When I'm on a health kick, the thing I miss most is dessert. I adore cake, in all of its forms, from brownies and blondies to pancakes and cheesecake. But I also like to try to eat healthily and not become increasingly rotund due to cake inhalation.
I love finding low fat alternatives to the sweet treats I love and this healthy cherry cheesecake recipe is my current favourite, it's creamy and delicious but light and low fat. It feels indulgent without being too bad for you, perfect!
25g butter, melted
140g Amaretti biscuits, crushed
3 sheets leaf gelatine
zest and juice 1 orange
2 x 250g tubs Quark (I love quark!)
250g tub ricotta
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g icing sugar
For the topping
400g fresh cherries, stoned
5 tbsp cherry jam
1 tbsp cornflour
Top tip: Buy a big bag of amaretti biscuits so there's lots of left over to snack on while the cheesecake is setting, tee hee!
This low fat cheesecake is really simple to make and doesn't need any baking, but there are quite a few steps that you need to get right!
1. Line the sides of a 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment or cling film. Stir the butter into two thirds of the biscuit crumbs, and reserve the rest. Sprinkle the buttery crumbs over the base of the tin and press down. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5-10 mins until soft.
2. Warm the orange juice in a small pan or the microwave until almost boiling. Squeeze the gelatine of excess water, then stir into the juice to dissolve.
3. Beat the quark, ricotta, vanilla and icing sugar together with an electric whisk until really smooth. Then, with the beaters still running, pour in the juice mixture and beat to combine. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crumbs and smooth the top. Cover with cling film and chill for at least four hours or overnight if you're not as impatient as me!
4. To make the topping, put the cherries in a pan with the orange zest and 100ml water. Cook, covered, for 15 mins until the cherries are softened. Put one-third of the cherries in a bowl and mash with a potato masher to give you a chunky compote. Return to the pan, add the jam, cornflour and 2 tbsp water, and mix to combine. Cook until thickened and saucy – if the sauce is too dry, add a splash more water. Cool to room temperature.
5. Just before serving, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and peel off the parchment. Scatter over the remaining biscuit crumbs and some cherry sauce. Serve in slices with the remaining cherry sauce alongside. YUM.
If you try out this recipe, I'd love to see the finished result, so tweet me a photo if you do!
You can find more recipes like this over on the BBC Good Food Show site, plus you can save 20% off tickets to the show in June with the code 1MV3, Mary Berry, Antonio Carluccio and John Torode will all be cooking live on stage too!