a fortnight two weeks since I’ve been craving cheesecake. A nice big slice of yummy cheesecake. My craving definitely explains why I’ve been to Panera Bread just about every morning this week to order a bagel with plain cream cheese. Or maybe it’s because I miss my hometown and all the delightful foods — cheesecake of course – New York has to offer.
Cheesecake is so rich, creamy and satisfying. But it’s also loaded with fat and calories. So to please my taste buds and my waistline, I decided to make a healthier version of the popular dessert. Instead of using a graham cracker crust I used roasted almonds, Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and reduced-fat cream cheese. I also opted for single-serve portions instead of the standard 9-inch cake. MMMM!
For the cheesecake (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- (1/2 cup) FAGE plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the crust (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup if almonds, ground in a food processor
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
Set your oven to 425 degrees while you mix all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor. I grounded the almonds first and then added in the remaining items until they were at a consistency I could firmly pinch together with my fingers. Then I filled the baking containers with 1/2 inch of that crust mixture and baked for 18-20 minutes. You can use ramekins, but I made my own baking cups by cutting parchment paper into strips, wrapping them around a can and stapling them together. That idea came from Savory Reviews.
For the cheesecake I beat the cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, added sugar and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes more. I then reduced the speed to low while I added eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. I then raised speed to medium, dumped in the yogurt, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Then I beat for 3 minutes and divided the batter into the baking containers and cooked for 25 minutes. Let the cheesecakes cool for 30 minutes and then refrigerate until you are ready to serve.