Thursday, May 7, 2009
Yogurt Cheese Cake
Cheesecake is a sometimes treat in our home. We love it but can't justify the calories that it packs. It's my youngest daughters favorite dessert, so I did a test run of a new lower-fat version last evening. The recipe was developed by Gina De Palma and it comes from her book "Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen." Her cake caught my eye because it uses Greek yogurt and mascarpone instead of cream cheese. Both products are available in low-fat versions, so I thought I'd give her recipe a try. I was able to get low-fat Greek yogurt at Trader Joe's and a local grocery store had reduced-fat mascarpone. I decided to use a square springform pan. It's shape makes it possible to cut the cake into smaller pieces and I wanted to get 12 slices from the finished cake. Before I go any further, I must tell you that this is a delicious confection, but there are buts . The cake is less firm than a standard cheesecake. It actually jiggles. I had to cook it longer than the recipe suggested to assure the center of the cake was actually done. Plan to make the cake the day before you want to serve it. Because it was soft and I wanted reasonably clean slices, I froze the cake before slicing. That added more time to my game plan. Would I make it again? Absolutely. I love the texture and flavor of the cake. I plan to do another test run. I want to make the cake in individual custard cups. I know there are petite cheesecake pans, but the portion size is larger than I want to serve. The cake has a gorgeous yellow glow and it looks spectacular with fresh berries strewn around it. I hope you'll try this.
3/4 cup sugar + more to dust the pan
3 cups low-fat Greek yogurt
1-1/2 cups reduced-fat mascarpone or reduced-fat cream cheese
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3 large eggs
6 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1) One day before serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring a kettle of water to a boil. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle pan with sugar, tapping out excess. Wrap outside of pan with foil to prevent water from seeping into the cake. Place springform in a large roasting pan. Set aside.
2) Place yogurt, mascarpone, sugar, and confectioners' sugar in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add salt and vanilla. Beat in whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping bowl as necessary. Pour batter into springform. Carefully fill roasting pan with enough hot water to rise halfway up sides of the springform. Tent pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for 20 minutes more. Remove foil and continue baking until cake is puffed but not cracked, jiggly but not liquid in center, about 25 to 35 minutes more.
3) Turn off oven. Open door and cool cake in roasting pan until water is lukewarm, then remove and cool an a rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove sides from springform just before serving. Yield: 12 servings.