Tags: Buttermilk, Cheesecake, Farmers Cheese, First Love, Graham Crackers, Skinny Cheesecake, Weight Watchers Fresh Meals
For this months Secret Recipe Club, I decided to keep it skinny, since I also happen to be reviewing a few new Weight Watchers Fresh Meals in this post. When I saw this Cheesecake with Sour Cream at Cook Book of Trial and Error, the blog I was assigned for March, I knew I had to try it. Look at how creamy and decadent it looks! Would you believe it has almost 5 times less calories than a full fat cheesecake? Trust me, you’d never know it. It’s lighter in texture, more like a a mix between a ricotta cheesecake and full-fat cheesecake, but the flavor is closer to fatty the cheesecake, I was pleasantly surprised.
I was a bit devious, though. I had a few questions about the recipe and since it’s supposed to be a ‘secret’ when you have someone’s blog, I left an innocuous comment asking those questions. When she quickly responded with the answers (less butter and crumbs in lieu of powder), she asked me to let her know how it turns out. I told I would definitely let her know – 100%. Now, I’m letting her know – It turned out amazing and everyone who tried it cannot believe it’s a skinny cheesecake!
Then again, I didn’t post as Guest or Anonymous, so I’m sure she put two and two together and figured it out. Also, I tried to emulate the cinnamon zigzag in her photo, freehand, but it didn’t quite work out – so excuse the strip that looks like dirt.
That said, please be sure to visit her blog, she’s got some really fantastic recipes!
On another skinny note..
Remember last September when I reviewed Weight Watchers Fresh Meals and Deli Salads? Well, Catherine Bowen Brophy of Greencore/Weight Watchers sent me 5 new fresh meals to try and tell you about. Like I mentioned in the previous review, I like Weight Watchers because it’s a sensible way to diet and the food is delicious and filling. The meals I received, in order from favorite to least favorite, are;
Photos above courtesy Weight Watchers
Beef Steak Tips with Potatoes and Vegetables - This was my favorite of the 5. I wanted to lick the carton clean when I was finished. 20 minutes later I realized I was full and satisfied. This is what I love about Weight Watchers.
Southwestern Style Turkey Chili - I loved the heartiness and flavor of this chili, but it needed a bit more spice. But, again, it filled me up, so that’s a gold star.
Teryaki Chicken - The sauce was really good, and it tasted pretty close to what you might get at a good Japanese restaurant. However, it needed salt and teryaki should never,ever need salt.
Chicken Curry - Again, like with the chili, I felt it needed more kick, but I love really hot and spicy food, so maybe it’s just me. Nice flavor and the sauce was silky.
Wild Alaskan Salmon - This was the least of my favorites. The salmon was bland, dry and the texture not pleasing at all, but, what do you excpect from pre-frozen packaged fish? That’s a tough one to pull off. I wanted to dredge each side in cajun seasoning and give it a quick sear, THEN, smother it with some kind of sauce, but that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? They need to rework this one.
You can always add extra spice to kick up the heat, so I’m giving these 5 new Fresh Meals a 7.5 out of 10, the main caveat being the salmon. You won’t get 5-star caliber food here, but you will get tasty food that fills you up, without deprivation . My favorite diet plan out there, by far.
Before I get to the cheesecake recipe, I’d like to thank my friend, Mandy, from What the Fruitcake?! - for converting the measurements in this recipe from metrics to US for me. Also, to see all the delicious dishes my fellow SRC’ers made from their assigned blogs, click on the blue frog below.
Skinny Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake
Recipe from Cooking with Trial and Error, via her friend’s Mom, with my revisions for an 8-inch springform pan
Approximately 2950 calories, 12 servings, 245 calories per serving
4.6 ounces animal or graham cracker crumbs (I forgot to measure after I weighed, but I will do that later with remaining crumbs)
3 to 5 tablespoons melted butter (it could get too greasy with 5, so start with 3, which worked for me)
1 3/4 cups Farmers Cheese *
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Buttermilk or Yogurt *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
* The Farmer’s Cheese plus buttermilk amounts can be substituted with all Quark or Greek Yogurt – 500 grams total. Next time I’m going to make yogurt cheese with the Greek yogurt, and try this recipe with that instead of the farmer’s cheese and buttermilk. I’m pretty sure it will be closer in texture to full fat cheesecake since it’s creamy. Strain about 600 to 700 grams low-fat or regular Greek Yogurt so you end up with 500 grams yogurt cheese, which is about 2 cups.
UPDATE - I made it with the yogurt cheese and it’s exactly like a full-fat creamy cheesecake. If you use cottage or farmer’s cheese, you get more of a ricotta cheesecake, which is also delicious, of course.
1. Place the animal or graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a clean bowl and drizzle in the melted butter, stirring, until it holds together somewhat. As mentioned above, you shouldn’t need all 5 tablespoons, the cheesecake filling will bind it together when baking.
2. Press the crumbs into a greased 9-inch cake pan – just the bottom. Use the bottom of a glass to really pack it in. Place in the freezer while you make the filling. You can also use a 5”x7” square Pyrex pan, if you want to make cheese cake squares. *I used an 8-inch springform pan, which doubled the baking time. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the cheese filling until uniform and silky. Remove the graham cracker crust from the freezer, and pour the filling on top of it.
3. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degreees F and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Combine the sour cream with the sugar. After the cheesecake has baked for 15 minutes at 350F, remove it from the oven and spread the sour cream on top evenly – be gentle, as it will be slightly jiggly in the middle. Bake for another 5 minutes.
5. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. I topped my mini cheesecakes (I cut them out of the leftover large cheesecake with a round biscuit cutter) with a melange of cut up fruits and honey.
* As i mentioned above, I used a 7 1/2 to 8-inch round springform pan. The baking time was 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, then 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees F, and another 10 minutes with the sour cream topping.
I was not compensated monetarily for my Weight Watchers Fresh Meals review, only sent the meals free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own.