Monday, August 24, 2015

Coffee and Cream Cheese Pie

 If you know me, you know that I usually choose foods that are low in carbs. Yes, of course I love mac 'n' cheese and pasta and french fries and mashed potatoes, and yes I have a SERIOUSLY insatiable sweet tooth. But for the most part, I leave the carbs for special occasions and holidays. It just works better for me. So you may wonder, then, how can I manage to have friends over for dinner all the time, right? Well, to be honest, it depends. Sometimes, if we're doing a theme, I'll come up with a menu that fits the theme, and usually I can find something to make that works for me and still fits the theme. Most times, it's not the dinner that is the challenge, it's the dessert. The best scenario is when I can make a low carb dessert without anyone knowing that it's low in carbs. (hee hee sneaky, I know!) Once I had a dinner/production meeting and I served whipped Jello Fluff desserts in fancy martini glasses. No one had a clue they were low carb and they got RAVE reviews!
 I recently had a few friends over for dinner and a movie, and this was the dessert I served. BIG huge hit!! It's fluffy and sweet and delicious and rich, and no one had any idea that it was a low carb dessert. Yes, it's a pie, but somehow no one even noticed the fact that there isn't even a crust. I figure it's all in the presentation! I found this recipe on a website called Linda's Low Carb Menus and Recipes. If you're choosing to limit your carb intake you should really check it out. SO many awesome recipes there! So even if you aren't choosing to restrict carbs, I know you'll love this dessert. Make it for your next dinner party. Everybody wins!!

1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup coffee, cold or room temperature
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 cups heavy cream
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra sweetened whipped cream (optional)
Unsweetened cocoa for dusting(optional)

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with 1/2 cup of the Splenda until stiff. Place the whipped cream in the refrigerator until needed. 
In a small pot, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold coffee and let soften 5 minutes. Heat and stir over low heat to dissolve the gelatin completely. Do not boil. You can also dissolve the gelatin in the microwave by heating it about 30 seconds or so on HIGH. Stir until completely dissolved. Stir in the instant coffee granules until dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Add the remaining 1/2 cup Splenda and the vanilla to the cooled gelatin mixture.
Beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Gradually beat the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese until well blended and slightly fluffy. Chill the batter until slightly thickened, about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. Very gently fold in the whipped cream a little at a time. Spread in a greased 9-inch pie plate and chill until set, about 5-6 hours. Pipe with extra whipped cream and dust with a little cocoa, if desired.

If you are not counting carbs and would like to just use sugar instead of Splenda, I'm guessing it will still turn out fine, although I have not tested this theory. Let me know if you do, ok?
This pie has a very light coffee flavor. If you want to bump it up a bit, try using instant espresso granules instead of regular coffee granules.

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