Trying out Paleo Traditional New York Style Cheese Cake

Okay for Easter I decided to make my first ever New York Style Cheese Cake by using the recipe at the bottom of this blog. Okay, I have challenged myself once again! I’m going to adapt this recipe to Paleo. I’m going so far as to make my own yogurt and cream cheese with coconut milk. Preparing the Sugar for this recipe is tricky, you have to use granulated sugar, so what kinds are there out there? There’s coconut palm sugar, maple granulated sugar, date granulated sugar, all are brown in color and chunky, this will make the cheese cake not as white and traditional NY cheese cake, but it will still taste as good. I took the granulated coconut palm sugar and put it in a food processor or coffee grinder to make it more powdery.

I experimented making cream cheese. Took coconut milk yogurt put it in cheese cloth hung it over night and it turned out great except I could only find sweetened and it had coconut shavings in it I used it on fresh strawberries and it was fantastic.

Below is pics of the cream cheese I made.

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I will post step by step recipes under my recipe section of the blog within the few days, I’m waiting for my yogurt cultures to come so I can start making the yogurt.

First I have to make some Paleo Yogurt and Sour Cream as follows:

Paleo coconut yogurt
makes a little over 3 cups
Coconut milks and creams vary hugely in their fat content which really tells you how much water has been added. I’ve used unsweetened coconut ‘cream’ that has about 20% fat. Higher fat coconut cream will give a thicker, richer yoghurt. And of course you’ll get a less thick yoghurt with a lower fat coconut milk.
Don’t stress about it too much but you might need to try a few different brands before you find one you’re happy with.
2 cans coconut milk or cream (400g / 14oz), approx 20% fat
40g (1.5oz) egg white powder
1 teaspoon yoghurt culture
1. Combine coconut milk/cream and egg white powder in a medium saucepan. You’ll have some lumps.
2. Gently heat to 110F.
3. Place 1 tablespoon coconut mixture in a clean cup. Add the culture powder and stir until it forms a (lumpy) paste. Add a little more coconut milk then stir the culture into the main saucepan.
4. Pour into glass jars and top with a lid.
5. Place in a chiller/insulated bag and leave in a warm place for about 12 hours.
6. Pop in the fridge and leave for another day before eating.
VARIATIONS
no egg white powder? – You should be able to find it online or a cake decorating supplier. Whole egg powder would be fine, although it will change the flavor. Don’t use fresh egg whites as they may contain salmonella. The yoghurt is still lovely without it, just a lot less thick.
vegan – skip the egg white powder and be prepared for a runnier (but still delicious!) yoghurt
short on time? – the yoghurt can be eaten after the first 12 hours, but the flavor and texture are thicker and more yogurty after the extra day in the fridge.
using powdered coconut milk? – mix it up with boiling water then cool to 110F. Then add the egg white powder and proceed as per the recipe.

Paleo coconut milk sour cream:

16 oz of the Paleo prepared yogurt
2 ¼ tsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions
1. Drain off any excess liquid from the yogurt.
2. Stir the yogurt and lemon juice together in a small container.
3. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (preferably longer) before using.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
TRADITIONAL NEW YORK STYLE CHEESE CAKE
5 large free range eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)

Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan. This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie. Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300* Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy. Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth.

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes.

Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching. Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean. Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours. Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled. For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

**My Notes: I can’t stress enough how important it is to let those first 4 ingredients in this recipe come to room temperature. I’ve hurried the cream cheese and have had unsightly lumps of it in my batter.

**I’ve italicized the mixing instructions to emphasize blending the ingredients to achieve the desired texture.

** Have a platter or other large dish that will hold the hot and drippy springform pan after you remove it from the bain-marie. When you remove the bain-marie from the oven, the water is very hot, so please exercise extreme caution.

Before removing the roasting pan, have a plan on where you are going to set it so you are not holding the pan, desperately searching for a clear space to set it down. I find it impossible to remove the cheesecake from the bain-marie while it is in the oven, so I remove the entire set-up from the oven. I make every effort not to burn my wrists or the back of my hands while removing the springform pan; I haven’t been burned yet, but I have soaked the edges of the potholders in the hot water, and it’s amazing how fast that steaming water is wicked up to my tender fingers!

**When you first remove the cheesecake from the oven, it looks light and puffy, and there may be some hairline cracks in the top. Do not despair. As the cheesecake cools, it will gently deflate and the hairline cracks disappear.

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