January 30, 2010
I've never been much of a cheesecake eater. When given a selection of desserts, I will most likely choose the chocolate option and enjoy it thoroughly. I have always found cheesecake to heavy, dense, and basically over rated. Still, I've often thought it would be interesting to make one. This thought intensified after I canned whole plums in honey syrup. I wasn't quite sure what I would do with the sweet, soft orbs but it occurred to me that the plums would be a wonderful topping for cake of some sort. I'm not sure how I got the idea for a yogurt cheesecake, probably from searching for a suitable cheesecake recipe, but I was intrigued by the idea of something that might be lighter and without the intensity of a regular cheesecake.
I found a variety of recipes with various amounts of eggs and yogurt and different types of cheese. I settled on a recipe I found in the New York times. It calls for Greek yogurt which you can make from straining your home made yogurt into something thicker. I had just returned from holiday travels so I bought Greek yogurt while I made another batch of regular yogurt for us to eat. The cake was simple to make and tasted rich, without being cloying. It was a great base for the plums, but would certainly be good with other fruit on top. Of course, I am no cheesecake expert but I'm sure I'll make this one again.
Adapted from the New York Times.
1/2 cup sugar, plus some for dusting the pan
3 cups Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 cups mascarpone
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
3 large eggs
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Make the cheesecake the day before you will serve it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Grease a 10-inch springform pan and sprinkle with sugar, tapping out the excess. Wrap foil around the outside of the pan -- this will keep the water bath from seeping in.
Beat the sugar, yogurt, mascarpone, and confectioners sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, then the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pan and place the pan into a 9 by 13 inch pan filled with a few inches of water (about half way up the sides of the springform pan). Cover the whole thing with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pan and bake for 20 minutes more. Remove the foil until the cake is puffed and jiggly, but not liquid in the center. Let the cake cool on the counter and the cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled with your choice of fruit or other topping.