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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cheesecake Recipe - A Healthy way and Merry Christmas


As promised here I am with a baked goodies recipe, a cheesecake recipe for this Christmas season. I always try to tweak little bit traditional recipes to adjust our own taste-buds, if it involves cooking some high-calorie recipes. However in contrast, many puritans like my Ma abide by the rules of making any recipe, that may include cheesecake recipes as well,if she wish to make it someday.
Anyhow what should matter is the outcome of the recipe weather it was edible or not, and rest is well sorted out then.Actually this healthy version of traditional cheesecake recipe, got mentioned here as our dear daughter has asked me to make it again and when I assemble this cheesecake, she also wants to help me out.With schools closed for this holiday season, we need more these easy recipes to channelize their energy.


Chocolate lemon cheesecake, now who doesn’t like cheesecakes, everybody does. It’s the urge to have that delicious bite of cheesecake which makes me go round and round the desert aisle of super-markets. Many times I do pick them up and then again, put it back to the shelf reading the food label and the calories that comes with it. No, I am against crash –dieting and in fact dieting as such, a practice I am totally against of. I believe and have seen that the impact of crash-dieting is worse. Eat all, but in moderation, and in many servings or portions that is divided along the entire day. And which should have a healthy addition of some sweetness as well.
Actually when it comes to reading the food label, it has been my curiosity forever, what goes into the making of the food or the method it followed weather it’s baked or fried etc. So, as a practice I always read the food label, if I do happen to pick any ready-made desert or chocolates from supermarkets. So many times even if the green sign is there- indicating suitable for vegetarian, it does have pasteurized free-range egg/egg yolk/whites or related things. This I have understood that may be this is due to the cultural ideology differences, as we don’t count egg to be vegetarian, but here people don’t consider egg to be non-vegetarian. That’s another topic; we will have a discussion some other day, today we will try to make a healthy alternative to high-calorie cheesecake recipe and that too eggless.
Coming to various cheesecakes, there are chocolate cheesecakes, then strawberry cheesecake and what not, with so many choices, one tends to get confused. But when it comes to making that famous cheesecake in comfort of my home, I always tweak in the content for the filling and the base. After all home-cooking is what one should prefer to eat, and ones own preference for ingredients.


Traditional cheesecakes as we all know are high calorie deserts. As its Christmas season, everybody likes having baked goodies as sweet treats and I am not an exception. Although I have tried to cut back some calories in traditional cheesecake recipe. This recipe is adapted version that I happened to read many eons ago in a cookbook by American Heart association. If you can have a look, then perhaps you may find some copies in Amazon. That book had many other tweaked recipes with healthy alternatives for many high-calorie recipes.Over a period of time, I have tweaked , reduced the content for filling and the base as well.
I made it ,but with what-ever was available in my pantry. More it ended like a chocolate cheesecake recipe as I had put generous amount of chocolate shavings as topping.
Few months back made honey lemon cheesecake as well with the same recipe but instead of chocolate as topping, I happened to drizzle, honey generously over the cheesecake and decorated with lemon julienne  Here is a slice of that cheesecake.Will post the detailed recipe some -other day-



Now coming to the recipe for the day,when I checked my pantry, I had whole-meal bread, quick Scottish oats and some tea-time Marie biscuits which formed the base of this cheesecake, a great healthy alternative to shortbread or butter biscuits.
Then when it came to the filling, I had about ¾ tubs of 300 g of low-fat soft cheese from Kraft. And had some plain set yogurt. Again I reduced the soft cheese content, and mixed in with some yogurt with icing sugar which formed the filling, and rest of the sweetness came from honey not from sugar.
When the cheesecake was setting in the refrigerator, I had no idea how it was going to taste as with so many healthy alternatives, it was heading for a totally new recipe, don’t even know if I can call this cheesecake recipe anymore.
Here is how I did make it-the famous cheesecake.
To the recipe now

Cheesecake Recipe 
Recipe requirements(measurements are approx) 

  • 200 gms of low fat soft cheese 
  • 2-4 tbs of honey
  • 300 gms of yogurt
  • 3 tbs of icing sugar
  • 50 g fresh whole meal bread crumbs or 2 whole meal bread well toasted
  • 25 g of rolled oats or quick oats or about 1 cup of  Oats Granola Cereal)
  • 6-7 marie tea-time biscuits
  • 25 g of butter
  • 25 g of almonds or 6-7 almonds
  • lemon juice from a half lemon
  • chocolate squares for decorations 

