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Ready, Steady, Bake: Dairy

Cream, butter, cheese, yogurt; so many amazing products can be created from the humble staple, milk. That doesn’t even begin to list the by-products you can create from it… you could be easily excused for announcing at a dinner party that the invention of chocolate shifted the course of culinary history.

Dairy is frequently used in baked goods – most cake recipes will use butter, and very often milk or yogurt is used to add moistness to the consistency. For our healthier twist recipe this week, we wanted to fully embrace the dairy theme and give you a low fat version of the iconic New York Cheesecake.

A full fat New York Cheesecake can have a massive 549kal per slice, but this one comes in at nearly half of that (315kal).

Low Fat New York Baked Cheesecake*

Healthy New York Cheesecake


For the base

  • 35g butter
  • 85g reduced-fat digestive biscuit, finely crushed

For the filling

  • 600g light soft cheese at room temperature
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 150g fromage frais

For the topping

  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 225g punnet blueberries
  • ½ tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 100g fromage frais


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform tin with baking parchment and put it onto a baking sheet. Melt the butter and stir in the biscuit crumbs. Press the mix into the base of the tin and then bake it for 10 minutes. Remove this from the oven and raise the temperature to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9.
  2. For the filling, beat the soft cheese until just smooth with an electric hand mixer on low speed. Gradually add the sugar, also on a low speed, then the cornflour without overbeating, as this could affect the end consistency. Scrape the sides of the bowl so that it’s all combined. Slowly mix in the lemon zest and juice, the vanilla, then the eggs. Again, scrape the sides of the bowl, then finally gently mix in the fromage frais. The mixture should be smooth and quite runny.
  3. Pour the filling over the crumb base you’ve already baked. Give the tin a few shakes to level the mix and squash surface bubbles with the back of a teaspoon. Bake this for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 110C/fan 90C/gas ¼. Bake it for another 30 minutes and, if you are using an electric oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar for the first 3 minutes (to give it a chance to cool). After the 30 minutes, shake the tin and there should still be a wobble in the centre of the filling. If you waited until it was all completely firm, it is more likely to crack later. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed and leave the cheesecake in for 2 more hours. After this time has passed, open the door, loosen the top edges of the cake with a round bladed knife, then leave in the oven to cool gently for another 1-1½ hrs.
  4. Whilst you’re waiting, put the sugar for the topping in a small pan with 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then let it bubble for 1-2 minutes to make a thin syrup. Tip in the blueberries, gently stir and cook for about 1 minute. This will slightly burst the fruit and release the purple juices. Stir in the lime zest, then leave it to cool. Pop this in a tub and save for serving later.
  5. Spread the fromage frais over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight). Remove from the fridge 1 hour before serving, loosen the sides of the cheesecake completely, remove from the tin, then slide it onto a plate, peeling off the paper as you do so. Slice with a sharp knife and serve each wedge topped with a spoonful of syrupy blueberries.

If you fancy something new: the sky is the limit when it comes to toppings. Use this recipe as a base and change the fruity toppings to whatever you have in the house.  

This would be an ideal addition to any dinner party, get your friends round and impress them all with your healthier twist on this delicious dessert. If you take any pictures, we’d love to see them; please share them with us on FacebookPinterest or Instagram.

*Please note, the image used here is from stock photography. For a link to the original recipe and their picture, please click here.

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