Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2000 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Variations: Healthy Oven Dark Chocolate Cheesecake; Modern Italian Mascarpone Cheesecake
This is not a dense cheesecake, but is a creamy and dreamy one from the beaten meringue added to the cream cheese base. It makes a wonderfully light dessert. Use a springform pan to bake this cake in; I do not recommend baking this is a solid cake pan as it is more delicate than a regular cheesecake and may be difficult to remove.
CHEESECAKE RECIPE HELP /
Kelly Says: "Oh, BTW, we absolutely LOVED that cheesecake. We served it for dessert when we had friends over and they were flipping out that it was reduced fat."
This cheesecake does not crack so it does not need a waterbath, but can be overbaked since it does contain egg whites and cream cheese, so watch it carefully.
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 connected crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces Neufchatel cheese (do not use nonfat cream cheese), at room temperature and well softened
SARAH SAYS: You can use full-fat cream cheese, if desired
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat of regular sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
NOTE: I find it easy to make the crumbs in the food processor. Just pulse till the crumbs are finely ground. Do not over-process.
STEP I: PREHEAT THE OVEN AND MAKE THE CRUST
1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-inch nonstick springform pan with oil.
Do not reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
2. To make the crust, in the springform pan, stir the cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until well combined.
Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set the crust aside.
STEP II: MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING AND BAKE
1. In a grease-free medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at low speed, beat the egg whites until foamy.
Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks begin to form.
2. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks.
3. In another medium bowl, beat the cheese and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula, until smooth.
4. Add the egg whites and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix -- it should take no longer than 10 seconds.
5. Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
6. Bake until the edges of the cake are slightly puffed and very lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
The center will seem somewhat unset, but will firm when chilled. Remove the cake pan to a wrie cake rack.
This photo shows what the cheesecake looks like baked and before the topping is placed on top, Step III.
STEP III: MAKE THE CHEESECAKE TOPPING AND FINISH BAKING
1. Increase the oven temperature to 475 degrees F.
2. Mix the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl.
3. When the oven temperature reaches 475 degrees F, spread the topping over the hot cheesecake.
Return the cake to the oven and cook until the topping looks set around the edges, about 5 minutes.
4. When done, cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire cake rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
5. Remove the sides of the cheesecake pan. Serve chilled. Cut the cheesecake with a sharp, thin knife dipped into hot water.
The cheesecake is perishable and needs to be kept refrigerated, where it will keep for about 3 days. It does not freeze well.
Nutritional Analysis: Per serving - About 278 calories (9 percent from protein; 51 percent from carbohydrates; 40 percent from fat), 6 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fat (6 grams saturated fat), 39 milligrams cholesterol, 257 milligrams sodium
The Healthy Oven Baking Book, by Sarah Phillips, Doubleday, 1999