Thursday, March 10, 2005

Cottage Cheese Cheesecake

I must confess that I am not a huge fan of cheesecake. It's simply too heavy and, more often than not, leaves me with an unpleasant coated feeling in my mouth.
I was flipping through a cookbook - the gigantic and exceptionally well illustrated Ultimate Healthy Eating Cookbook, which I acquired some time ago at a used bookshop - when I was struck by the gorgeous photo of this dessert. I decided to go for it because (1) it required few, ordinary ingredients (2) I had blackberries in the freezer and (3) I had time. Besides, I've always wondered if it actually worked to use cottage cheese in a cheesecake.

Well, it does work. The cake was lovely - very light with a texture (mouthfeel) that reminded me a bit of ricotta cheese. It was very easy and is very low in fat, so I think that I'll be making it again to try out some variations. It wasn't a particularly sweet cake, so make sure your berries are sweet. I'm thinking it would be great with an apple topping, like Angela's Apple topped Cheesecake.
I added a pinch of salt to the original recipe. I'm also not sure if I underbaked it or overbaked it, as I have no clue how "set" is "just set". Jiggly all over like jello, though appearing cooked on top? A bit jiggly in the center? My cake wasn't browned like the photo in the cookbook, but I cooked it for the full time.

Cottage Cheese Cheesecake
3/4 cup cottage cheese
2/3 cup low fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg white
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 - 2 cups blackberries (or other fruit)

Grease and line a 7" round cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
Whizz cottage cheese in food processor until smooth.
Whisk together cottage cheese, yogurt, flour, sugar, salt and eggs until well combined. Add zest and lemon juice and stir well.
Pour batter into prepared tin and bake 30-40 minutes, until just set.
Let cool at least 30 minutes. Serve hot or chilled.
Serves 5-6.
I found it odd that the cookbook actually directed that the cake be served warm/hot rather than chilled. I tried this cake at room temperature, as well as hot and chilled. Chilled was my personal favorite, but it was also quite good when warmed in the microwave (yes, warm cheesecake is the breakfast of champions). The texture was not quite as good at room temperature, so try to heat it or cool it before consuming.