Cheesecake of this kind will add the taste of New York to any dining table. Its combination of flavors will make you want to continue infinitely to enjoy it. But how can you reduce the amount of fat in this deliciousness? In order to reduce the fat, the base is a much thinner crust and full fat digestive biscuits were swapped for a reduced fat version. Angela Nilsen replaced the full fat soft cheese of a traditional cheesecake with a light soft cheese. Instead of spooning in rich sour cream she used healthy fromage frais as a substitute instead. By using only whole eggs rather than both whole eggs and yolks, Angela reduced the fat and cholesterol from the unnecessary extras. Finally, to reduce the sugar content she cut sugar both from the base and in the filling too.
For the crust
- 85g butter melted, plus extra for tin
- 140g digestive biscuit, made into fine crumbs
- 1 tbsp sugar, granulated or golden caster
For the cheesecake filling
- 3 x 300g/11oz pack Philadelphia cheese, or other full-fat soft cheese
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- 3 large egg, plus 1 yolk
- 284ml carton soured cream
For the soured cream topping
- 142ml carton soured cream
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to fan 160 C/conventional 180 C/gas 4. Line the base of a 23 cm spring form cake tin with parchment paper. For the crust, melt the butter in a medium pan. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar so the mixture is evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.
- For the filling, increase the oven temperature to fan 200 C/conventional 240 C/gas 9. In a table top mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, then the flour and a pinch of salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle twice.
- Swap the paddle attachment for the whisk. Continue by adding the vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, scraping the bowl and whisk at least twice. Stir the 284ml carton of soured cream until smooth, then measure 200ml/7fl oz (just over 3⁄4 of the carton). Continue on low speed as you add the measured soured cream (reserve the rest). Whisk to blend, but don’t over-beat. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy.
- Brush the sides of the spring form tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet. Pour in the filling – if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife – the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to fan 90 C/conventional 110 C/gas 1⁄4 and bake for 25 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that’s creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.
- Combine the reserved soured cream with the 142ml carton, the sugar and lemon juice for the topping. Spread over the cheesecake right to the edges. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges. Unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath.
Recipe source: BBC Good Food Magazine