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June 16, 2012

Classic Cheesecake

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Just like how I developed a liking for the taste of dark chocolate after my milk-chocolate-obsessed childhood, I developed a liking love for cheesecake.  I used to hate the creamy texture and the tangy flavor of cheesecake, I preferred all things baked such as cakes, cupcakes and cookies... I also preferred all things chocolate.

But I've changed and for the better.  I crave cheesecake just like I crave cake.  Probably because now I know that cheesecake can actually be a healthy, balanced dessert that also tastes good!  Scratch that.

I'm probably infatuated with cheesecake because it can be healthy, balanced, and taste oh my goodness ahhhmazing.  I'm sorry, I'm just a little cheesecake happy right now.  Aka, picture me with cheesecake all over my face......

I am so pleased with the result of this dessert, and apparently so is everyone else I shared it with!  Two bites later, I regretted sharing it at all... because I kinda wanted it all to myself.

This is a simple, yet satisfyingly indulgent dessert that doesn't need any frills to please, all it needs is a crust, a filling and fruit topping!  My mother, a cheesecake hoarder/maniac fanatic, even said this tasted like real cheesecake:

     "It has the perfect level of sweetness, a slight tang, and rich and creamy texture."  - Momma

Everything a cheesecake should have!

Classic Cheesecake:  [low fat, high protein, GF*]
(serves 10-16 depending on how you slice it)

   Graham Cracker Crust:*
       1+1/2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (for GF, use these crackers)
       1 tbs Pure Cane Sugar
       1/4 tsp Salt
       56 (1/4 cup) Coconut Oil, liquid
       1/4 tsp Butter Extract

   Cheesecake Filling:
       16oz Fat Free Cream Cheese
       16oz (2 cups) Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
       84g (1/4 cup) Light Agave Nectar
       1/2 tsp Stevia Extract
       1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
       1/4 tsp Lemon Flavor
       64g (2 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
       16g (2 tbs) Arrowroot Starch (or cornstarch)

   Strawberry Topping:
       ~1+1/4 cups 100% Fruit Strawberry Spread

*If you like a thin crust, use 1 cup of crumbs and 3 tbs of coconut oil.

Directions (for the crust):
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray, set aside.
2.  In a blender or food processor, crush the crackers until they are crumbs.  Pour into a medium-sized bowl and whisk in the sugar and salt.
3.  In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil and butter extract, stir, then pour over the graham cracker mixture.  Stir until all mixture has been moistened then pour into the springform pan.  Flatten the mixture, raising the crust slightly around the edges.  Bake for ~8 minutes, until fragrant.  Let cool while you make the filling.

Directions (for the filling and topping):
1.  In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, yogurt, agave and extracts, and whisk until almost all is combined (it should be slightly clumpy).
2.  Whisk in the protein powder, then whisk in the starch (mixture should be smooth now).  Pour into the springform pan and bake for 32-35 minutes (surface should be somewhat firm and have cracks, but don't worry, it will be covered with the jam!  Edges should be slightly browned, not burnt.  Depending on your oven, a few more/less minutes will be needed to just keep watch).  Remove the springform wall and let cool until barely warm, refrigerate overnight with a sheet of foil or paper towel draped over the cheesecake, not covered completely.  The next day, dab the surface of the cheesecake with a paper towel to remove any moisture.  Slice and top each piece with ~2 tbs of the strawberry jam (or however much you like).

Get ready to see one astounding nutrition label, for one extraordinary cheesecake!

(does not include topping)

Am I the only one who crapped their pants?  A hearty slice of cheesecake for 240 calories, 7g of fat and 17g of protein?!?

I can barely believe it myself.  Oh, and I won't limit this cheesecake to just dessert, this is totally suitable for breakfast a post-workout meal.  Actually, it totally fits the bill for breakfast...



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  2. I completely second you on the not so fond of cheesecake childhood replaced by a cheesecake loving adulthood! and this recipe looks diviinnnneeee! very tempting indeed :)

  3. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it :)

  4. Looks so good!

    I was just wondering, could you omit the protein powder or substitute it with anything else?

    1. I would recommend using the protein powder, since I've never tried this without it, but you can try doubling the arrowroot starch (to 32g or 1/4 cup) and add an egg (or 2 egg whites). Because the protein powder provides flavor and sweetness, you will need to increase the vanilla to 1 tsp and stevia to 3/4 tsp.

      Hope these adjustments work for you! Let me know if they do :)



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