Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Lowfat Raspberry Marzipan Swirl Cheesecake

Here's another great cheesecake recipe I made from the Magnolia Bakery  cookbook, but this one I adapted to make it low fat.  And you know what? It still tasted fantastic!  Last August, I canned some raspberry jam from local Farmer's Market raspberries.  It came out great for my first time making jam and made four jars which I have been enjoying since.  I used some of those fabulous raspberry preserves that I made myself for the swirl on this cheesecake that you can feel good about eating.  Oh, and before you leave, check out my latest post on Potluck, the ShopRite blog panel for some delicious cookies!

Lowfat Raspberry Marzipan Cheesecake (adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)
6 tablesppons melted butter
1 1/2 cup Nilla wafter crumbs
1/2 cup finely toasted almonds, pulverized into crumbs
2 eight ounce packages lowfat cream cheese
8 oz almond paste, crumbled
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups fat free sour cream
5-6 T raspberry preserves
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 325.  To make the crust, combine the butter with the Nilla wafer crumbs and almond crumbs.  Press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

To make the filling, in a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and almond paste for several minutes until smooth.  Gradually beat in the sugar and add the eggs one at a time and beat until the batter is lump-free.  Stir in the vanilla and sour cream, scraping down the sides of the mixer to combine the ingredients well.  To make the topping, mix the raspberry preserves and the lemon juice and set aside.

Pour the batter into the springform pan on top of the crust.  Drop the raspberry mix on top by the spoonful and swirl  into a decorative pattern using the tip of a sharp knife.  Bake for about 80 minutes  until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken.  At the end of the baking time, turn off the heat and prop the oven door with a wooden spoon and keep the cheesecake in the oven for an hour.  Then remove and refrigerate for twelve hours before eating.  This was delicious!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Asian-Style Shirataki Noodles with Chiles and Cashews

My husband is a type 1 juvenile onset diabetic, so I try to cook with minimal sugar when I am making savory meals (as opposed to baked goods).  I've really been enjoying Top Chef Sam Talbot's cookbook, The Sweet Life, which caters to those needs and has some delicious and fun recipes.  One thing I've been doing more of lately is using agave nectar in savory meals instead of sugar where I can.  This recipe uses shirataki noodles, a light tofu based noodle that looks a bit like lo mein noodles.  They're healthy - no carbs, gluten free, vegan, sugar free you name it - plain good for you! From there you can go and make a whole slew of creative dishes.  For my first time using shirataki noodles I made a recipe from Talbot's cookbook for Asian-style shirataki noodles with chile and cashews.  I used one jalapeno instead of two to make a little less spicy.  Be careful with those jalapenos.  Wash your hands and don't touch your lips, face or eyes before doing so - it can burn!

Shirataki Noodles with Cashews and Chiles (adapted from Sam Talbot's The Sweet Life)
2 packages (16 oz total) shirataki noodles (no need to cook)
3 T toasted sesame oil
1 large red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 T finely chopped fresh ginger
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 T sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet
2 T rice vinegar
2 T agave nectar
1 tsp sambal oelek chile paste
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup cashews, whole or chopped
1/3 cup hand torn cilantro
2 T low sodium soy sauce

Rinse the noodles in cold water and drain well.  Mix with two tablespoons of the sesame oil to keep them from sticking together.  In a large skillet heat the  remaining two tablespoons of sesame oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno and sesame seeds and cook until the onions are translucent and the mixture is aromatic, about three minutes.  Add the vinegar, agave nectar and chile paste and mix well.  Add the broth, cashews, cilantro and soy sauce and cook another two minutes to mix the flavors.  Pour the sauce / broth over the noodles and let rest a few minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Green Tea Cupcakes with Violets

I have a great book of vegan cupcake recipes that are sans-butter, and hence much healthier.  I had been meaning to try the green tea cupcakes for a long time because I like anything with matcha powder.  My husband Brad and I got married at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, so my first thought was to make little cherry blossoms out of marzipan to put on top of the green tea glaze.  However, I have two pink gels and with the one I used, the marzipan came out more purple instead of pink, so I made violets instead.  These cupcakes are cute little Japanese style cakes, flavored just like green tea.  The glaze is just perfect - much lighter than frosting, but still quite satisfying.  These dainty little cupcakes, remind me of a delicate little violet, or spring at the Cherry Blossom Festival at the BBG just the same.  This is a great book even for a non-vegan like me and I can't wait to make more recipes from it soon.

Green Tea Cupcakes (adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
1/2 cup soy yogurt
2/3 cup soy milk (recipe called for rice milk but I used soy instead)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tsp matcha powder (there is no substitute)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Green Tea Glaze
2 T margarine
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 to 1/4 tsp matcha powder
1 T soy milk (I used soy instead of rice milk)
1/4 tsp almond extract
drop of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cupcake tray with liners.  In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, soy milk, vanilla, oil and almond extract.  Combine the sugar, matcha powder, flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.  Combine the two bowls together and beat until smooth, to break up any lumps and combine.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 full and bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely.

To make the glaze, I used a mixer.  I beat the margarine in the mixer until fluffy.  Then beat in the confectioners' sugar to form a crumbly mixture and add a tablespoon or two of soy milk along with the almond extract.  I used a spatula to spread the glaze on each cupcake.

To make cherry blossoms or violets, dye a little marzipan purple or pink and form little flower petals.  I used a little yellow dyed marzipan for the center of each violet. Pretty!

Related Posts with Thumbnails Share