Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guiltless Yogurt Cheese Cheesecake (Cranberry-Orange)

Guiltless Yogurt Cheese Cheesecake

If your a cheesecake lover, you are probably also ware of the staggering amount of calories and saturated fat packed in each heavenly piece. Well I'm here to tell you it does not have to be this way! Introducing Yogurt Cheese. Yogurt cheese is a cream cheese textured cheese made by draining the whey from nonfat, low fat, or whole yogurt. Although for the healthy conscious, nonfat or low fat yogurt are best for yogurt cheese, whole yogurt is still light years better than cream cheese. 
You can use yogurt cheese in equal amounts to replace cream cheese in any recipe, including cheesecake! 

I edited this Cranberry Orange Cheesecake Recipe from My Recipes and was left with a delectable pie, worthy of its place at the Thanksgiving table. 

Recipe:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbs butter
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 tbs of orange juice (if you have orange flavored liqueur all the better)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups yogurt cheese
1 cup sugar
3 whole eggs + 2 egg whites (the original recipe called for 4 eggs, but it is fine to replace one egg with
                                                2 egg whites. Use whichever combo you wish. I would say you could 
                                                replace 2 of the whole eggs [of 4] but any more may affect quality
                                                too much. If you decide to go with 2 eggs+4 whites tell me how it goes)

1 Spectacularly Easy Tart Cranberry-Orange Sauce recipe (if making cranberry-orange cheesecake, otherwise just top with your favorites) 


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a tall 9 inch spring-form pan (at least 1 3/4 in tall, mine is 2 in tall) use some of the melted butter to grease the sides with your hands, then mix together the graham cracker crumbs and the rest of the melted butter. Press evenly along the bottom and about 1/2 in up the sides, I used the bottom of a cup to do this because my hands were to awkward in the pan.  
  3. Bake crust until a slightly darker brown (about 9 to 11 minutes)
  4. In a small pan (or in a bowl destined for the microwave) mix the gelatin with 2 Tbs cold water. Stir over medium heat until dissolved. (or Nuke it for ~30 seconds and stir, going in intervals until dissolved) Remove from heat and add in orange juice (or liqueur) and vanilla.
  5. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer on medium speed to smooth the yogurt cheese. Then beat in the sugar and gelatin mixture until smooth and combined. Slowly beat in eggs one at a time (2 white count as 1) until smoothly blended. Try not to over-beat once eggs are added, eggs incorporate air that can create cracking down the road, not that it really matters if you are smothering the cake with a topping.
  6. Bake at 325 (yes that is cooler than before) for about 45 min to an hour, when center jiggles only slightly when lightly shaken. If you need to bake longer, don't take it out! Also remember while cooling the cheesecake will continue to cook a bit, hence the slight jiggle. 
  7. Cool with pan on cake/cookie rack for about 30 minutes (or until cool). Then refrigerate in pan, uncovered to allow excess moisture to escape.
  8. Blot lightly with paper towels before serving, and top!  If you plan on putting the cheesecake back in the fridge, it may be better to serve the topping on the side. Then put un-topped cheesecake back in fridge, collar back on but not tightened and covered in plastic wrap, this keeps the cake from getting soggy. Also, then everyone can put on their fav topping! You could make a cheesecake bar!

Enjoy!

As you can see, my friends and family approve!

And remember, be creative! use whatever cheesecake recipes you want! Mix some cocoa powder in and get chocolate, or swirl in preserves to get a swirl cheesecake! This is the first yogurt cheese cheesecake recipe I have tried, so I will keep you posted if I find an even better one.

And be sure to comment and share your experiences!

Aloha! Thanks for reading!

!!!!!UPDATE!!!!! I ran out of the cranberry sauce so I topped it with sliced strawberries and a stripe of chocolate whipped cream.... I would make this again just to eat it like this. It was sensational!!!! I can't emphasize how good it was. Here's a picture so you can see:

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