Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Low-Fat Baked Cheesecake

 I have modified an original recipe taken from the cookbook "Symply Too Good to be True" No. 3, by Annette Sym. This cheesecake is enjoyed by all who taste it, and I prefer it to the higher fat versions - try it and see what you think.

(1) Cake base:
  • 15 plain sweet biscuits/cookies (wheatmeal, arrowroot, etc.)
  • 3 Tablespoons skim milk
  • cooking spray
  1. In a food processor (or with a rolling pin) crumble the biscuits, then add milk and blend together.
  2. Coat a 22cm (8-9 inch) springform cake tin with cooking spray, and press the biscuit mix into base, using the palm of your hand.
  3. Refrigerate while you are making the filling.
(2) Filling:
  • 125g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 500g plain low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon rind, or to taste (I use more)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sultanas or dried cranberries
  • 1 apple chopped (berries or apricots are nice too)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar (or substitute some of the sugar for raspberry or apricot jam)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 Tablespoons plain flour (if using jam as part of the sweetening, add 1 tablespoon flour extra
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C fan forced, or 180 degrees otherwise.
  2. In a clean food processor bowl, add the cheeses, rind, lemon juice, essence, and sugar, and process until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add eggs and combine well.
  4. Add flour and combine well.
  5. Add sultanas and chopped apples and mix in by hand.
  6. Pour mix over the biscuit base.
  7. Bake for approx 1 hour until set.
  8. Remove from oven and gently release the springform to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Leave the cake to cool on a cake rack before removing the base. Place the cake on a plate and refrigerate until nicely chilled.
  9. While the cheesecake is cooling, process the berries until smooth to make a sauce/coulis. You can add a little icing sugar and lemon juice if necessary, but I don't usually do this.
  10. Serve the cake on a nice plate, with a little sauce drizzled on top, and pour some extra sauce over each slice served.
  11. If the waistline is not a concern, it is also nice to serve with a little whipped cream, but not essential for enjoyment of this dessert.
Note: For the cheesecake pictured, I substituted 1/3rd cup raspberry jam for some of the sugar, added an extra tablespoon flour. To serve, because it was a special occasion I thinly spread whipped cream on top, and then fresh berries. 
Another Variation: If you haven't got ricotta cheese you can substitute this for low fat cream cheese, more cottage cheese, or even half cream cheese, half yogurt - it's hard to spoil this recipe!

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