My hubby and I think that Valentine's day is a bit cheesy, that's why we celebrate every year with a hearty piece of cheesecake.
I always felt that Valentine's day is another way to spend money and not really show your love. But the truth is that gastronomic wonders are being created by chefs and cooks all around the world for this specific day. And if you love good food and chocolate just like me and Sakis, then you'll enjoy this day.
Valentine's day is mostly filled with flowers, chocolate, candies, and baked goods so an absolute sugar rush. But you can easily celebrate it by having a healthier type of dessert, and yes, it is still a delicious one.
Cheesecake is mostly Valentine's day dessert for us and this recipe is healthy and yummy. Creamy and delicious, made only with honey and a gluten-free crust, it has us coming back for a taste each year.
Why cheesecake for Valentine's?
Did you know that cheesecake is really an ancient Greek dessert? The earliest mention of a cheesecake is by the Greek physician Aegimus (5th century BC). And as Greeks, we like to follow tradition!
Although Valentine's day is not a Greek tradition, many people celebrate it worldwide. For some reason, we always celebrate it only with food (no cards, no gifts, no flowers). And the last few years, it is with a piece of cheesecake. This cheesecake recipe is delicious, so we stuck with it.
Ingredients for the hearty Valentine's Cheesecake.
Cream cheese: My favorite brands are Arla natural (no additives at all), Mon Chou original, and Philadelphia original. None of them contains carrageenan (E407), which can cause many health problems, especially inflammation.
Oats: For the base, I use (certified gluten-free) oats to make the cake gluten-free. That also makes it higher in fiber than the typical base.
Sweetener: I use honey (flower) and dates (Medjool), always natural sweeteners. The honey can be substituted with maple or agave syrup.
Berries: Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, red currants, you name it. Use your favorite berry type (or all of them like I did) to make a sauce.
Nuts: I am using hazelnuts in the base. I think that hazelnuts highlight perfectly the flavor of cocoa, vanilla, and berries but you can use any type of nut that you like. Almonds are a great alternative.
Eggs: I use organic eggs, and other than the cream cheese, they are the basic ingredient of the cheesecake helping it rise and become extra creamy.
Tips & tricks
Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. This helps the cheesecake to bake and rise evenly, and also it doesn't collapse when it starts cooling.
To ensure that the cheesecake isn't lumpy, all of the ingredients should be at room temperature.
Do not overmix the batter otherwise more air is incorporated into the batter and the cheesecake can crack or sink after baking.
Overbaking the cheesecake can lead to cracks. Bake until the edges are set and the middle is still wobbly.
How to serve the hearty Valentine's cheesecake
Serve the cheesecake cold right out of the fridge. Top it with:
- Fresh berries
- Extra berry sauce
How to store the hearty Valentine's cheesecake
Store the cheesecake in the fridge in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
Other delicious Valentine's day options
If you are a chocolate lover then try this:
Hearty Valentine's Cheesecake
- 20cm (8 inch) - 22cm (9 inch) springform pan
For the sauce
- 50 g/1.8 oz raspberries
- 50 g/1.8 oz blueberries
- 50 g/1.8 oz blackberries
- 50 g/1.8 oz red currants
- 21 g/1 tbsp honey
- 7.5 g/1 tbsp cornstarch
- 15 ml/1 tbsp lemon juice
For the base/crust
- 80 g/2.82 oz unpitted Medjool dates
- 135 g/1 ½ cup rolled oats gluten-free
- 70 g/2.46 oz raw hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 60 g/2.11 oz butter melted
For the cream/filling
- 400 g/14.1 oz cream cheese
- 125 g/4.14 oz sour cream
- 175 g/6.17 oz mascarpone
- 120 g/4.23 oz honey
- 3 large eggs organic
- 40 g/1.41 oz cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparing the sauce
- Start with the berry sauce.
- Puree the berries in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, and pour it into a saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat, add the honey, and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the cornstarch, diluted with the lemon juice.
- Whisk the sauce and simmer while stirring, until it has slightly thickened. Set the sauce aside to cool.
Preparing the base/crust
- Line the bottom and sides of the springform pan with parchment paper.
- Put the hazelnuts, rolled oats, and dates into a food processor, and blitz until finely grounded.
- Add the melted butter, honey, and cocoa powder, and process until the mixture has the texture of wet sand. It should be crumbly, but when pressed, the ingredients should stick together.
- Transfer the mixture into the springform pan, spread it evenly with a spatula, and press.
- Wrap the outer skirt of the springform pan with aluminum foil.
Preparing the cream/filling
- Preheat the oven at 165ºC (325ºF).
- Use a mixer with the wire whip and mix the cream cheese, mascarpone, and sour cream, until smooth. Scrape down the mixer bowl with a spatula.
- Add the eggs to the mixture, one by one, at low speed, and scrape down the mixer bowl every time.
- Pour the honey and lightly blend until incorporated.
- Add the cornstarch to the batter and blend at low speed, until just mixed in. Be careful not to overmix it.
- Pour the mixture through a sieve over the crust, to ensure that there are no lumps. Tap the springform pan lightly against the counter, to remove any bubbles.
- Using a clean syringe, pipe small circles with the sauce over the cheesecake.
- Use a toothpick and run it through the center of each circle, to create a heart. Don't lift the toothpick until the end of the line.
- Place the springform pan into a roasting pan. Carefully pour 2-3cm (1 inch) boiled water in the roasting pan, and place it in the oven.
- Bake the cheesecake for 50-60 minutes, until the outside is set and golden, and the center is slightly wobbly (jiggles).
- Remove from the oven and water bath, and let it cool completely (room temperature) in the springform pan. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Remove from the springform (use a knife if needed to loosen it up), cut it into slices, and serve.
Servings: 1 (138g) | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 20.5g | Saturated Fat: 10.1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 3.4g | Sugar: 20.12g | Vitamin A: 596IU | Vitamin C: 5.1mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1.8mg | Manganese: 1.064mg | Copper: 0.274mg