Don’t get us wrong, there’s a time and place for traditional cheesecakes, for sure. But after a long day’s work, an hour before a party, or say, 10 p.m. may not be that time, and we won’t even discuss place. You can’t whip up a cheesecake on a whim, in a spur-of-the-moment, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of way – but cheesefake, you can. It’s like cheesecake’s hip, spontaneous cousin who’s always ready to party, even on Monday night. And it tastes so uncannily like cheesecake, you’ll hardly believe your tastebuds.
We’re not sure what we like best about cheesefake. Is it the cool, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth devourability? The easy preparation, so simple that a child (a child of 37, in my case) can make it in under ten minutes while sporting a decent Miller 64 buzz? These are both excellent qualities in a dessert, but our absolute favorite thing about cheesefake is the paradox it presents: a decadently delicious dessert that’s actually healthy. It’s nearly fat and sugar free, and clocks in at around 150 calories per generous serving for the calorie-conscious version, and 180-ish calories for the deluxe, throw-caution-to-the-wind version. If you’re really hardcore about healthy eating, omit the graham cracker crust entirely; that will take each serving down to roughly 110 calories, and save any fruit which finds its way atop, it will be totally sugar free. Booyah!
Strawberries are a traditional accompaniment to cheesecake, and for good reason. Their tart-edged sweetness and juiciness provides the perfect foil to cheesecake’s rich vanilla denseness. If you want your cheesefake to be even more like cheesecake, serve it with sliced strawberries. We like to use the majority of a pint of strawberries for topping our cheesefake, but we can’t resist saving a few for fashioning fancy fan garnishes. They’re a breeze to make – just take a good-looking strawberry and make four or five slices in it, top to bottom, taking care not to cut the whole way through the top and hull. Carefully spread the slices out into a fan. That’s it! It’s an easy way to add festive flair to your dessert, and if you’re already messing with strawberries anyway, it’s hard to resist making them because they’re totally fun.
And now for the recipe! Bookmark it, print it, scrawl it on the back of your electric bill – whatever you do, keep it handy, because you’ll be making cheesefake again and again.
Eat Healthy’s Classic Cheesefake Deluxe
1 package vanilla (French vanilla, if you can find it) sugar free instant pudding mix
1 cup light soy milk or skim milk (but soy milk’s better)
1 cup sucralose (brand name Splenda)
1 8 oz. package fat free cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. container sugar free whipped topping
1-2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice (optional, but recommended)
12 whole graham crackers (6 for the trimmer version, none for the food nazi version)
In a large bowl, stir to combine the pudding mix and the milk. Stir in the sucralose. Add the cream cheese and the optional citrus juice and beat with an electric mixer for about a minute. Fold in the lite whipped topping.
If you’re making the food nazi version, spread the cheesefake batter in an 8″ x 8″ pan and refrigerate it for about an hour to let it chill and thicken. There will be no crust, but it will still be delicious. For the trim version, place six whole graham crackers on the bottom of the pan before adding the cheesefake batter; this will make a bottom crust. For the whole hog version, place the crackers on the bottom of the pan, spread half the cheesefake batter atop, arrange six more crackers on top of that, and finally spread on the second half of the batter. This makes a bottom crust as well as a decadent ribbon of crust running right through the center of the dessert. The graham crackers soften as the dessert sets.
Check out some more choice sugar free dessert recipes!
|Stuff That Works (we know cause we use it!)|
silicone bundt pan
|9 in. springform|| |
silicone baking set