Introduction: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
I was eating Greek yogurt the other day and I realized that its consistency was actually quite similar to a light cream cheese, and that got me thinking - Why not try and make a cheesecake using Greek Yogurt instead? It would be definitely not as rich and heavy, and perhaps slightly more healthy?
I googled the concept of Greek yogurt in cheesecakes and found out that I wasn't the first one to come up with this idea. So, after looking at several different recipes I felt inspired to try my own attempt at making a Greek Yogurt Cheesecake.
The filling for the cake is adapted from a recipe blog called "Eat, Live, Run" (http://www.eatliverun.com/greek-yogurt-cheesecake-with-peaches-and-honey) However, I did not follow the recipe for the crust or decorations - although they also sound delicious.
Step 1: Ingredients & Equipment
1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp melted butter
2 cups (500 g) Greek Yogurt (I used 2%. I'm not sure how using non-fat would turn out)
2/3 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp corn starch
pinch of salt
Chocolate & Raspberry Lattice:
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 pkg Dream Whip (or other instant whipped topping)
2 cups raspberries
white sugar (for garnish)
9" springform pan (I bought one especially for this recipe and it was definitely worth it!)
measuring cups and tablespoon
2 zip lock bags
2 small cups
Step 2: Crust
To make the crust you can either buy graham cracker crumbs or you can make your own from crushing up whole graham crackers. Approximately 10 graham crackers will yield 1 1/2 cups of crumbs when crushed.
1) Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
2) To crush the crackers place them in a zip lock bag and seal it. Crush the crackers using your hands. You can also use an object to help crush them such as a rolling pin, or as I used, a pestle. Of course if you own a food processor, you could use it to crush them as well.
3) Once the crackers are fully crushed into fine crumbs place them into a bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir until completely dissolved. Add the butter to the crumbs and mix well.
4) Next, press the crumbs into the base of the springform pan and smooth evenly with a spoon or other smooth object.
5) Bake in the oven for ~7 minutes at 375°F (190°C)
Step 3: Cheesecake
1) Turn the oven down to 350°F (177°C)
2) Place the Greek yogurt, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Mix well, preferably with an electric mixer. Add the salt and corn starch and continue to mix well.
3) Pour the mixture into the springform pan (ontop of the warm graham cracker crust). Use a spatula to scrape bowl clean. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. (I found this to be the perfect amount of time). The trick to any cheesecake is to avoid the temptation to over bake. The cake will still be quite jiggly, with lightly brown edges when it is done.
4) Let it cool and then place in the fridge to chill for approximately ~2 hours. Remove the outside of the spingform pan once it is finished chilling.
Now of course, cheesecake is delicious enough to just eat plain but read onto the next step to see how I decided to make it even more delicious...
Step 4: Chocolate and Raspberry Lattice
Chocolate Lattice (Pudding Icing):
To make the chocolate lattice, I used a recipe my Mom calls "Pudding Icing". She used it all the time when I was little on my brother's and my birthday cakes. It has a similar consistency of a spreadable butter cream icing, but is less sickly sweet. It is really easy to make and you can use any flavor of instant pudding to make different flavors and colors of "icing'. It also works well to use a vanilla pudding mix and add any food coloring you like. As you can see here, it also pipes reasonably well for decorating. I thought it would work well with this cheesecake since it is light and easy to work with. This recipe will make more than you need to do the lattice but if you are anything like me that is not a problem as it is yummy enough to eat just by itself!
1) Combine the pudding packet, Dream Whip packet (there are 4 envelopes in a standard box, but you just need one), and milk in a bowl and whip with an electric mixer until it becomes thick and will form soft peaks. If you aren't ready to decorate your cake yet, keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready.
2) Fill a zip lock bag with some of the icing. Cut a small slit in one corner of the bag. Make sure you do not cut it too big. I would recommend cutting it very small and then testing to see how the icing dispenses, and then cut the opening slightly bigger and bigger until you get it to pipe as desired. Make sure you have a good amount of icing to squeeze in the bag with no air pockets.
3) Slowly pipe evenly spaced lines across the whole cake. I used a ruler and knife to place gentle marks in the cake where I wanted the lines to be (I placed them about 1.5 inches apart). Then pipe evenly spaced lines on a diagonal across the other lines to form a diamond lattice pattern. I also piped a trim around the perimeter at the top and base of the cake.
4) Dip the tops of the raspberries in white sugar. This makes them almost appear candy-like.
5) Place the raspberries in each opening in the lattice, until every opening in the chocolate lattice is filled with a raspberry. (I wasn't as even with the spacing of my lines as I had aimed for, but luckily, raspberries are not all the same size either. I tried match the raspberry size to the space in the lattice.)
Serve and enjoy!