Cheating with Cheescake
by Steven Raichlen


On the menu:

New-York Style Cheesecake
Ricotta Cheesecake



New-York Style Cheesecake

Rich, creamy, and delectably tart, this New York cheesecake is everything a cheesecake should be. Yet it contains only 7 grams of fat per serving.

Serves 10 to 12.

Ingredients

1 pound low fat cottage cheese (1 percent)
1 pound low fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, plus 4 egg whites (or 1 cup Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

for the topping:
2 cups no fat sour cream
1/3 cup sugar

1 8 inch springform pan, lightly sprayed with oil

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (The rack should be set in the lower third of the oven.) Bring 1 quart water to a boil. Wrap a piece of foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. (This prevents water from leaking in.)
  2. Puree the cottage cheese in the food processor, scraping down the sides. This will take 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and puree until smooth. Add the sugar and puree. Add the eggs, egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt and puree. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Tap the pan a few times on the work counter to knock out any bubbles.

  3. Set the pan in a roasting pan in the oven. Add 1 inch boiling water to the pan and bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream and sugar. Spoon this mixture on top of the cheesecake. Continue baking the cheesecake until set, 10 to 20 minutes longer. To test for doneness, gently poke the side — when the top no longer jiggles, the cheesecake is cooked. Another test: an inserted skewer will come out clean when the cheesecake is cooked. Do not overcook, or the cheesecake will become watery.

  5. Transfer the cheesecake to a cake rack to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold. To serve, run the tip of a small knife around the inside of the pan. Unfasten the sides.

Note: many people like to serve cheesecake with strawberry sauce — made by boiling strawberries with a little water, sugar, and cornstarch.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 322
Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Sodium: 440mg
% Calories from Fat: 20%
% Calories from Saturated Fat: 9%

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Ricotta Cheesecake

Italians make a wonderful cheesecake, using ricotta in place of the cream cheese. (I add a little cream cheese here for extra richness.) The pine nuts and candied citrus peel give this cheesecake its uniqueness and pizzazz.

Serves 12 to 14.

Ingredients

1/4 cup marsala or other sweet wine
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 pound low fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2 pounds low fat or no fat ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, plus 5 egg whites (or 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons egg substitute)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup diced candied orange peel, lemon peel, or a mixture of both
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1 8 inch springform pan, lightly sprayed with oil

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Pour the marsala over the raisins in a small bowl and let soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. (The rack should be set in the upper third of the oven.) Bring 1 quart water to a boil. Wrap a piece of foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. (This prevents water from leaking in.)
  3. Puree the ricotta in the food processor, scraping down the sides several times. Add the cream cheese and puree until smooth. Add the sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and salt and puree. Add the eggs, egg whites, lemon and orange zest, and vanilla and puree. Toss the raisins and candied orange peel with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Add the raisins, peel, and pine nuts to the batter and run the machine in short bursts to mix. (Do not puree: you want these ingredients to remain whole.) Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Tap the pan a few times on the work counter to knock out any bubbles.
  4. Set the pan in a roasting pan in the oven. Add 1 inch boiling water to the pan and bake the cheesecake until set, 40 to 60 minutes. To test for doneness, gently poke the side — when the top no longer jiggles, the cheesecake is cooked. Another test: an inserted skewer will come out clean when the cheesecake is cooked. Do not overcook or the cheesecake will become watery.
  5. Transfer the cheesecake to a cake rack to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold. To serve, run the tip of a small knife around the inside of the pan. Unfasten the sides. Cut into wedges for serving.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 340
Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Sodium: 225mg
% Calories from Fat: 34%
% Calories from Saturated Fat: 16%

Note: using non-fat ricotta reduces the fat to 6 grams and the saturated fat to 2 grams — 21% of calories from fat and 6% from saturated fat.

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About Steven Raichlen

Steven Raichlen is the author of 20 books, including the IACP/ Julia Child Award-winning Barbecue Bible and the new Barbecue Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades (both published by Workman) and the High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking series, which won two James Beard Awards. He recently created a Barbecue University at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. You can reach him at his web site: www.barbecuebible.com.

He has appeared numerous times on national television, including The Today Show and Good Morning America as well as CNN and The Discovery Channel. Raichlen lives in Coconut Grove, Florida, with his wife Barbara.

 




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