Keto Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

By Rachael O’Connell, ND

Adapted from a few different Maria Emmerich recipes
(grain free, nut free, gluten free, keto friendly)

EQUIPMENT:

  • 8 inch springform pan and a rimmed baking sheet
  • Gram scale if you’re into measuring like a pro (essential in baking)
  • Measuring spoons/cups, a couple of hand whisks, and spatulas for scraping
  • Little bowls/dishes for gathering pre-measured ingredients (thank me later)
  • A stand mixer is best but hand mixer works well too if you don’t mind it
  • A small saucepan and a deep medium sized saucepan
  • Parchment paper
  • Cooking spray – I use organic avocado oil spray (or you can use butter)

COOK TIMES: 

  • PREP: 20 minutes to gather and measure ingredients
  • 10 minutes for the crust
  • 5 minutes for the caramel
  • 10 minutes for the cheesecake
  • 55 minutes in the oven to cook at 325ºF
  • 4 hours to cool in the turned-off oven with door cracked
  • 4 hours or overnight to chill

YIELD:

One 8-inch cheesecake (12 servings)
Nutrition per slice: Kcal: 407, Fat: 41 g, Net Carbs: 4 g, Protein: 6 g

GATHER ALL YOUR INGREDIENTS:

Measure and put each ingredient into separate bowls for quick access. Take care not to forget which is which. I find this step helpful so I’m not measuring something while something else is burning on the stove. I prefer to weigh many of the baking ingredients I use for accuracy and consistency. If there’s no weight listed, I didn’t weigh it! Grams (g) and milliliters (mL) are equivalent on a gram scale.

DARK CHOCOLATE CRUST:

  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter (53 g)
  • 1½ ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (84 g)
  • ½ cup powdered allulose (96 g)
  • 1 teaspoon stevia glycerite (5 mL)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon dutch, unsweetened cocoa powder (5 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 mL)
  • ½ teaspoon pink salt

CARAMEL SWIRL:

  • ½ cup salted butter (120 g)
  • ½ cup powdered allulose (96 g)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (120 mL)

CHEESECAKE FILLING:

  • 32 oz cream cheese (896 g) (soften at room temp for 2 hours)
  • ¾ cup powdered allulose (144 g)
  • 1 teaspoon stevia glycerite (5 mL)
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream (60 mL)
  • 1/4 cup of water (60 mL)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 mL)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (optional)
  • Juice of half a lemon, about 1 tablespoon (15 mL)
  • ½ teaspoon pink salt
  • 3 large eggs

METHOD:

HEAT your oven to 325ºF.

OPTIONAL PRO STEP: WHIP THE CHEESE:

  1. If you have a stand mixer, put your cream cheese into it and let it whip for about 15 minutes so it’s super smooth. In a stand mixer, you can leave it whipping on its own while you prep your springform.
  2. Scrape down the sides and beater halfway through so you get it all. Lumps are no fun in cheesecake. 
  3. If you don’t have a stand mixer, skip this step but DO make sure your cheese has been sitting at room temp for a couple hours so it mixes nicely.

PREP THE SPRINGFORM:

  1. I hate losing any bit of my hard earned cheesecake, so I do this. You don’t really have to do this, but good luck without parchment!
  2. In your springform, spray some cooking spray or smear with a tiny amount of butter, enough to stick parchment to it. 
  3. Cut parchment to make a circle the size of the bottom of the pan. I do this by folding a square of parchment down into sixteenths or 4 folds in half (remember making paper snowflakes?) and cutting at the 4 inch mark, unfolding and I have a circle the right size for my pan bottom. 
  4. Cut two more pieces of parchment roughly 4x the height of your pan and fold them in half so you get a clean, sturdy edge. 
  5. Place the two big rectangles around the edges of your pan, folded edge down, so the paper comes up the sides. Trust me, it’s so nice to have a beautiful cheesecake without a bunch of cuts on the sides of it after baking. It also helps reduce top-cracking.

