Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guilt-free cheesecakes (almost)

Mini Cocoa Swirl Cheesecakes
The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook Copyright 2005

6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup part-skin ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons granular sugar substitute
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 6 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
Blend cream cheese and ricotta in a food processor until creamy. Add sugar substitute, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, process until smooth.
Divide 1 cup of the batter among the muffin cups. Add cocoa powder to the remaining batter and combine. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the cocoa batter into each muffin cup and gently fold to form a swirl.
Place the muffin tin in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with hot water to reach halfway up the tin. Bake until the cakes are puffed and set, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the water and cool at room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 130 calories, 8 g fat, 4.5 g sat fat, 7 g pro, 7 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 125 mg sodium

At first, I wasn't sure about these. The batter didn't seem very sweet and I was starting to regret my decision to make a double batch right off (somehow six didn't seem enough knowing how much my husband likes cheesecake). I'm not sure at what point I decided I loved these, but it happened. They aren't overly sweet but they're sweet enough. Even my son loved these. My husband? Oh my, did I 'forget' to tell him that I made cheesecakes? However did I do that?

One advantage of their not being terribly sweet is that the Splenda aftertaste is minimized. I'm not saying that I couldn't detect it at all, but it was probably about as good as it gets, as far as my own Splenda tolerance goes. These aren't exactly low-calorie or low-fat but they are healthier than a full fat, full sugar version. I'm not a South Beacher but these are listed as a Phase 3 recipe which I believe is the maintenance phase (if I'm wrong, someone please correct me).

There was a lot of cracking which was not really a problem for these small mini-cakes but I think all that cracking was because I removed them from the muffin tin a little too soon. I should have thrown the whole shebang in the refrigerator.

Okay, you want to know how sick I am? Last night I put my new bookcase together and I had just enough room to squeeze all of my cookbooks on there. I thought that was a good sign that I should take a break from buying cookbooks. Well, this morning I walked into the building I work in and there was a book sale (new books) today. I bought two more cookbooks. This is a real illness, I tell you.

Blast From The Past: Apricot Cream Cheese Thumbprints from December 2005, another one of my cream cheese favorites.

Question of the Day: Do you use any artificial sweeteners? Which ones?


Unknown said...

I don't like any artificial sweetener except Splenda. The others have too much of an aftertaste. I don't usually use it to bake but sometimes I use half and half.

Annie said...

Sometimes I'll use Equal in Coffee or Chai.

I don't like to cook with it though. I've read somewhere that heat changes the chemical structure of the molecules!? And somehow it becomes bad for you.

I don't know it's all to technical for me. I have thought about trying Splenda. Maybe I will.

DancesInGarden said...

When I was on the low carb diet I used artificial sweeteners and ate products containing them. Splenda, cyclamates, aspertame. Then the cyclamates and aspertame started bothering my stomach and would give me a headache. Then they made my face flush like I had been drinking wine. So I used Splenda only, and many produces switched over to it.

Then I started having the same reaction to Splenda. I can't even take a sip of a drink made with it, my face flushes, my stomach aches, I get a headache. So now I don't use any at all.

And DD is not allowed to have them either. I worry about growing bodies and growing bones. But then again, she doesn't drink soda and I don' make a lot of baked goods.

ThursdayNext said...

I use Splenda. There is a history of diabetes in the family, so I avoid extra sugar when I drink coffee. Thankfully, as danceingarden said, many producers now use Splenda. So, I buy cranberry juice and ice cream sweetened with it!

Anonymous said...

Once again, you've made me hungry! These really look good even for a "diet" version. I think once you quit eating sugary foods, not-as-sweet foods taste sweeter. Just gotta rid your tastebuds of the "high octane" sugar! (that's so hard to do!)

I use Splenda in my coffee and I make the Jello w/Splenda for me. DH and boys aren't watching their weight so they would mutiny if I switched over totally. They gotta have their ice cream and chocolate syrup!