Saturday, January 14, 2017

Check out the cheesecakes!

Are some people still sticking to their new year's resolutions to eat healthier? I'm not sure since I never resolve to do anything, even though I should probably resolve to clean the damn apartment once in a while so the day when I'm inevitably found crushed to death under a stack of books can be pushed back by a few weeks.

In any case, today's post is for those who try to keep their diet resolutions and also yearn for the food that makes the risk of being lifted out of one's house with a forklift after the heart attack seem like a worthwhile gamble: cheesecake. Of course, the recipes reduce the odds for both parts of that equation.

The most classic (and photogenic) diet cheesecake is probably from Better Homes and Gardens The Dieter's Cook Book (1982):

It looks pretty tasty, with the thick crust on the bottom, a generous creamy layer, the scattered crumbs on the top, and the orange twist.

The recipe was right in the middle of the page, so my pic won't be great unless I destroy the book:
Orange Chiffon Cheesecake doesn't sound bad at all-- a crust with real carbs, sugar, and butter, a filling with ricotta cheese and orange liqueur.... I'm not sure how cheesecake-y it will taste, though, with just a third of a cup of ricotta puffed up with dessert topping and beaten egg whites.

An easier and more prosaic confection is on offer in Lean Cuisine: Delicious Recipes for the Healthy Stay-Slender Life (Barbara Gibbons and the editors of Consumer Guide, 1979):

Blender Chocolate "Cream Cheese" Pie offers the usual tricks: unflavored gelatin, skim milk, and low-fat cottage cheese. The thing that sets this version apart is that it is flavored with a package of instant chocolate pudding mix. I'm a little intrigued, but I can't imagine a single mix will really be enough to flavor all that filling.

The prize for most unusual cheesecake should go to Tofu Goes West (Gary Landgrebe, 1978):

I was surprised that Tofu Cheesecake actually had some real cream cheese in it too. I assumed it would be all tofu. (I did have an all-tofu cheesecake once, back when I was in college and taking home ec courses before I changed majors. We had to make and try a chocolate-vanilla marbled tofu cheesecake in the lab portion of class, and that thing was disgusting! I don't know whether the recipe was that bad, though, because the time to prepare the cake was almost the entire lab time, so we had to eat the thing piping hot! I'm not sure any cheesecake would taste great hot, but hot tofu cheesecake tasted like molten rubber.)

The funniest picture award goes to the cheesecake in A Year of Diet Desserts (Joan Bingham, 1987):

Is it just me, or does it look like a round coffeecake is about to purchase a wig it will really, really regret?

Despite the shaggy crumbs, this is not a coffeecake but a cheesecake:

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake goes through all the motions-- the unflavored gelatin, the cottage cheese, the whipped egg whites. At least this has enough lemon and honey in it that it will probably have some flavor.

That can't be said about our last exhibit. It's no real surprise that the prize for most pathetic diet cheesecake goes to Weight Watchers International Cookbook (Jean Nidetch, 1977):

The unflavored gelatin and cottage cheese are fortified with that WW favorite, nonfat dry milk, then flavored only with chocolate extract, instant coffee, and artificial sweetener. Want crust? Too bad! At least this is a small recipe, only serving two, and who would be tempted to eat both servings at once?

I hope you enjoyed this collection of "cheesecakes" to amaze and terrify! Now go eat something worth its weight in calories.

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