Almost Fat Free Cheesecake

smallzerocheesecake

What would you say to cheesecake that is about 200 calories per (4.5 ounce) serving? Pretty good right? I tried making my ultra light cheesecake with only fat-free yogurt cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon and vanilla, and it came out delicious. I forgot to add the flour and accidentally cut the amount of sugar in half, which ended up not mattering much, so I saved some calories there, too.

I dusted the sides of the baking pan with some crushed Italian lady finger cookies (the crisp kind you use for tiramisu). You can skip the crushed cookies, but it doesn’t add much in the way of calories (you need only 4-5 cookies) and it gives the impression that there is a crust of some kind without the heavy calorie load of a graham cracker crust. The cookie crumbs also add a little extra sweetness to what is otherwise a very lightly sweetened cheesecake.

Here is how I figure the calories:

24 ounces yogurt cheese made from a 32 ounce container of Greek yogurt: 560 calories
3.75 ounces sugar: 384 calories
4 eggs: 280 calories (about 320 calories for extra-large eggs)
5 Italian ladyfinger cookies: 110 calories

Total calories : 1,334, which yields 8 servings, each about 4.5 ounces, at 167 calories per serving. The fat should be mostly from the egg yolks, which comes to 2.5 grams per serving.

Almost Fat-Free Cheesecake
Note: this makes a very lightly sweetened cheesecake. If you want a more traditional level of sweetness, double the amount of sugar, which will add another 5o calories per serving.

Combine in a large bowl:
4 egg yolks (large or extra-large works)
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups (24 ounces) 0% yogurt cheese (drain 32 ounces of 0% Greek yogurt in a cheesecloth lined strainer for 24 hours in the refrigerator; if you are using regular fat-free yogurt, you will need to start with 48 ounces of yogurt to end up with 24 ounces of yogurt cheese)
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. vanilla

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy (like shaving cream), and then gradually add the sugar while continuing to whip:
4 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

Fold the whipped egg whites (meringue) into the cheese batter in the other bowl.

Pour the batter into a extra deep (3″) round foil pan (9″ diameter) that has been sprayed with baking spray and dusted with flour or crushed ladyfinger cookies. If you do not have this deep a pan, you can use a larger pan (9″x13″ should work, or a 9″ springform). You can also use about 8 mini foil pans (about 4″ diameter–the kind you would use for making bulkelehs) for individual cheesecakes. You can also (and this is what I did this time), add some batter to a small 4″ pan to make one individual cheesecake, and put the rest of the batter in the large pan–I think this works best of all and the bonus is that you get to taste some of the cheesecake before you serve it to company.

Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees for about a half hour (15-20 minutes for the small cheesecakes). The finished cheesecake will be springy on top.

For the large cheesecake, cool in the turned off oven for a half hour (oven door slightly ajar) and then remove to finish cooling. For the small, individual cheesecakes, remove right after baking and cool outside the oven. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Serve with fresh fruit for some added natural sweetness.

Note: my original Ultra-Light Cheesecake recipe called for baking at 325-350 degrees for an hour, but I made yet another mistake and took it out after a half hour and it was done. So this revised recipe saves time over the other one, too.

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