It is not difficult to make an American style cheesecake. However, when you see the actual ingredients that go into the cake (some with as many as 6 eggs and 1.5 cups sugar) it makes you pause before devouring a slice. Of course, an occasional indulgence is okay. Now enter the lite version of this sinful dessert. I used less than 1 block of philly cream cheese in this recipe and less than a third cup of sugar. If you have a food processor, I recommend that you use it to blitz the cream cheese and the rest of the ingredients. It makes life so much easier as using a mixer is less effective, resulting in globs of cream cheese in the mixture.
200g cream cheese, softened
4 eggs, separated
50g cake flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line an 8 inch cake pan with baking paper, adding a bit of butter to ensure the baking paper sticks to the pan and leave aside. In the bowl of a food processor, blitz the cream cheese for 10 seconds to break it up. Add milk and continue to blitz until an even mixture is formed, about 20 seconds. Scrap once to ensure everything is combined.
2. Add in the egg yolks one by one, blitzing to ensure they are fully combined before adding the next. Add in the cake flour. When the cheese mixture is combined, pour into a mixing bowl and leave aside.
3. With a stand mixer on whisk handle, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Add in the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Stir 1/3 of the egg white into the cheese mixture to lighten it. Fold in the rest of the egg whites half portion at a time.
4. Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Place the pan into a deep baking tray and fill the tray with water. The water level should be about 1 inch. Place the tray in the oven and bake the cake in the water bath at 135C for about 60 minutes. Next, switch off the oven and let the cake continue to cook inside for another 15 minutes. The cake is ready when a cake tester inserted comes out with just a few crumbs.
5. Gently remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely before placing it in the fridge. The cake is best served chilled the next day.