Creamy Baked Cheesecake

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These past few weeks I have felt like I am trying to catch a cold, only I hover in limbo continuously, never actually getting sick but never feeling completely well either. Since my hospitalization in October I’ve had to get my blood drawn every week or two weeks to check my inflammation levels and to monitor how my body is responding to all the different medications I’m now on (Remicade, Mercaptopurine, and Allopurinol). It’s annoying but also comforting because it can catch changes really fast and confirm my own guesses about what is going on. Two weeks ago I had to start taking fiber supplements and my body had to go through another adjustment, one that it did not like. It has gotten better but my last blood test on Saturday showed that my inflammation levels jumped out of the normal range again, confirming my suspicions.

Creamy Baked Cheesecake with a Cherry Glaze
Creamy Baked Cheesecake with a Cherry Glaze

As usual, food is my haven, inspiration, hope, and distraction. I usually try to stay away from sweets when I’m going through a flare or a decline in health. I often feel that they exacerbate my symptoms. I wanted to treat myself though, and when shared with my family I usually get two or three servings out of a dessert, which isn’t too excessive. Also my curiosity was killing me. I wanted to know if the Creamy Baked Cheesecake I used to bake could be converted to SCD and still taste amazing.

Creamy Baked Cheesecake with a Cherry Glaze
Creamy Baked Cheesecake with a Cherry Glaze

I have always felt that the world falls into two categories:  those who hate cheesecake and those who love it. Among those who love cheesecake, there are those who love plain cheesecake and those who love fancy cheesecake. I consider plain to mean completely unadorned of fruit or other dressings (except for the standard sour cream topping). Fancy for me means anything from a simple fruit topping to an elaborate Oreo cheesecake creation.

I am a lover of plain cheesecake. It is already rich and decadent so why add more? Plus, this is a really good recipe that comes from my Nana (again). It has been known to convert haters to lovers. However, Valentine’s Day is approaching and I’m always game to try something new, so I decided to not only convert the old Creamy Baked Cheesecake to SCD but to also add a cherry glaze on top.

A close up of the Cherry Glaze
A close up of the Cherry Glaze

As far as desserts go, cheesecake is super easy. Combine + Bake = Done. Making the cheesecake SCD adds more steps but it is still simple. You need 2 cups dripped yogurt drained for 24 hours to attain the consistency of cream cheese,  homemade sweetened condensed milk (yogurt, honey, and water reduced down to the consistency of the store bought stuff), and 1 cup french cream for the topping. These are the most important components of the cheesecake and take some planning (no instant gratification). Once you have those, it becomes an easy matter of mixing and baking.

First, make the sweetened condensed milk by combining 2/3 cups honey, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons yogurt, and a 1/2 cup water in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat.

Combine yogurt, honey, and water to make sweetened condensed milk
Combine yogurt, honey, and water to make sweetened condensed milk

You have to stir frequently for about 20 minutes, which is when it starts to darken in color and thicken. Don’t cook it long enough where it becomes like a caramel or a candy though. When it is completely cool, you should still be able to pour it, but it will be thick and slow.

sweetened condensed milk
Sweetened condensed milk
sweetened condensed milk
Sweetened condensed milk

After you have made the sweetened condensed milk and it is cooling, make the crust. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 cup hazelnuts, 2 cups almond flour, 4 tablespoons honey, and 6 tablespoons cold butter (diced) into a food processor and pulse until the batter is smooth.

Crust ingredients pulsed in food processor until smooth
Crust ingredients pulsed in food processor until smooth

Pat evenly onto the bottom of a spring form pan.

Pat and spread the crust batter onto the bottom of the spring form pan
Pat and spread the crust batter onto the bottom of the spring form pan

Bake for 20 minutes until it is a light golden brown color. Le the crust cool in the refrigerator while you mix the filling ingredients.

Baked cheesecake crust
Baked cheesecake crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When I did this I baked it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 15 minutes and it was still only firm around the edges. I tried to pour the french cream topping on and part of it sunk into the cheesecake! I raised the temperature to 350 degrees for 10 minutes and that did the job. Raising the temperature to 350 degrees in the beginning will hopefully reduce the baking time but check it every ten minutes after the first 30 minutes just to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Combine the 2 cups dripped yogurt, cooled sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3 eggs, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into the spring form pan and bake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Baking cheesecake
Baking cheesecake

Once the cheesecake is firm (it will still jiggle a little though), combine 1 cup french cream, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and then pour it on top of the cheesecake. Put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Let the cheesecake cool until it is at room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (but preferably overnight) before serving.

If you know you are a plain cheesecake type of person and don’t feel like trying something new, stop here. It tastes amazing without adding anything more. If you are a fancy cheesecake person, onward!

Put 32 ounces of frozen cherries, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2/3 cup honey in a medium sized saucepan. On medium heat, cook until the honey is completely melted and the cherries are soft and warm/hot (10 to 15 minutes).

Pour into a high speed blender and mix on high until completely smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Add the 2 strips of orange peel, cinnamon stick, and 1 tablespoon whisky. Bring the mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the tea bag and let it simmer for 3 minutes before taking out.

Keep cooking the glaze until it reduces down and thickens. Taste frequently and pour some of the glaze on a small plate occasionally and put in the fridge to test the thickness. You want it to set so that it does not roll off the surface of the cheesecake when you take the spring form away.

