Friday, March 2, 2012

Healthy-ish Marbled Cheesecake

Not that this is super-healthy or anything, but still, it's a lighter take on traditional cheesecake. This has lower-fat versions of the usual cheeses and subs in Greek yogurt and silken tofu so it's got a little protein and it feels less like a brick in your stomach and more like a dessert you could (sort of) feel virtuous about eating.

After my sister-in-law's sweet sister tried it at a birthday party this week, she said the magic words after I announced that it was my latest attempt at healthy-ish cheesecake: "I wouldn't have known that if you hadn't told me." Exactly the effect I wanted...

Healthy-ish Marbled Cheesecake

1 1/2 sleeves honey graham crackers (crushed)
1/4 teaspoon Maldon salt
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup olive oil margarine (melted) + 1 tablespoon for pan

1 cup low-fat organic sour cream
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
heaping 1/2 cup goat cheese
8 ounces (1 block) of low-fat neufchâtel cheese
4 ounces (1/2 block) silken tofu
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Maldon salt
fine zest from one organic lemon

Chocolate Swirl:
1/4 cup Dagoba cacao powder
2 tablespoons cane sugar

1/4 cup whipping cream
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
fine zest from one organic lemon

Set out the goat cheese and neufchâtel cheese for 20 minutes at room temperature before you begin so that they can soften. Mix graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, margarine, and water. Butter a springform pan and press crust into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the sour cream, Greek yogurt, and goat and neufchâtel cheeses in your stand mixer and mix on medium for 5 minutes or until there are no lumps.

Next, run the silken tofu through your food processor and drizzle in canola oil to emulsify it as it whirs. Add it to cheesecake batter in stand mixer and mix on medium for about 3 minutes or until it looks smooth.

Add eggs one at a time to the batter and mix on medium after each addition. Add honey, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix one last time. Reserve one cup of batter in another bowl and add the cacao powder and sugar; mix this up for the chocolate marbling step. Slowly pour vanilla cheesecake mixture into your crust. Add chocolate in spoonfuls to the top of the vanilla cheesecake and swirl it around with a knife. Bake for 1 hour or until middle is set and not jiggly; allow to cool on the countertop before setting the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 4 hours or, even better, overnight.

After chilling and before serving, vigorously whisk up the whipping cream, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Spread whipped cream on top of the cake to mask any cracks from baking.

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