March 27, 2012
Lightened Caramel Apple Cheesecake
I have made my share of cheesecakes over the years but I have never tried to lighten them up. I find that fat-free cream cheese just doesn't produce a good baked cake (something about the science of fat).
When I agreed to lighten up a few of Annie's recipes, I wasn't expecting a cheesecake, but once it was chosen, I took up the challenge. You can easily dial-in America's Test Kitchen and find a respectfully good recipe for a low-fat light baked cheesecake. Not what I wanted to do.
What I decided to work on was a uncooked version. A caramel cheesecake mousse with sauteed honeyed apples.
I did not want to use any white sugar and everything had to be fat-free which presented a problem...how to make caramel without it. I remembered Daisy Martinez make a Dulce de Leche in the oven using only sweetened condensed milk. Easy to do and they make a fat-free version now.
I was halfway there. The rest was basic mousse 101.
The end result....a light, fat-free caramel cheesecake mouse with honey baked apple slices served with a 1% whipped cream. A very decadent, creamy but light cheesecake dessert with a substantial difference in the nutritionals.
We adore cheesecake and we did not miss a thing. The Nudge said "best remake yet."
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Mousse
makes 6 servings
* 90g sweetened condensed fat free Dulce de Leche milk (recipe follows)
* 8 ounces low fat cream cheese, room temperature
* 1 apple, peeled and sliced
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 teaspoon butter
* 1/2 cup 1% milk whipped with 1 package Dream Whip (makes 2 cups)
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whip cream cheese with Dulce de Leche. Remove to a bowl.
2. Whip milk with Dream Whip according to directions. Fold 3/4 of the whipped milk into the cheese mixture. Refrigerate both mousse and remaining whipped topping overnight.
3. Melt butter and honey in a non-stick skillet and place the apple slices in skillet in a single layer. Saute for 3 minutes on high heat. Flip over, cover with a lid, turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes.
4. Spoon a few scoops of mousse into a serving glass and top with apple slices and a dollop of whipped topping.
Dulce de Leche
Empty the contents of a can into an oven-proof dish; sprinkle with some kosher salt and tightly cover it with foil.
Place the covered dish in a larger roasting or casserole pan and fill it up with water until it reaches three quarters of the up the covered dish to create a water bath. Bake at 425 degrees F for 60-90 minutes checking every 30minutes on the water level and adding more as needed.
Dulce de leche is ready when it takes on a brown and caramel-like appearance. Remove from the oven and whisk to smoothness. Let cool before storing.
Assembly of Parfait (starting at the bottom):
Graham Cracker Crumbs
Caramel Cheesecake Mousse