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Healing Kitchen

Baby Cheesecakes

For years, Merritt Thomas made her famous cheesecake and brought it to every party and potluck dinner. In fact, people called up and specifically requested that she bring her cake. Now, as part of the baby-boomer generation, she just can't quite bring herself to eat this anymore. It has 3 cups of sour cream, 3 eggs, 1 stick of butter, and 1 1/2 pounds of full-fat cream cheese (yoicks). So here's how we went about the makeover. First, the cream cheese was changed to mostly reduced-fat cream cheese, with some nonfat cream cheese (you can't use all nonfat cream cheese, because the results are too gummy). Then, we used reduced-fat sour cream in place of full-fat, fewer whole eggs (extra egg whites are used instead), and olive oil instead of butter.

The results are impressive, but we were struck by another problem that a cheesecake represents. No matter how good you get it, you still have a huge cake with lots of leftovers hanging around...taunting you, enticing you to come in and eat some more, maybe just to even up the ragged edges from the last slice cut. So, we thought: Hey, what if you just make less cake? The result was these baby cheesecakes. It's all the components of the big momma cake, but divided in half (it makes only 6 servings) and baked up in individual serving-size custard cups. This way if you sneak into the kitchen to have some leftover cheescake, someone will notice the missing custard cup and you'll be busted.

PER SERVING
BEFORE
AFTER
Calories
548
367
Dietary fiber (g)
0.8
0.4
Total fat (g)
42
23
Saturated fat (g)
25
13
Cholesterol (mg)
158
99
Sodium (mg)
537
459

The Ingredients

    Crust:  2-1/4 ounces chocolate wafers (one-fourth of a 9-ounce package)  1 tablespoon sugar  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon  Pinch of salt  1 tablespoon extra-light olive oil

    Filling:

     12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)  1/3 cup sugar  1/4 teaspoon salt  1 whole egg  1 egg white  1-1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream  1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Make crust: In food processor, combine chocolate wafers (broken into largish pieces), sugar, cinnamon, salt, and olive oil. Process until fine crumbs form. Divide mixture evenly among six 6-ounce custard cups and press mixture onto the bottom and up sides of cups.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Make filling: In same food processor bowl (no need to clean it), combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, whole egg, egg white, sour cream, bourbon, and vanilla. Process until smooth.

4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place pans on a baking sheet and bake 25 minutes. Turn off oven, prop door open, and leave cheesecakes in oven for 30 minutes.

5. Refrigerate cheesecakes, covered, for at least 4 hours so that they may firm up.

Makes 6 servings

Author: the Healing Kitchen staff
Date Published: 06/05/2000
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