Okay, I lie. It will roll down a little - but not a lot.
Okay, I lie. It will roll down a little – but not a lot.

Taste frequently because the 2 strips from the orange peel can become the dominant flavor. After fifteen minutes, I chose to strain out the cinnamon stick and orange zest/peel and continued cooking the Cherry Glaze down until it reach the right consistency-about 15 to 20 more minutes.

Pour the Cherry Glaze into a glass container and let it cool enough so that it is slightly warm and still easy to pour. Slowly pour on the cheesecake and spread it evenly across the surface. Put in the fridge overnight and serve the next day.

Creamy Baked Cheesecake with a Cherry Glaze
Creamy Baked Cheesecake with a Cherry Glaze

If you happen to be going to any Valentine’s Day dinners, potlucks, or parties you can put the cheesecake in the freezer for a couple of hours and then cut it into little squares to make appetizer-size servings. It is always a big hit and they (sadly) disappear so that you are left with no leftovers.

Creamy Baked Cheesecake

Rich and decadent, this Creamy Baked Cheesecake with a Cherry Glaze is perfect for a Valentine's Day treat.
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs

Ingredients

Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • 3/4 cups honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons yogurt

Crust

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter diced

Filling

  • 2 cups dripped yogurt drain it for 24 hours to get cream cheese consistency
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

French Cream Topping

  • 1 cup french cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cherry Glaze

  • 32 oz frozen or fresh cherries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cups honey
  • 2 small strips of orange peel keep it very thin and try to only get the orange skin and not the white pith
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon whisky
  • 1 tea bag plain black tea like Lipton

Instructions

Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • First make the sweetened condensed milk. Combine 3/4 cups honey, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons yogurt, and 1/2 cup water in a medium sized saucepan. On medium heat, stir until combined. Continue stirring frequently for twenty minutes until the mixture begins to darken and thicken. You want it to reach a consistency where when cooled it is still able to be poured out of a container but is thick. This takes 20 to 25 minutes and should be equal to 1-14 ounce can of Sweetened Condensed Milk.
  • Once the mixture has reached the right consistently, pour into a glass bowl and let it cool.

Crust

  • Make the crust second. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  • Pat batter into a 9-inch spring form pan until it is spread evenly. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until it becomes a light golden brown color. Let cool completely.

Filling

  • Now for the filling. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the dripped yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, salt, and eggs in a medium sized bowl. Using an electric beater, mix until smooth. Pour into the spring form pan and put in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes.

French Cream Topping

  • Combine french cream, honey, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and mix until combined.
  • After the cheesecake has baked for 55 to 60 minutes and is firm (it will still jiggle but the surface will be solid enough to pour stuff on top without it sinking), pour the french cream mixture onto the surface. Make sure it is evenly spread across the whole cheesecake. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Take the cheesecake out and let cool until it has reached room temperature. Then place it in the fridge. Cheesecake is best if it is allowed to rest overnight but wait at least six hours before serving. If you are going to put the Cherry Glaze on top, wait until the cheesecake has reached room temperature before pouring it on top.

Cherry Glaze

  • Put 32 ounces of frozen cherries, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2/3 cup honey in a medium sized saucepan. On medium heat, cook until the honey is completely melted and the cherries are soft and warm/hot (10 to 15 minutes).
  • Pour into a high speed blender and mix on high until completely smooth.
  • Pour back into the saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Add the 2 strips of orange peel, cinnamon stick, and 1 tablespoon whisky. Bring the mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tea bag and let it simmer for 3 minutes before taking out.
  • Keep cooking the glaze until it reduces down and thickens. Taste frequently and pour some of the glaze on a small plate occasionally and put in the fridge to test the thickness. You want it to set so that it does not roll off the surface of the cheesecake when you take the spring form away. Taste frequently because the 2 strips from the orange peel can begin to become the dominant flavor. After fifteen minutes, I chose to strain out the cinnamon stick and orange zest/peel and continued cooking the Cherry Glaze down until it reach the right consistency-about 15 to 20 more minutes.
  • Pour the Cherry Glaze into a glass container and let it cool enough so that it is slightly warm and still easy to pour. Slowly pour on the cheesecake and spread it evenly across the surface. Put in the fridge overnight and serve the next day.
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Desserts

Join the Conversation

  1. Jenni Sillito says:

    This cheesecake looks amazing! I am making it for a group, and have a few questions to make sure i dont mess it up:) 1. I’ve never dropped my yogurt before- how much should I drop to yield 2 cups, dropped. 2. Do you use large eggs? 3. French cream: just yogurt made with heavy whipping cream, correct? And then dropped? (I’m still a little new to SCD) Thanks so much!

    1. *dropped, not dropped. Although thankfully, I’ve never dropped my yogurt either?

      1. ?? Dang autocorrect! I’m trying to say “dripped”

    2. Hi Jenni, lol autocorrect is so annoying! Anyway 1) I would use 5 cups to be on the safe side. You’ll probably have extra but I always like to be safe, especially since that’s something that has to sit for a while. Just the other day I used 2 cups yogurt and got exactly 1 cup dripped yogurt. 2) The size of the eggs isn’t too important. I use the standard sized medium eggs. 3) Correct, french cream is just yogurt made with heavy whipping cream! You’ll do great, I hope you enjoy it!

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