Lee works in our accounts section. He is lots of fun to work with, and really cares about helping out, even if our business colleagues are sometimes unappreciative of his efforts. Lee is on a diet and looks wistfully at my cakes each week, so he asked if I could make something low fat so that he could have some. Having recently acquired a second hand copy of Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts, I was very happy to oblige. Lee selected Alice's Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake, which as you can see from the photograph above, is a rather gorgeous looking dessert.
You can make your own low fat cheesecake as follows:
2 cups low fat cottage cheese
250g light cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa, sifted
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons hot water
4 tablespoons crushed chocolate biscuit crumbs
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line the base of an 8 inch spring form pan with a circle of baking paper, and spray the sides with canola oil. Wrap the outside of the pan tightly in 3 layers of alfoil.
Blitz the cottage cheese in a food processor for 3 minutes until totally smooth (this is the secret of the dish, according to Alice). Soften the cream cheese by warming the cream chese in a micriwave on high for about 30 seconds, and stir until smooth, then add to the cottage cheese in the food processor with the eggs, sugar, vanilla essence, lemon juice and salt. Blitz the mixture on the food processor until smooth.
In a jug, whisk together the cocoa, coffee, sugar and hot water. Take a cup of the cheesecake batter and add to the chocolate mixture, and stir until combined.
Pour three quarters of the white cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Next, pour the chocolate cheesecake batter into the middle of the white batter, so that is forms a circle of chocolate on top of the white, but leaving a thick ring of white batter surrounding it. Finally, take the last of the white cheesecake batter and pur it into the centre of the chocolate batter, leaving a thin ring of chocolate around the last white addition. Next, get a thin knife or skewer and make circular swipes through the batter to marble the colours (but don't over-mix unless you want an all-chocolate cheesecake!).
Boil a kettle of water. Put the cheesecake pan into a baking dish, and pour boiling water around the cheesecake into the baking dish (carefully so as not to get any into the cheesecake itself) to a depth of 3cm. Carefully slide the baking dish containing the cheesecake and water into the preheated oven, and bake for around 45 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven, take it out of the oven dish and place it on a wire rack to cool. Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, cover and chill it in the refrigerator for at least half a day.
To serve, release the cheesecake from the springform pan and press the crushed biscuit crumbs evenly around the sides of the cheesecake (which is admittedly a rather messy and wasteful task). Cut the cheesecake with a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry between cuts for a smooth, even finish.
While this cheesecake is not, in my view, as good as the full fat version, it is really delicious, and looks amazing. One colleague told me that she liked it better than the full fat equivalent, which is terrific. Accordingly, even if you are counting fat and calories, you don't have to miss out on favourite desserts like cheesecake - which is good news for all of us.