One night last week we kicked back after dinner and, as we enjoyed our postprandial bliss, Marble Man looked me straight in the eye. He asked, “So Honey, how 'bout some cheesecake for dessert?” My pulse was racing, my brain was screaming, “we have CHEESECAKE?!?”. Then I caught a twinkling look in his eye which one only recognizes after spending 26 years together. And I knew I was about to fail The Test. Instead, I told him, calmly, “no thank you, Sweetheart, I’m on a diet”. And we laughed because we both knew how close I’d come to ransacking the kitchen to look for that damned mythical, diet-busting confection. After pondering this event, I remembered lessons I’d learned in Weight Watcher’s meetings many moons ago: if you really enjoy something, go ahead and have a couple of bites, put your fork down, and move on.
I’ve had this recipe for years - just forgot it was in my cookbook. I used to watch Giada De Laurentiis’ show on the Food Network, called Everyday Italian. I loved this show – she’s engaging, perky without being too annoying, and she was all business when it came to cooking. Then, inexplicably, the camera started to concentrate more on closeups of her impressive cleavage (cleaving heavage?) than on the food preparation. I lost interest. BUT, I did come away with the instructions to make these wonderful treats:
Individual Orange and Chocolate Cheesecakes
1/3 C finely crushed chocolate wafers (I use chocolate graham crackers)
2 T butter, melted
¼ C ricotta cheese, part skim
2 oz cream cheese, low fat
¼ C sugar, plus 2 T
1 orange, zested
butter for greasing
Special equipment: mini muffin tin, lightly greased.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the crushed chocolate wafers and the 2 T melted butter. Place a tightly packed teaspoon of the wafer mixture into each muffin cup and press down firmly.
In a food processor combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, ¼ C of the sugar, half the orange zest, and the egg. Blend until smooth. Fill the cups with about 1½ T of the cheesecake mixture. Place the muffin tin in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the muffin tin. Bake 25 minutes. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Use a small knife to gently pop the cheesecakes out of the cups.
Just before serving, combine the remaining orange zest with the remaining 2 T of sugar. Top each cheesecake with about ¼ teaspoon of the orange zest mixture and serve.
Serving size: 2 cakes
7.6 grams fat (3.6 grams saturated fat)
53.8 mg cholesterol
95 mgs sodium
17.4 grams carbohydrate
3 grams protein
I guarantee, if you make these for company, or bring them to a potluck supper, people will beg you for the recipe! You might want to make extra.
So, I say, "Sure,Honey, let's have cheesecake for dessert tonight".