START ON THE CRUST:

  1. Heat butter on high heat in a small saucepan. Whisk and let it come to a boil, watch for specks of brown. Note that the sound will go from a loud boil to a very quiet, almost silent sound as the butter fluffs up. This is when you can ruin it, so use your whisk to see what’s happening under the foam on top! Once you see some rich brown (not black) and it smells amazing, immediately remove from the heat and pour into a heat safe dish to stop the browning. 
  2. Allow 1 minute to cool.
  3. Add the chocolate to the butter (don’t burn the chocolate), stirring constantly. When the chocolate is melted, add the allulose and stevia. Let cool in the fridge.
  4. Use this cooling time to make your caramel!

MAKE THE CARAMEL:

  1. Before you begin to make the caramel, make sure you have everything ready to go – have the cream and the allulose next to the saucepan in separate little dishes, ready to put in.
  2. Heat butter on high heat in a DEEP medium sized saucepan. Whisk and let it come to a boil, watch for specks of brown. Note that the sound will go from a loud boil to a very quiet, almost silent sound as the butter fluffs up. This is when you can ruin it, so use your whisk to see what’s happening under the foam on top!
  1. Once you see some rich brown under the foam, and it smells amazing, immediately add the allulose and whisk until fully melted (about 1 min). Add the cream to the pan and boil for 1 minute (it will boil up hugely so be careful). Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.
  2. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, and then pour into a heat safe dish and set aside to cool while you make the cheesecake filling.

BACK TO THE CRUST:

  1. Get your chocolate mixture out of the fridge. 
  2. Add the egg, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Whisk it really well until it’s glossy and roughly the thickness of brownie batter. 
  3. Place the mixture in the prepared springform pan, spreading it with your spatula to cover the bottom completely. 
  4. Set the pan in the fridge or on top of an icepack if you don’t have space in the fridge while you make the filling.

MAKE THE FILLING:

  1. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, allulose, stevia, cream and water, vanilla bean powder, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt until very well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again to make sure you get all the stuff evenly mixed.
  2. Add the eggs you’ve cracked into a separate bowl to prevent shells getting into your cheesecake. Mix well, until smooth and glossy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Place your springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet for more wieildiness (so you don’t spill it or dislodge the bottom of the pan).
  4. Pour your batter into your prepared crusty-crust pan (now be careful not to dislodge your springform pan and spill your filling causing weeping and sadness, because cheesecake should be fun).

DO THE SWIRL:

  1. Pour the caramel you made in swirls around the top of the cheesecake filling. Note that it will drop below the surface the faster you pour it, so if you want more inside the cheesecake go faster and more on top of the cake, go much MUCH slower. Have fun with it though, because you can’t really do it wrong. 
  2. Use a wooden skewer, a butterknife, a spatula, or whatever other implement to make designs in the top. Again, can’t really do this wrong. Just be careful not to scrape the crust at the bottom and you’re golden.

BAKE THE CHEESECAKE:

  1. Put the whole baking sheet with the springform pan on it into the center of the hot oven (you don’t need a water bath if you let it cool in the oven very slowly by the way – and you will get no cracks). 
  2. Bake for 55 minutes.
  3. Once the timer goes off, check for the jiggle (you know the one, the edges are still stuck to the pan and the whole middle jiggles adorably). 
  4. Turn off the oven heat, leave the cheesecake in there with the door cracked using a towel lodged in the door. If you have kids, you may need to warn them not to mess with the oven. I just have cats and they usually leave it alone. 
  5. After 4 hours in the cooling oven, remove the cheesecake, set it on a big plate, and cover loosely. I use a silicone thingy, but you can use plastic or foil with a couple holes poked in it, or if your fridge doesn’t smell like garlic like mine does, you can leave it open. We just want to cool it completely without it taking on fridge smells or being wet from residual cheese steam. 
  6. Once cooled, cut and serve and enjoy! 
My finished cheesecake in all its delicious beauty.

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