Happy New Year, everyone!
Are you feeling all motivated and inspired by your new year’s resolutions? Check that list twice, like Santa does, and make sure those resolutions are things you really want with all your heart and that they are realistic and achievable. But dream large for the long-term, because our big dreams and visions are the things that remind us of why we do what we do today and tomorrow and the next day and so on …
I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I cannot remember ever doing so. But most years I set myself some goals. Goals that are aligned to a bigger dream that I want to realise. Those dreams usually take time, years to turn into reality, but every year those goals get me closer to that dream.
My first big dream was to be an astrophysicist. I was only four years old when I first declared that was it. Sure, you’re probably thinking that no four-year old child in its right mind would be thinking they wanted to be an astrophysicist but hey, I knew that Starfleet Academy was beyond my reach time wise so I had to have a Plan B. I’m quite serious though. I was four at the time. Yes, I had some obstacles and hiccups along the way but eventually, I realised that dream. I may not be actively engaged in the field of astrophysics research anymore, but nobody can take it away from me. I was and shall forever remain, a scientist at heart (and Starfleet cadet in my wildest fantasies).
My other big dream was to be a chocolatier and patissier. Time may now be against me but I have plans for me to make some forays into that space in 2014 after a long hiatus of some years. Let’s see how we go. I’ve set myself some small, realistic goals for this year and I’ll assess how things work out along the way. But serendipity comes in many forms and this blog is no exception. I have big plans for a special project that I would never have thought of, if it were not for this blog and all the experimentation with protein and macro-friendly cooking. Watch this space, folks. It will either be world domination or bust. But my plans for 2014 are moderate, conservative, and hopefully some good solid building blocks for world domination
Training. I love my training. I really really love my training. I have set some goals for that this year too. I want to keep getting stronger and fitter and more like the mini Wonder Woman I know is lurking inside me! Health and fitness goals are great goals to have. They tend to be the resolutions that many people abandon within the first few weeks of the new year. Not me. I got started on mine in December. They are just that important to me. Not obsessive important, but fundamentally important to who I am, and they are aligned to some long-term dreams I have.
Life goals … well, the events of 2013 have given me cause for some introspection. I want to laugh more, be kinder … to myself and others alike, stress less, and find my confidence and inner spark again. These things sound clichéd. Perhaps they are to some extent. But I think they resonate with most people. At the very least, they can help us focus on the more important things in life – love, relationships, friendship …
What about Chocolate Chilli Mango? Well, yes, for this coming year I have my goals for this too. For the blog, for a number of projects associated with the blog, and hopefully some other cool things that you will love. Some of these I had planned for 2013, but life put a stop to most of them and slowed progress for others to a snail’s pace. It was disappointing but, looking back, I have more clarity now about what I should focus on, and in which order, so perhaps it was meant to be this way.
Always search for the upside of any situation, no matter how dire … and keep your eye on those big dreams of yours, and your progress in check for your annual and short-term goals. Remember, too, that nobody realises their dreams alone. Appreciate and thank those that help you along the way. I have a number of people without whose help I probably would not have dared to dream or set firm goals for the coming year and I am grateful for them all.
Speaking of thank yous … those of you wondering why are there no protein packed, macro-friendly recipes being posted here lately? … you will be thankful for this recipe!
You know my #1 Rule of Protein Recipes: NEVER MAKE DO.
So how about we start off the year on a high? With the best protein cheesecake recipe on this good earth? Possibly the galaxy and beyond …
There are protein cheesecakes. There are good and bad ones. Then there is this cheesecake.
It doesn’t just take protein cheesecakes to another level. No.
It defines a whole new league of protein cheesecake awesomeness.
Try it. Enjoy. Get your year off to a fantabulous start. Thank me later.
The nutritional panel is included right below the recipe, as usual. Just check out those macros. Go on, scroll down. I’ll wait ….
See? I know .. amazing, right?
It’s also free of refined sugars, gluten and is low fructose. I’m all over it for you.
This is a long post, isn’t it?
OK, so a final thank you to all of you who have continued to follow the blog or are newly subscribed, who post so many fantastic comments and feedback on how much you love the recipes, and all the great adaptations of them that you make (I love that!), and to everyone who has posted such kind thoughts and wishes after my father passed away some months ago. You don’t know just how much I appreciated them all.
Now go … to cheesecake and beyond!
This cheesecake is great served on its own or with your favourite fruits, yoghurt, more almond butter, sorbet, or whatever your imagination can dream up that fits your macros :)
If you prefer, replace the sweetener with granulated coconut sugar for a more intense toffee caramel flavour.
1 use Hoppers natural caramel and butterscotch flavours together to create a lovely toffee flavour in the filling. All up, I used about 5-6 grams of the flavour drops for the whole cheesecake. Whatever brand you use, start by adding a little and testing the batter flavour before adding more.
- 150 grams almond flour
- 40 grams almond butter
- 30 grams coconut nectar
- 10 millilitres water
- pinch of sea salt
- 450 grams non-fat quark (or European style cottage cheese)
- 300 grams non-fat Greek yoghurt (I use Chobani)
- 52 grams whole egg (about 1 large)
- 105 grams liquid egg whites
- 100 grams Natvia (or preferred granulated sweetener)
- 50 grams unflavoured micellar casein powder
- 1.5 grams (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla powder or seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
- natural caramel or butterscotch flavour drops (I use Hoppers) q.b.
- 2 to 3 grams sea salt
Preheat the oven to 150℃.
Line the base and sides of a loose-bottomed 20cm cake tin with silicon baking paper and set aside.
Place all the ingredients for the crust into a bowl and combine to form a crumbly but moist mixture. You can either use clean hands or a spatula to do this. Make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Press the mixture evenly into the base of the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
Cover the tin with cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
Place the quark, yoghurt, egg, egg whites, sweetener, casein, and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until combined. Add the caramel flavour drops to taste and the sea salt.
Mix on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and light.
Pour the filling on top of the chilled crust and level the top.
Bake for 1 hour or until the top is just set but the filling still jiggles a little when touched lightly.
Switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 20 - 30 minutes with the door slightly ajar.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Cover with cling film and chill, in the tin, for at least 6 hours or overnight before removing from the tin and serving.
Decorate as desired to serve.
This cheesecake will keep well, for up to one week, covered and stored in the refrigerator.
Who are we kidding? It'll be lucky to last 24 hours :)
This cheesecake is also wonderful if you omit the flavour drops and simply add more vanilla, about 3 grams or 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, or the scraped beans of a whole vanilla pod.
You can create variations by using flavoured casein powders in whatever flavours you love or by substituting coffee, cacao, or other flavours for the caramel drops.
I have included the macronutrient breakdown for the recipe as stated. As usual, please account for any changes or substitutions you make.