Saturday, March 24, 2012

Recipe Share (Have Fun With Your Food): No-Bake, Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Goat Cheese and Coconut Cream Cheesecake

That is perhaps the longest title ever created in the history of mankind when it comes to a recipe *laugh*.

I have been MASSIVELY in the mood for cheesecake but a couple of things stopped me.  One:  I had no cream cheese (har...honestly I would have cheated on my diet if I'd had some ;) and I didn't really think going to the store for a "junk food" run was really justifiable with everyone being sick.  Two:  I've really been trying to "up" the nutritional content on recipes, at least a bit, to make them easier to *laugh*.  And Three:  I just plain wanted to try a new type of recipe, so I looked up different cheesecake recipes and then routed around to see what I had for ingredients.

I tried to keep the recipe as simple as possible so that when I got to the "everything has been added time to taste" phase I could tweak the recipe as needed.  I LIKED how it tasted in it's simplest form, but feel free to add things if you'd like (a tablespoon of molasses for added depth of flavor and a touch more sweetness, some allspice to the spices, etc).  That's the wonderful thing about simplicity :).

If you are interested in how this tastes to ME it has a pumpkin cheesecake thing going on (sort of a cross between pumpkin pie and cheesecake) with a bit more of a "zip" to it due to the goat cheese (you are going to taste goat cheese in that zip a little, so if you don't like goat PROBABLY do not want to make this).   And no, this doesn't taste like coconut.   If you are worried about it just up your goat cheese to 16 oz. (1 1/2 of the goat cheese logs I used would probably be pretty close) up your sweetness levels and mess with it to make it a more "traditional" style of cheesecake.  I just plain couldn't take that much goat cheese in one sitting and I like how the coconut cream mellowed out the flavor of the goat cheese so the butternut squash could come through.

This is cow dairy free (at least with the cookies I used for the crust, but it'll depend on what you use for cookies if the ENTIRE dish is cow dairy free) and contains coconut and butternut squash and is free of refined sugar (I grated my palm sugar myself ;) so we can lie to ourselves and say it is healthy...right?.

So, away we go!

No-Bake Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Goat Cheese and Coconut Cream Cheesecake

For the Crust:
  • 1 Cup Gluten Free Cookie Crumbs (whatever you like, I used some shortbread cookies I tried to make...don't ask...and turned into a cookie-plate and crushed those with a meat mallet.  Gingerbread cookies or chocolate would be pretty good with this too).
  • Coconut Oil (I used about 1/4 of a cup or so) in it's liquid form

For the Filling:
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1 cup of warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 Cups Butternut Squash Mash, cooled to at least room temperature.
  • 1 Container Goat Cheese (I used Kirkland Brand) 10.5 oz, at room temperature
  • 1 Can Coconut Cream left in fridge at least 8 hours, preferably overnight
  • 3/4 Cup Palm Sugar (Regular Brown can also be used if you don't care about the refined sugar thing)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ginger
1.  Open can of Coconut Milk and scoop out solid state cream and place in bowl.  Reserve 1 cup for this recipe (use the rest with the coconut milk in the can for smoothies :).  Set aside to warm up a bit while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

2.  Prepare your gelatin and set aside to let it do it's voodoo.

3.  Line a 8 inch round cake pan or a spring form pan (if you can FIND yours) with parchment paper (trust me...coconut oil will solidify in fridge and then stick, so you want added protection here).  If you're not worried about your crust coming out in one piece (or forget that coconut oil when placed in fridge will solidify to sticky like I DID) than don't worry about the parchment paper.  Take cookie crumbs and place in bowl and then drizzle coconut oil while stirring with a fork until the mixture clumps and can be stuck together with your hands (it'll hold it's shape but still snap apart when you manipulate it a little). Press into the bottom of your pan of choice to form cookie crust.

4.  And here's the hardest part.  Take everything but the gelatin and put into a bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix until everything is WELL combined and smooth (mine took about 3 or 4 minutes on low to medium speed).  Mix up gelatin to get the chunks of gelatin off the bottom of the bowl and then dump it in with the rest of your ingredients and, once again, mix well until everything is well incorporated.  Now is the time to taste (no eggs to worry about here ;) and see if you'd like to tweak the flavor to your liking. 

5.  Pour into your prepared pan and then place in fridge to solidify (mine started setting up almost immediately and took about 2 hours to get to cheesecake eating time).

6.  Serve with coconut cream or however you want to "fancy" it up.
Enjoy all!

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