Method

  • For the base
  • Toast fresh whole meal bread very well and then grind them in mixer to get fresh whole meal bread crumbs.
  • Now make a uniform crumble mixture in grinder/mixer with well toasted whole meal bread , quick oats- (for the better option use some cereal oats as they are well toasted.There is this home-made cereal recipe which I had used in place of quick oats this time- here), Marie tea time biscuits and almonds.
  • TIP- Sometimes I do add in flax seed crushed or many times in powdered form.
  • Rub butter evenly over this mixture- it will become a crumbly mixture now- more like a damp dough.Or melt butter and mix in butter when grinding the base mixture in mixer/grinder.
  • Prepare a small sandwich tin , spray some cooking oil, now put this crumble mixture over it.With the help of your clean hands, pat and press them evenly all over , so that the crumble mixture becomes a firm base.
  • Preheat an oven at 175 deg C.Bake this base for the cheesecake, for about 15-20 mints or till the entire base is set properly. Since we want to make low-calorie desert, whole meal bread, oats and digestive biscuits are great alternative to traditional cheesecake base.Take out after 15 mints, let it cool off completely.
  • Chill and refrigerate for about 4-5 hrs or the base is set hard.
  • For the filling
  • After many attempts, I do use low-fat soft cheese by Kraft with plain yogurt mixed in. Many times Mascarpone cheese is used for the filling as this gives the richness to the cheesecakes.
  • Make a smooth paste- of low-fat cheese, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add in honey to adjust the sweetness and  icing sugar if you wish to add in. Tip- yogurt further reduces the calorie content of low-fat soft cheese, but then if you are more keen in putting up the entire tub of low-fat cheese, then don’t hesitate as cheesecake without cheese is something unimaginable.
  • Scoop the filling out over the baked base and spread it evenly. Then chill and refrigerate overnight.
  • Other day drizzle some honey and decorate with lemon julienne or with generous amount of chocolate shavings..


Note-
This recipe is a low-calorie take on traditional lemon cheesecake. If you want to make little bit rich cheesecake then stick to full fat soft cheese or Mascarpone cheese  for the filling and high quality shortbread /butter biscuits for the base.
And for more top tiers , double the measurements for the filling ingredients.


Leaving you with some pictures of festive season. 

First a corner of our house with bokeh effect, coming from the lights of Christmas tree. 




And another one, glowing in dark, making us all believe  and cherish....



And a Christmas reef our dear daughter made this year ...




Then some decorations on Christmas tree.Last year we made this Christmas cake- Here





Although past couple of weeks, there have been many shocking incidents happening in the world, which have shaken my faith in humanity, but still I want to believe in, as if trying to cling on to a thin thread. So, when we will celebrate Christmas and new year this time, lets not forget those families who have lost their tender , loved ones and the innocent ones whose life changed in just, one horrific night, possibly with deep permanent emotional scars lingering throughout their life. It won’t be easy for them to be able to live life, as they would have normally used to do earlier.

But despite all this, I still want to believe, believe in humanity. As Christmas and all festive celebrations-Eid, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, Holi, Deepawali and Durga Puja, are all about believing and faith in humanity is part of that belief!




I believe, that there is one supreme power up there, who is guiding and watching all of us and taking care of us in every moment of our life.Amen!!

Wish you all a very happy Christmas, Merry Christmas!

5 comments:

  1. Love the way you turned up the usual high caloric cheesecake in healthy way, i dont mind having half of the cheesecake anytime.

    Xmas wishes Jaya.

    ReplyDelete
  2. super healthy cheese cake. I love to hv a slice
    http://great-secret-of-life.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I too was feeling low to hear the depressing news happening all over around. But all we can do is pray for the parents who lost their young ones. Khoob shundor decorate korecho tree ta. Decorating Christmas tree is so much fun with kids na?
    The Twist in this recipe is remarkable as calorie level has been reduced to great extent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Even I love cheesecake,,,and this one looks delicious,,,,:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi,
    These Sounds like Yummy..!!
    This Christmas Cheese Cake looks delicious and adorable.
    I love cheese cake most. I really appreciate With it.
    I read your recipe its really unique and easy to make.
    Thanks For Sharing....

    ReplyDelete

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