Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake from Cooking Light

First issue of my new Cooking Light subscription finally showed up in my mailbox, and I couldn't resist the cover photography of this beautiful cheesecake with red cranberry swirl. I made it within next couple of days. And I have to say the cheesecake is amazing. Very light and airy with decadent flavor. Definitely a keeper! Great for Holiday season. [It was almost gone before I had a chance to even think of photographing it.]

The cranberry sauce swirl can be replaced with any other fruit swirl, or even a chocolate. The bottom of the cheesecake can be mad with regular Nilla wafers, or graham crackers. If you don't like fruit, i would recommend making white chocolate ganache, or even milk chocolate ganache on top of it to add extra flavor. The base cheese mixture is made using 1/3-less fat cream cheese and fat free yogurt, which helps to keep calories down.

Below is the recipe to save you time for researching the internet.

4 ounces chocolate graham crackers
[I used Nilla wafers and 2 TBSP of cocoa powder]
3 tablespoons canola oil

Cranberry Compote/Sauce:
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
3 tablespoons water

1 cup sugar
2 (8 oz.) packages block-style 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 oz.) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt [I used regular fat free yogurt, not Greek]
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs [I added 4 eggs and skipped egg whites step]
2 large egg whites


Preheat oven to 375°. Wrap outside and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan tightly with a double layer of heavy-duty foil.
Place crackers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Drizzle with oil; pulse until combined. Press mixture into bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of prepared pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes; cool on a rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
Place cranberries, sugar, liqueur, and water in a saucepan; boil. Cook 8 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture is syrupy. Cool 20 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth.
Combine 1 cup sugar and cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in yogurt, vanilla, and salt. Add whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Place 2 egg whites in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Fold beaten egg whites into cream cheese mixture. Pour filling over crust. Spoon cranberry mixture over filling; swirl together using the tip of a knife. Place springform pan in a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 2 inches. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until center of cheesecake barely moves when pan is touched.
Turn oven off. Cool cheesecake in closed oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours.

[Photo courtesy of Cooking Light]

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