Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cake of the Week: Greek Yogurt "Cheesecake" with Honey-Walnut Baklava Topping

Anyone else feel like they ate everything this Christmas? Oh I have no regrets. I'm just saying that after a steady diet of Christmas Crack and Christmas cookies and cheese and crackers and delicious mama-made meals, I could/should spend some serious time with fruits, veggies, and healthier desserts. (Note that I say healthier desserts, not no desserts. Who do you think I am? No desserts is crazy talk.)

What is not crazy talk? Greek Yogurt Cheesecake.

This is a healthy dessert for reals -- nonfat Greek yogurt, eggs, and a little sugar -- that is all! And it is insanely easy to make. And it's actually really smooth and creamy and delicious. Really I am blown away by how good this is. 

I made this for a Greek-themed dinner party back in the fall. Greek desserts are too hard for me on a weeknight (or ever -- I'll leave baklava to the pros), but I wanted to make something relevant to the theme. So I searched around for a dessert involving Greek yogurt, and then made up a honey walnut baklava-esque topping to go with it. 

I made the Graham cracker crust no problem, and slid the cake into the oven, praying to the baking gods that it did not deteriorate into a watery mess burning on the bottom (always a risk when trying something new). Well my prayers were answered because it came out looking a-ok and I was elated!

And I'm happy to report that it tastes good too. Definitely nowhere near as rich and creamy as a regular cheesecake, but it also doesn't give you that stomach-achy oh-jeez-I-ate-too-much feeling after a slice. I will definitely be making this again and trying out different toppings.

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Honey-Walnut "Baklava" Topping

Ingredients (cake):
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Graham cracker/crumbs
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (I used non-fat.)
Ingredients (topping):
  • 1 cup honey (I used wildflower honey and it was amazing)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, thoroughly combine Graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom and a little up the sides of a 9" springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. 
  3. Beat together eggs, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and flour. Gently whisk in the Greek yogurt.
  4. Pour into hot crust and bake for 45-50 minutes or until barely set in center (just a little jiggly when you shake it). 
  5. Cool cake to room temperature on wire rack, then refrigerate at least an hour (or overnight) before serving. 
  6. For the topping: 30 minutes before serving, combine all topping ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove. Simmer until thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Spoon over each piece of cake before serving. 
Enjoy and feel good about yourself!!!