Sunday, January 11, 2009

What’s Cooking Sunday/Cheesecake

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
Serves 6


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
1 egg
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.

Nutritional info:
Serving size: 2 cakes

152 calories
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".


3rdEyeMuse said...

my mouth is seriously watering. yum.

3rdEyeMuse said...

ps - way to exercise restraint!

Terri said...

Hi Kate, Giada is one of my husbands favorite on Food network and cheesecake it about the only desert I can say I like!!

lori vliegen said...

i've been a giada fan for several years now (although the cleavage issue hasn't gotten any better - you really do crack me up!)...i just love her food philosophy! and cheesecake? now you've got my attention! can't wait to try this! :)

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

I'm glad you didn't rise to the bait and tear the kitchen apart looking for the mythical cheesecake! ; ) That recipe sounds if I can only get my daughter to make them....

KathrynAntyr said...

This recipe sounds so yummy. My little one loves cheesecake.

I'm glad you are feeling better!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Marble Man is cruel! :) Your recipe looks really good though-nice presentation!

Vera said...

These treats are certainly wonderful! And the most important - they are tiny, because, honestly, it's impossible (for me :)to have just a couple of bites of cheesecake and then put a fork aside.

Anonymous said...

Those look great and I can almost taste them..I've never been good at taking a few bites and just enjoying that (I understand the French are experts at that). Glad you stayed on track without denying yourself!

Gabriela said...

Oh, how delicious!

And love Giada!

~ Gabriela ~

3rdEyeMuse said...

actually, no ... only get cramped if I try to fold a hundred in a single sitting (but then my bum falls asleep & the legs cramp, too). :)

rochambeau said...

These Cheesecakes look luscious. Isn't it funny what promotes ratings! What even the food network will do?
Hope you are warm and well!


Isabel said...

Okay I glad I can't ever go through with my diet intentions...this recipe is calling me to the kitchen.
My husband and my kids thank you ;)