RACHAEL'S INDIVIDUAL NO-BAKE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE DESSERTS
6 large fresh strawberries, 4 ounces after trimming
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Crumb Crust, optional (recipe follows)

Coarsely chop the berries and place them in a food processor. Add everything but the crumb crust and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Place about 3 tablespoons of the crumbs in the bottom of 6 dessert dishes. Press down to compact the crumbs a little. I used a gravy ladle to press the crumbs which left a nice little indentation for the filling. Divide the cream cheese filling among the dishes. Chill well before serving.

Makes 6 servings
Can be frozen

Crumb Crust:
4 ounces almond flour, 1 cup
2 tablespoons whey protein isolate, vanilla flavor
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/16-1/8 teaspoon salt

Blend all of the ingredients in a small bowl and spread in a greased 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring the crumbs after half the time. Watch closely the last couple minutes; they will brown very quickly. Cool completely before using.

With Crust
With granular Splenda:
Per Serving: 431 Calories; 39g Fat; 12g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 9g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per Serving: 415 Calories; 39g Fat; 12g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 5g Net Carbs

Without crust
With granular Splenda:
Per Serving: 277 Calories; 25g Fat; 5g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 7.5g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per Serving: 261 Calories; 25g Fat; 5g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 3.5g Net Carbs

I pretty closely followed Rachael Ray's recipe, but used liquid Splenda instead of powdered sugar, used a low carb crumb crust in place of the mini graham cracker crusts she called for and omitted the other 6 strawberries that she used for garnish. Looking at the photo of Rachael's on the Food Network site, her filling seems a little fluffier and mounded in the crust. My guess is that the powdered sugar gives a more stable, fluffy filling. The Splenda version is very good, but the filling stays a little soupy. I like it very much though. The strawberry flavor isn't strong, but there's enough that you can tell they're in there and not give the dessert too many carbs. I was surprised at how much the crumb mixture reminded me of graham cracker crumbs, but you can save a couple carbs by leaving them out. The servings are generous and almost didn't fit in the dessert dishes that I used. I will admit that I left a smidge of filling in the food processor work bowl to lick off the spatula.

I had originally planned to use frozen strawberries, but they actually had nice, ripe berries at the store even though it's the middle of January. I'm glad that I did use fresh because I think that frozen berries would make the filling even more soft and runny. If you can only get frozen berries, you might want to add a little unflavored gelatin, that has been softened and dissolved in a little water, to the cream cheese mixture to help it set up a bit. I'm letting mine chill for at least a couple hours and will add an update later to let you know if the filling ever sets up.

UPDATE: The filling never did set up much more so you may want to thicken it with gelatin for a firmer dessert.


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