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[Recipe] No-bake reduced-sugar Blueberry Cheesecake

Reduced sugar blueberry cheesecake
One of the things that motivate me to cook and bake new recipes is the challenge of doing something out of my comfort zone (and attempt to reduce the sugar content in the desserts I make). I have to admit that it is oftentimes a hit or miss but there are recipes that I revisit. This is one such example. This is loosely based on my previous calamansi cheesecake recipe but with an easier-to-make graham crust and with toppings straight from the can. With the majority of the elements of this dessert readily bought grocery items, I had limited control in making this low in sugar content. Maybe I can use sugar-free cookies and make my own fruit preserve toppings next time. This is quite easy to make although it does require chilling in the refrigerator overnight to set properly. One thing I did better this time around is to make sure that the heavy cream is whipped to stiff peaks before folding (chilling the heavy cream beforehand really helps). It results in a much lighter cheesecake compared to my first no-bake cheesecake experiment.

One note about using monkfruit sweetener: I reduced the amount I used in the recipe significantly compared to typical recipes. I personally think that monkfruit as a sweetener has this tendency of becoming sweeter and sweeter as you have it as if it accumulates in your taste buds and intensifying the sweetness the more you eat the cake. If anybody has any experience baking with this sweetener, please leave a comment if that is also your experience.

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2 packets of Philadelphia Cream cheese 
Sweetener equivalent to 1/3 cups sugar (I used monk fruit sweetener with Erythritol)
10 grams unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
Canned blueberry topping
15 pcs Graham Crackers (or more depending on the size of the pan and the thickness of the crust you like)
1 cup heavy cream (well chilled all-purpose cream will do in a pinch but it may take more time to whip it to proper consistency but it is possible)
1 tsp powdered cinnamon 

1 tsp salt


Crust: I actually used 5 pcs of chocolate-flavored graham crackers and 10 pcs original flavor in mine. Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the graham crackers. In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers, softened (to room temperature) butter, salt, and cinnamon powder. Mix it well by repeatedly pressing the mixture with a fork until it forms a crumbly mixture but can be packed when pressed. Add some more butter if the mixture is too dry and doesn't clump together when pressed. Line the bottom of a pie pan (in my case I used a 7" springform cake pan) with wax or parchment paper (it is perfectly fine to use wax paper since we won't actually be baking this). Form the crust by pressing the crumbly mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place the pan with the crust in the refrigerator while you are making the cheesecake mix as instructed below.

Dissolve the gelatine in 1/3 cup of cold water and let it stand for about 10 minutes or so to let it bloom. Gradually warm this mixture until all of the gelatine has dissolved. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and the sweetener with a stand mixer until smooth light and fluffy. Using powdered sweetener/sugar helps with a smooth consistency. I had to beat the mixture some more since the sweetener I used was in granular form but it eventually dissolved into the mixture. Transfer this into a mixing bowl.

In the stand mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until you form stiff peaks (chilling the cream beforehand really helps achieve this faster). Be careful not to over whip it though as you will probably end up with homemade churned butter.

Fold in the gelatine and whipped cream into the beaten cream cheese mixture until all the 3 components are properly incorporated.

Carefully place the mixture on top of the chilled crust making sure that no air bubbles are trapped into the mixture. Cover the top of the pan and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.

On the next day, carefully run a knife around the edges of the pan before releasing the springform pan. Pour the blueberry filling on top letting some of the syrup drip along the edge to create an aesthetically pleasing effect.

Nutritional information (per serving): based on 12 servings per recipe
(approximated based on the ingredients used at the time I made this and may vary depending on the actual ingredients you use if you make your own version of this dish)
Calories = 372
Fat = 25.2 grams
Cholesterol = 55.6 mg
Sodium = 597.8 mg
Potassium = 0.3 mg
Carbohydrates = 29.5 grams

Protein = 6.8 grams

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