Low Carb Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust
â€¢ non-stick cooking spray, for greasing pan
1 3/4 cups hazelnuts*
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder**
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar substitute (preferably Splenda)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar substitute (preferably Splenda)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
4 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
â€¢ shaved bittersweet chocolate, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325Â°F.
For the Crust: Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, process the hazelnuts to a fine crumb. Add the protein powder, sugar substitute, salt, and butter to the ground hazelnuts and pulse to combine. Press the nut mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and chill for 1 hour.
For the Custard: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until it is completely smooth. Add the sugar substitute and salt and continue beating to combine. Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice and sour cream, then add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth, creamy and uniform in texture. (Note: Do not over-beat after adding the eggs!)
For Baking the Cheesecake: Wrap the outside of the springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, then pour the batter over the crust; bake in a water bath for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, leave the door ajar and allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven until the center of the cake no longer jiggles and the top is set, about 30 minutes to an hour. Place on a cooling rack until the cheesecake is cool to the touch; transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 8 hours or up to overnight. When ready to serve, unmold onto a cake plate or stand and garnish with shaved bittersweet chocolate.
*Note: To toast and skin hazelnuts, spread shelled hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in a 350Â°F oven until the skins crack, about 8 to 10 minutes; roll the hazelnuts in a clean dish towel with a rough surface and rub until skins flakes off. Don’t be concerned if some of the skin stays on - it adds a pleasant contrasting color and flavor.
**Note: Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese-making; it can be purchased at most health food stores.
Make It Ahead: Make the cheesecake and refrigerate up to three days or freeze up to one month. If it is to be made and served the same day, allow 2 hours for baking and cooling, and 8 hours for chilling.
Per serving: 505 calories, 14 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 47 g fat, 22 g saturated fat, 191 mg cholesterol, 416 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.