Blackberry Poppy Seed Cheesecake

Coming at you as recipe #21 is another lovely-to-look-at cheesecake.  Cheesecake is simply the bomb diggity.  It pairs beautifully with tea or coffee.  Its the perfect recipe to whip up for any celebration or get together, as its an easy one and always a crowd pleaser.  Plus, the possibilities for flavor combinations are wide open.  Its rich but not overwhelming.  Sweet but not too sweet.  Creamy, totally delicious.

I have been smitten with this particular dessert (OK lets be real, all desserts) since I was roughly twelve years old.  But the moment I truly fell in love with it was at my family’s little cottage where we used to spend a week or two every summer throughout my childhood, right on Lake Superior.  Many of my most loved and nostalgic memories take place with our “camp” (as well called it) as the setting.

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This would be me with my little brother during one of these said camp summers.

During the particular summer when I was first introduced to cheesecake, I was on the cusp of my teenage years, which is a period that comes with more free reign than being a child offers.  I had my own money.  I could actually buy certain things that I wanted, of my own accord.  The power and thrill that came with that, watch out.  I used some of my meager funds to purchase a box of Sarah Lee Cheesecake Bites, which I had never sampled prior to this summer.  Since then, I haven’t looked back.  My love affair with cheesecake has only deepened over the years.

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A man I dated briefly about a year ago nearly caused me to fall out of my seat when he told me during our get-to-know-you conversation that 1. he was a professional chef and 2. his specialty?  Cheesecake.  My jaw dropped.  The one heartbreak from that short and sweet handful of dates with this (another perk, admittedly beautiful) man?  That I never had the chance to sample this supposedly earth moving cheesecake.  Oh, the regret!

Cheesecake is one of my own personal favorite recipes to play with.  Its an easy base recipe, which makes experimenting with different flavors an easy as well as enticing kitchen activity.

My latest creation…(and ah yes, its refined sugar-free as well as gluten-free).

Blackberry Poppy seed Cheesecake

For the crust

2 cups of ground almonds (you can purchase these already ground in the baking aisle at your local grocery store, or you can grind them yourself in a food processor)

½ cup of palm sugar (aka coconut sugar)

4-5 tablespoons of melted butter

 

For the batter

24 ounces of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

3 eggs

2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

½ cup of honey OR 1/3 cup of maple syrup, your choice.

125 grams of blackberries (I used one package of fresh ones)

½ cup of poppy seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/176 degrees C.
  2. First, prepare the crust. Mix the crushed almonds, palm sugar and melted butter together in a bowl using a fork.  Upon being mixed thoroughly, the mixture will form a course meal.  Press into the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan.  Bake the crust in the oven for roughly 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool as you prepare the cheesecake filling.
  3. Mix together the cream cheese, vanilla extract and honey (or maple syrup). I just use a fork, but you can use an electric mixer set on medium speed if you like.
  4. Add each of the eggs, one at a time. Just mix until the egg is combined with the batter.  Then add the next egg, and so on, until all three eggs have been added.
  5. Stir in the poppy seeds with a spoon.
  6. Last but not least, stir in the blackberries gently with a spoon.
  7. Pour the batter onto the cooled crust.
  8. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes.
  9. The edges will appear light golden brown and the center should no longer appear liquidy. It shouldn’t wobble much.  It should be mostly solid.
  10. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool.
  11. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.

This cake will keep for 4-5 days.  It should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

I recommend serving each slice with a fresh drizzle of honey on top, as well as additional blackberries.  So delicious.

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