Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baked Strawberry Cheesecake (Gluten free)

Two words that make me very happy - cheese and cake... They make you happy too, don't they? Huh? Huh?

(Due to my intolerances, I haven't been able to enjoy these two "words" much. BUT, a few weeks ago I had my allergies retested and the levels of my intolerances were much lower, some have even been eradicated, except for gluten.) 

Time for cheese and cake, I'd say!

Keeping with the theme of gluten free cheesecakes, I wanted to make something extra special.

The special ingredient I decided to use in the base of my cheesecake was Nomu's Sweet Rub. (Excellent idea, if I could find it!) I just knew that the sweet, vanillary, spicy combination would complete my cheesecake and compliment the strawberry compote.

Pic taken from website

Cue "The Great Sweet Rub Run."


The scene opens to the baking isle of Pick 'n Pay in Constantia Village with a somewhat overeager Leaine casually looking for the sweet rub - but alas, no sweet rub to be found here.

Pan across to Woolworths. 

Leaine begins to panic slightly as she asks if they stock the Nomu sweet rub, only to be told that they do not.

Leaine gets into her car and thinks of the next stop - being new to Cape Town only increases the challenge.

Fade to black.


The scene opens to the baking isle of Checkers, with a nervous Leaine, trying desperately to act casually and failing, as she runs up and down; a bead of sweat lingering on her forehead. You guessed it - no sweet rub here either.

Close up of Leaine's face as the thoughts start racing through her head.

Fade to black.


Close up of Leaine's hands and phone.

Finally, Leaine has a brain-wave and sends off a frantic tweet to @NoMUChirps "Paul, this is an emergency. Where can I buy your sweet rub?" Instant reply from @NoMUChirps "If it is urgent, Cape Quarter Spar or Giovanni's." 

Close up of Leaine doing a happy dance.

Fade to black.


Awesome!! Leaine decides to phone the Spar just in case - lucky she did, as she was told that they do not have it in stock. As she dials Giovanni's, her heart is beating in her throat and she is silently sending out a message to the ether to please have it in stock. 

We have a winner - Giovanni's is a life saver - the precious sweet rub is in stock.

The relief is painted all over Leaine's face.

Fade to black.


A quick trek from Tokai to Seapoint and back (the things we do for the love of food) and Leaine is now ready to begin her cheesecake.

The cheesecake works out amazingly well.

Everyone claps and cheers.


Baked Strawberry Cheesecake


125mls (1/2 cup) melted butter
200g ground almonds (for added texture use 100g ground and 100g crushed)
2tbs Nomu Sweet Rub

4 large eggs
1 cup fructose/ sugar
75mls (5tbs) lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
3 x 250g tubs of smooth cottage cheese
250mls (1 cup) cream
125mls (1/2 cup) Glutagon cake flour
1tsp Nomu vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 °C 
Grease a round 23 cm loose-bottom cake tin with a little of the melted butter
Mix the remaining butter with the ground almonds and press the mixture onto the bottom of the cake tin 
Whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 10 minutes or until pale yellow 
Add the lemon juice while beating 
Stir in the cottage cheese, cream, lemon zest and flour and mix well 
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes 
Reduce the temperature to 140 °C and bake for 1 hour or until the filling has set 
Switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven

Strawberry Compote:

250g strawberries, chopped
2tbs Verlaque Honey Infused Balsamic Reduction (Wild Flower Honey and Rooibos)
2tbs fructose/ sugar
1/4tsp Nomu vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to a pan and cook until the strawberries have softened and become jam-like
Allow to cool and spread over the cheesecake


    1. LOVE a movie with a happy ending! Yours had just the right amount of love, stress, tension, passion, motivation and, of course, that all-amazing ending! Well done - and boy oh boy, does that cheesecake look worth it! Delicious!

    2. Thank you so much for the amazing comment Linda - appreciate it! :)

    3. Thoroughly enjoying your blog, and this cheesecake looks amazing!
      I've recently had to start looking for '-free' recipes and was wondering if there's any advice or ideas that you could share on making a dairy- and gluten-free baked cheesecake?

    4. Hi Celeste - thank you so much for the visit. I haven't attempted to make a dairy-free baked cheesecake yet, although I am eager to give it a try. My immediate thought would be to replace the cheese with tofu, to use soya cream instead of the cream and to use Blossom margarine instead of butter. I will give this a go and let you know how it turns out.

    5. I've been looking around for soya cream cheese (read about it on some other overseas sites), but I'm starting to doubt that we have any such cool items available in SA! I've never used tofu before, so I'd have no idea how to go about it, but I'm *very* keen to find out how it works out :)

    6. oh this looks delicious!! (i am a HOPELESS COOK - as you may know) but my mom is gluten intolerant so i'm handing this over to her!! :)

    7. Thank you Che :) I doubt that though, you've just been having a bit of bad luck ;) Hope your mom enjoys the cheesecake :)