I love Fage Greek Yogurt. I used to buy the 0% tubs at Trader Joe's religiously and never thought my loyalty to the thick, creamy, fat-free, and tangy yogurt would fade. But then, I tried the 2%
Fage Greek Yogurt. Life. Changing. Stuff. I switched to 2% a few months ago and can never go back to the 0%. It's still tangy, but doesn't have that strong tangy bite (not necessarily a bad thing) of the 0% and it is so very very creamy. The richness added by the little extra fat is totally worth the extra 30 calories per serving. You can eat an entire 17 oz tub of the 2% for only 300 calories (not that I recommend eating over a pound of yogurt in 1 sitting)! I do like to sweeten a bit with some stevia, but I like to control the amount of sugar that goes in to yogurt. It's really hard to stomach the artificial taste of Yoplait now that I'm used to plain greek yogurt.
So on to cheesecake.
I was reading one of my favorite baking blogs and saw a cheesecake recipe
that called for the use of Greek Yogurt and I knew I had to try it out. I love cheesecake, but really never eat it b/c, really, who ever has enough room for a slice at the end of a meal? I knew that using the 2% Greek Yogurt would lighten it up considerably, so I got to work on baking my very first cheesecake, just in time for a Mother's Day lunch!
I have made this recipe about 3 times now, and each time, I tried a different variation (all were crustless). 1) Low-calorie version
For this version, I used lowfat cream cheese, 2% greek yogurt, splenda (shame, I know), and egg whites. This resulted in a very tangy tasting cheesecake, but I overbaked it at 50 minutes causing the texture to turn mealy (I don't like this word, it always makes me think of meal worms). Not the most pleasing texture and I wouldn't serve it to strangers, but I still ended up eating most of it as an after dinner dessert during the week. Heck, for only 120 calories for 1/8 (!!) of the cake, I'll take a little graininess in my cheesecake! The texture was firm, like a regular cheesecake, but a tad crumbly from my overbaking. I think using the lowfat cream cheese also added to a more tangier flavor. One thing I really liked about using only egg-whites is that the cheesecake came out a beautiful white color, not that I have anything against yellow =). I bet if I made this again and didn't overbake it, it would turn out drool-worthy (at least for me!)2) Medium -calorie version
For this, I used regular cream cheese, 2 % greek yogurt, 100 grams of sugar and 10 grams of splenda (basically about 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of splenda), 2 whole eggs, and 3 egg whites.
This turned out so much better than the first version. First of all, I planned to take it out 5 mintues sooner, but at 45 minutes, the whole thing was way too jiggly, almost wave-like, so I ended up baking it for 5 more minutes. But this time with the extra fats from the egg yolks, 50 total minutes of baking did not yield an entirely overbaked cheesecake. Although, the edges had a slightly mealy texture, so maybe I should have taken it out at 45 minutes. For some reason, this batter was extremely watery. When I poured it into my spring form pan, it totally leaked out! (I use a Kaiser brand spring form, which are supposed to be leak-proof, so I've since exchanged it for a different one...I must have gotten a fluke!) So I had to transfer it to a glass pie pan. It baked just fine that way. After refrigerating overnight, the texture in the center was smooth and creamy, yet firm. But like I mentioned, the edges got a little grainy. Now at 200 calories per slice (1/8th of the whole cake!) it was really good and not bad at all in the calorie department.
3) High(er)-calorie version (aka, only make when serving to guests)
Actually, even though this is the high calorie version, it still has nothing compared to regular cheesecakes that have like 400 calories for 1/16 of the cake. So, for this version, I basically followed the recipe: regular cream cheese, 2% greek yogurt, 4 whole eggs, 150 grams of sugar (about 3/4 cup).
I also added, in addition to the tbsp of vanilla, a real vanilla bean. I gotta say, the vanilla bean was well worth the cost and effort (effort b/c I had to walk over to whole foods just to pick up the 1 bean and shell out $6 for it). Baking this time was a little weird. I noticed the edges started to crack (very slightly) around 33 minutes, but I thought it would be way too soon to take it out. So at 37 minutes, I did the jiggle test and it just jiggled in the middle. I was a little shocked at this point at how fast this cooked and I really didn't want to have another mealy cheesecake, so I panicked and took it out way too fast, hence the cracking in the photo. Going from a hot oven to an air conditioned kitchen was too much for my little cheesecake to handle. But not a big deal, since I would be covering the entire thing in fruit.
I was worried about it not setting up, but let me tell you, this turned out amazing! It might have been ever so slightly under-baked, but the texture was almost a cross between a firm custard and cheesecake. I hesitate to use the word "custard," b/c it was not runny at all, but it was silky smooth like a custard, but still firm and sliced beautifully after chilling overnight. It tasted like creme brulee and I know the vanilla bean added a whole new dimension to this version. I topped this one with a thin layer of strawberry preserves and fresh berries. Asians dislike anything too sweet, so I refrained from using a nice glaze to make the fruit look prettier. Anyway, I like how fresh, wholesome fruit looks (sans gelatinous glaze) on desserts. So for the final calorie count, each 1/8 slice had 230 calories, plus about 15 for the fruit topping. Totally worth it and it tasted like a million decadent calories!
My entire family loved this and everybody ate a big, fat slice, even after filling their bellies up with a full BBQ lunch. My grandmother said that it was the best dessert I had ever made and that it wasn't too sweet (believe me, not being "too sweet" is a huge compliment). That, right there, is a sign of one tasty dessert!
Labels: Desserts, Greek Yogurt, Mother's Day