everyone. Cuz they were amazing.

First stop: North Beach

Cafe Divine

We stopped for breakfast here our first morning and were no disappointed at all.

I gained an appreciation for biscuits and gravy when I moved to Missouri, so of course once I saw these on the menu, my interest was piqued.  But these were no ordinary biscuits and gravy.  These were Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits with bacon gravy.  I still dream about them.  Absolute magic.

Julie also fell in love with her selection: waffles with cheddar and bacon topped with maple syrup. 

Second stop: Castro

Cafe Flore

I found a Groupon for Cafe Flore and menu looked so good, we had to give it a try. 

The cafe was hopping, no doubt partly because of the amazing food and the Castro Street Festival was occurring at the same time.  But the food was spectacular and the service amazing.  The set up is a little different.  You order your food at the entrance, then you go and hunt down a seat.  Beverages are ordered separately.  I ended up getting their sangria… yum.

I’ve never had as much fun at a restaurant as I did at Cafe Flore.  I ordered the Avo-Gobbler Sandwich… and it was amazing.  I’ve had many a sandwich with grilled chicken and avocado.  But this one was really tasty.  Possibly the dressing they put on it?  Who knows.  I would recommend visiting this place, just to sit and have drinks even.  But if you order the food, you can’t go wrong.
Last stop: Union Square

Sears Fine Food

We stumbled upon Sears by complete accident one morning as we were hunting for breakfast.  We figured the line probably indicated it was more than worth a shot.  And it was.  We probably waited about 15 minutes.  But they serve up a fine breakfast and once you are inside, you don’t wait long.

Here I found Swedish Pancakes and chicken apple sausage.  So Swedish pancakes, as you can see, are small little mini pancakes.  No other way to describe them.  They just melt in your mouth.  If you have never tried Swedish pancakes, you should.  I’ve never found one I didn’t like.

But Sears is a busy restaurant, filled with lots of nostalgic items, including old ovens (yeah… I have a soft spot for old ovens) and upon leaving you are given a coin to try and win a free breakfast from the slot machine!  How awesome is that!


So if you are even in San Francisco, now you have three suggestions on where to go!  Also, if you are a garlic person, try the garlic fries…. they smelled amazing and made me oh so jealous to be allergic to a food.  But they are sold everywhere!


Chocolate Covered Cherry Cheesecake


Chocolate covered cherries, to me at least, are one of the best treats on Earth.  So naturally, finding a way to turn them into a cheesecake, was necessary.  And ingenious!  I found a recipe from Sweet Anna’s and modified it slightly, as in, I added more chocolate.  Can you blame a girl?  I know I have a picture somewhere… until I locate it, go and take a gander at the pictures on Sweet Anna’s page and drool there.

As I was making this dessert for a diabetic I used as many sugar-free or low sugar ingredients I could get my hands on.  Those that I found included sugar-free oreos, low-sugar cherry pie filling, sugar-free chocolate chips, and Splenda.  I will say it did make it a little sweet for my tastes, but that is the trade off for using sugar-free ingredients.  I don’t think it would have been as sweet if I had used regular ingredients.  I would also recommend using a darker chocolate for the glaze, it would really set off the flavour.


For the Crust:

25 Oreos, finely crushed
4 Tbsp butter, melted

For the Filling:

4 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temp (works great with 1/3 fat cream cheese!)
3 – large eggs
3/4 cup – sugar
1 tsp – cherry extract (vanilla or almond also work great)
1/2 cup – heavy cream
1 – 21 oz can of cherry pie filling
1/4 cup – cocoa powder
1/4 cup – maraschino cherries, chopped

For the Glaze:

1/2 cup – heavy cream
1 cup – chocolate chips

Let’s Make Bake some Magic

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the crushed Oreos and melted butter. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of a 10″ spring-form pan, creating about an 1 inch crust along the sides.

In a larger bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one a time until well blended. Beat in sugar and cherry extract until smooth. Beat in heavy cream. Divide mixture in half, placing one half into another bowl. Add the cocoa powder to one half and beat until well blended. Add the chopped cherries to the other half.

Pour chocolate half of the mixture onto the crust. Carefully spoon about 2 cups worth of cherry pie filling onto mixture. (Since I love cherries, I used the whole can). Carefully spoon remaining half of the mixture on top of the cherries.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes or until the cheesecake is just set. Cool in the pan. You really want to make sure the cheesecake has had time to completely cool, as the center will break during the next step if it is still warm.

In a microwaveable bowl, heat the heavy cream until it is simmering (about a minute). Add the chocolate chips to the heavy cream and stir until melted and smooth.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Run a knife along the edges of the cheesecake to release it from the pan, then remove the sides of the springform.

Apply the glaze by smoothing it over the top of the cheesecake, letting it fall off the sides. Refridgerate for at least 3 hours or even better, overnight.