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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sweet Basil Cheesecake

Okay, okay... this is a bit of a misnomer.  There is cheese and it is cooked like a cheesecake, but, other than that, there isn't really anything about it that tastes like cheesecake.  However, it is a perfect combination of sweet and savory and at a recent dinner party, it disappeared in moments, which is always a good recommendation!  AND - it is super-duper easy. Don't be scared if you think you "can't" make cheesecake.  You can. You will. And this is a great place to start because it's an appetizer so no one will judge you that much anyway, right?

Sweet Basil Cheesecake

This recipe makes two large or six small 'cheesecakes'.  It can be made ahead and saved for special events in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for as long as you like.  Just make sure to bring to room temperature before serving.

Ricotta Cheese, skim or reduced fat (1 cup)
1/3 Fat Cream Cheese (1 cup/8oz/1 bar)
Goat Cheese, soft (1 cup/8oz)
Basil, chopped (1 cup)
Eggs, whole (2)
Eggs, yolk (1)
Splenda (1 or 2 tbsp.)
Sea Salt (to taste and for garnish)
Olive Oil (to garnish)
Veggies or Crackers (to serve with)

(1) Spray spring-form, tartlets or pie plate with cooking spray and pre-heat oven to 350F

(2) Add all ingredients (EXCEPT BASIL) into food processor and blend until smooth.

(3) Add chopped basil to food processor and pulse until finely chopped and incorporated evenly.

Wrap Pan in Foil to Keep out Water

(4) Wrap pan(s) with foil and place in baking dishes (of any kind).  Fill dish with hot/boiling water up to the halfway point of the cheesecake pan.  This helps the cheesecakes cook without drying out.

(4) Spoon mixture into cooking receptacle(s).  BE CAREFUL OF THE HOT WATER IN THE BAKING DISH - IT WILL BURN YOU.  It sure as heck burned me!

 pan is 1/2 emerged in hot water

(5) Bake in dish w/water until edges become golden and start to pull away from edge of pan (small = 30 mins; large = 50 mins)

(6) When edges are golden and middle is still jiggly, turn off heat in oven and open oven door.  Let the cheesecakes rest inside the oven (small = 30 mins; large = 50 mins)

bake until edges are golden and then let rest in oven

(7) Remove pan(s) from baking dish and allow to cool and then chill in fridge, aprox. 2-4 hours.

(8) Serve cheesecakes with a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil drizzled on top along with vegetables and/or crackers (my favorite is zucchini coins! SO GOOD!).

*Want a super deluxe appetizer?  Serve this with roasted red peppers to scoop up with cheesecake and veggies/crackers.
Beautiful, Delicious & Light

With vegetables is perfect for a low-cal lunch or snack.  
Serves: 12 (1/2 of small cheesecake)
Cals: 150
Fat: 12g
Carbs: 4g
Protein: 9g
Iron: 3%
Calcium: 10%

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