Sunday, 13 May 2012

No-No Cheesecake

Torta di Ricotta "Souffle" con Limone e Carote- senza Uova e senza Grasso
No-Egg, No-Fat, Lemon and Carrot Cheesecake "Souffle"

Sometimes I want to have my cake and eat it- like I did today. BUT- I had no more eggs in the fridge AND I do not know how to bake- as I am sure you are all aware by now! What I did have was some cheese curd and some lemon. So I began to think more along the lines of some creamy, whipped-up affair. Which would have been fine, but it would not have been a cake. And neither is this creation, you might say- and technically speaking you may well be right. But the fact of the matter is that it was neither cake, nor souffle, but was both delicious and different at the same time!

In my last couple of days of clearing out my fridge before I set-off on vacation, I am discovering that it really is possible to make something out of nothing! And something GOOD! Because the most important ingredient of all is there at all times... and that is creativity! So let me share with you what I created today... enjoy!

I started off by grating half of a regular sized carrot and the zest of half a lemon- these were going to add a little fresh flavor to the cheese curd- as was of course the juice of the whole lemon! Zing! One of my favorite desserts of all-time is key lime pie- and I wanted to make something with a similar fresh flavor. To the lemon juice I added a half teaspoon of Stevia, a half teaspoon of vanilla essence, a half teaspoon of cinnamon and a little honey. Then came the cheese curd- I used 5 tablespoonfuls to make this individual serving. I whisked everything together at the highest setting for 5 minutes and turned on the oven to warm up whilst that was going.

Once the cheese curd was nice and creamy, I added a tablespoon of baking powder and 2 teaspoons of regular flour. I whisked everything well for a further 2-3 minutes at the highest setting and then spooned the mixture into a lightly buttered ramekin.

I set the ramekin into a second, hollower dish, which I filled up to the height of around 1" with water- this was to help the mixture to rise and be fluffy and light, just like a souffle. I placed a sheet of kitchen roll, folded into 4, underneath the ramekin, to help keeping it from vibrating as the water boiled in the oven.

I baked it for 40 minutes at 350°F, with an additional 2-3 minutes under the broiler to give it a little color. Incredibly (and delightfully!), it did not collapse at all after baking, and tasted wonderfully lemony and delicious. Of course it was not quite as fine in texture as a regular cheesecake- but this is not really a cheesecake... and that is fine by me! Because at the same time, this has a lot of flavor and very, very little fat at all. Which made it perfect for me today! And maybe for you too!

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