Up until very recently, I was sure that making meringue without refined white caster sugar was in the too hard basket... but this works a treat! It doesn't quite have that same centre softness that traditional meringue has - it's more like a light, crunchy cookie - but it's the perfect texture to enjoy alongside the creamy cheesecake.
Heads up - this is a significantly more complicated recipe than I would typically post, but if you're like me and sometimes love a bit of quality time in the kitchen to produce something that looks and tastes pretty impressive, give it a stab! :-)
Make sure you use a good quality, organic, sustainable gelatin for this (see below).
NOTE: You will need to start this the night before you want the finished product.
Crust 1 1/2 cups almond meal 1/4 cup cacao 3 tbs coconut oil 2 tbs rice malt syrup
Cheesecake 2 eggs, separated, at room temperature 3/4 cups milk 1 tbs gelatin powder 2 cups natural yoghurt 3/4 cup rice malt syrup 1/3 cup strong espresso, chilled 1/2 tbs vanilla Pinch of salt
Meringue 3 egg whites, at room temperature 3/4 cup coconut sugar 1/2 tbs tapioca flour
Chocolate Topping 100g dark chocolate (sweetened with coconut nectar, such as Loving Earth chocolate) 1 tbs coconut oil
- Using the natural yoghurt and some muslin, make your cream cheese following this recipe. You will need overnight for this.
- Lightly grease a 20cm spring form cheesecake tin with coconut oil.
- Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl, then transfer to the tin. Use your fingers to press the mixture into the base of the tin to form an even layer. Use the bottom of a water glass to compress the mixture further, so it is very tightly packed. Place in the fridge to chill.
- While the crust is chilling, prepare the cheesecake. Place the egg yolks and milk in a saucepan. Beat lightly, sprinkle with the gelatine and warm over low heat, whisking gently until gelatin is dissolved. Be careful not to over whisk, as this will form bubbles in your cheesecake.
- Combine homemade cream cheese, syrup, coffee and vanilla in a blender or foodprocessor, and process until smooth.
- Add the yolk mixture and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place inrefrigerator to chill.
- While the mixture is chilling, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with thepinch of salt until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the cream-cheese mixture, and pour into the cake tin, on top of the crust. Chill for 2-3 hours, or over night.
- While the cheesecake sets, make the meringues. Preheat the oven to 120C fan forced, and line a cookie sheet with baking paper. Prepare a piping bag with a wide nozzle.
- Using a high powered blender, grind the coconut sugar and tapioca flour until a powder forms. Take care not to over grind, otherwise the heat from blending can create moisture and lumps.*
- Beat the room temperature egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the coconut sugar mixture gradually, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all the sugar is added, switch off the mixer and quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix for another minute.
- Transfer meringue mixture the piping bag and pipe small puffs onto the cookie sheet, roughly 5cm in diameter. You should get about 15-20 puffs (you will only need 8, but make extra so you can pick the best ones for your cake).
- Cook meringue for 1-1.5 hours, or until meringues are dry to the touch. Allow the meringues to cool completely while still in the oven, with the oven door kept ajar. This will prevent cracking.
- While the meringues are cooling, prepare the chocolate sauce. Prepare a piping bag with a narrow nozzle. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together.**
- Allow the chocolate to cool to room temperature before decorating your cheesecake (it will not harden, due to the coconut oil, but continue to stir it with a spatula as it cools to help keep it at a smooth consistency).***
- Take out the cheesecake and, using a thin, clean spatula, gently coax the sides of the cake away from the tin. Release the spring form lining and gently lift the cake off the tin base.
- Transfer the chocolate to the piping bag, and carefully design the top of your cheesecake in any way you wish.
- Once completely cool, select the 8 meringues closest to each other in size and shape, and use these to line the outer rim of the finished cheesecake.
Tip: If refrigerating leftover cheesecake, remove the meringues and place in an air tight container. Refrigerated meringues will soften and lose their crunch.
*Tip: If this happens, pass the icing sugar through a fine sieve before use.
**Tip: To avoid over cooking the chocolate, remove from the heat of the boiler just before the chocolate has completely melted, and use the residual heat to finish.
***Tip: While the chocolate is cooling, place the cheesecake in the freezer (just for 15 minutes or so) to ensure it is extra cold, and therefore will allow the chocolate to set immediately upon decorating. This will avoid smudges.
Enjoy! :-) x
Feel a bit weird using gelatin? It's actually remarkably good for you, especially if you suffer from gut or joint issues. Sarah Wilson's brand is Australian, 100% gelatin, and is made from ethically and sustainably pasture-raised cows. Buy it here: