Family Portrait? Smile and Say Cheese - Cheesecake, That Is

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This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

Every time I do an article on cakes, especially cheesecake, I get a great response from you, my readers:

I gotta make this for Joe’s birthday

WOW! I’m gonna make this

So as an early Easter present (or any holiday you wish to celebrate) I thought I should share some ideas on cheesecake. I am actually quite notorious for my cheesecakes.

Impressive and Intimidating

As it turns out, my dad was a great merchandiser. Who knew? When you walked into our restaurant, the very first thing you got to see was a case full of desserts. My personal favorite was cheesecake. We had cherry cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, pineapple cheesecake and just plain old vanilla cheesecake. Actually they were all the “plain vanilla” cheesecake, just with different toppings. Now the toppings were good but very sugary. I always thought that the fruit glop really got in the way of the flavor of the basic cheesecake. I like the flavor to be in the cake.

Cheesecakes are always show-stoppers, whether for a birthday or for a special dinner. What can be more special than a cheesecake for a holiday dessert?

Cheesecakes are not all that hard to make. Way back, I was scared to make this wonderful treat. All those instructions and warnings about baking them in a water bath, changing the heat in the oven, etc., were far too frightening for me. Then I stumbled across a recipe that did not involve all that fuss and bother, and I've been making cheesecakes ever since.

Diabetes-Friendly, Delicious and Doable

Then six years ago, the other shoe of my life dropped. The test results came back, and like my father, brother and sister before me, I was handed the diagnosis of diabetes.

It took me about a year before I put on my cooking glasses and started taking back what was rightfully mine – my table! Once I figured it out, there was no way, no how I was not going to have a piece of cheesecake (or most anything else I could create). And I mean a piece, not some itty-bitty spoonful while others eat their share. I found a way to make a cake that is still absolutely delicious and diabetes-compatible.

Most chefs will tell you to master one recipe and then make variations on the theme. So this is what happened with my basic recipe for cheesecakes. All of them have one base but with slight changes that are important enough to make them taste and feel entirely different. The only constants are that they are diabetes-compatible, delicious and easy to make.

So from a very basic (low-carb but absolutely delicious) base recipe, I have some variations for you on the theme. I now make amaretto cheesecake, marble cheesecake and chocolate cheesecake, and I am working out a recipe for turtle cheesecake.

My recipe below is for razzleberry (raspberry) cheesecake. It is red and pink and just the ticket for the Easter season. It will top off your family! It may even make someone at your table say: “Really, a person with diabetes can eat something THIS good?”

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT!

Click here for Ward's Razzleberry Cheesecake recipe!

Get more cooking tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.