“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a
good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”  - Bernard Meltzer

Happy Valentine’s Day my dear friends! In the spirit of this mushy, gushy day, I’d like to thank every one of you for reading my blog and listening to my podcast, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts, and for allowing me the pleasure of getting to know you and your “gluten free” stories. You rock my world!

My hubby and I will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in the exact same fashion as we have for the last 11 years. It sounds a bit unimaginative, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Our very first date was Valentine’s Day 1997. Not planned intentionally, it just sort of happened to fall on the holiday for lovers (ahem, awkward!). With every restaurant in the tri-state area booked, we decided to stay in and cook Fettuccine Alfredo together.  So much has happened over the years including our marriage (not on Valentine’s Day) and the birth of our beautiful daughter and amazing son. Throw into that equation a blind dog, a couple of house moves, and a little ol’ Celiac Disease for good measure. Twelve years later (holy moly!) our meal essentially remains the same. The only difference is the fettuccine noodles will be gluten free!

Without further ado, here is my Valentine’s gift to you:

Chocolate Cheesecake with a Cocoa Pebbles Crust

Gluten Free Crust:

25 Health Valley Rice Bran crackers
2 cups Cocoa Pebbles cereal*
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter (melted)

In a food processor grind rice crackers and cereal until crushed & crumbly in texture (resembling ground almond meal). Add brown & white sugar and butter. Mix thoroughly. Press crumbs against the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Place pan in freezer while you prepare cheesecake filling.

*Note: I have had no reaction to Cocoa Pebbles. However, Nature’s Path Koala Crisp Cereal is gluten free as well.

Cheesecake Filling:

1 1/8 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 squares baker’s chocolate
1 teaspoon chocolate extract

Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly incorporate 1 1/8 cup of white sugar, 1 whole egg, 4 egg yolks, whipping cream, cornstarch, cocoa powder, melted baker’s chocolate, and chocolate extract. Mix well.  Add batter to springform pan. Bake in center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I placed a pan filled with water on the rack beneath the cheesecake to eliminate cracking and maintain moistness. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool for at least 1/2 hour.

Chocolate Topping:

4 squares of baker’s chocolate melted
4 tablespoons whipping cream

Combine baker’s chocolate and heavy cream.  Whisk well.  After cooling cheesecake (still in springform pan) for at least 1/2 hour, spread chocolate topping over cake and refrigerate to chill.

Cool cheesecake for at least an hour before removing from pan. Refrigerate prior to serving.