Christopher and I went to a new restaurant in town for dinner Monday night to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I made individual lightened-up cheesecakes—made with Neufchatel cheese and fat-free Greek yogurt—for dessert. We enjoyed them with a side of ‘Breaking Bad’ on Netflix.
Greek yogurt cheesecake with walnut crust
These single-serving cheesecakes, made with reduced-fat Neufchatel cheese and fat-free Greek yogurt, are a delightful end to any meal—light in fat and calories to serve as dessert after an everyday meal yet rich enough in taste and texture to serve as dessert for a special occasion.
For the crust
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
For the cheesecake
2 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
6 ounces fat-free Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 vanilla bean
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the walnuts and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Divide the mixture evenly among two ramekins and press into the bottom of the dish to form the crust. Set aside.
Place the Neufchatel cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the Neufchatel cheese on medium speed for a minute or two until it’s a bit lighter and fluffier than its original state.
Beat in the Greek yogurt, then the egg, sugar and cornstarch until a smooth batter forms.
Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the batter. Stir until the vanilla is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the two ramekins with the crust mixture pressed into the bottom of the dish.
Place the ramekins in a baking pan (I used a loaf pan.) and add water to the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins to create a bain-marie, or water bath, to gently cook the cheesecakes.
Place the pan gently in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are almost completely set—with a small, 2-inch-diameter area in the middle that remains wobbly. Let cool on the counter and then refrigerate.
These were delicious! I was really impressed with how much the combination of Neufchatel cheese and Greek yogurt resembled traditional cheesecake. The texture was spot on, but the flavor was more tart and not as buttery—perhaps because of the lack of fat in both the cheese and the yogurt. I would add a splash of vanilla extract to pump up the warm vanilla flavor next time,
Add in a handful of chocolate chips, drizzle on chocolate sauce or top with a few sliced strawberries for an extra punch!