Cheese cakes are my favorite cakes, but, at the same time, I find them quite heavy and too sweet, not to mention it takes quite a bit of time to prepare and bake them properly.
So, I went on a mission to create a quick, lighter and less sweet version of cheese cake. I tried low-fat cream cheeses, but didn’t like the taste or texture. Instead, I’ve decided to try to bake a cake using thick yogurt, and just loved the results.
This is not to say that I’m over cheese cakes, but when I need something lighter and simpler, this is my go-to recipe from now on. I’m quite sure that once you’ll prepare this cake, you’ll feel the same. It is refreshingly tangy, creamy, moist, not too sweet and – best of all – so quick and easy to prepare. An added bonus is that the cake is perfect for those who keep a gluten free diet, as it doesn’t have any flour in it. The dried apricots and pistachios add both color and flavor, but you can bake the cake without them, or use raisins and other nuts instead. Try it and enjoy.
* Make sure to use plain thick yogurt, without any stabilizers or other additives.
* For versions using fresh fruits instead of dried fruits, click HERE.
* For a version with tapioca flour and berries topping, click HERE.
Makes: 20 small squares
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours, preferably overnight
10 dried apricots
½ cup corn starch
3 XL eggs
17.6 oz (500 grams) thick yogurt 2% fat minimum (See notes. I used Fage)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla paste
2/3 cup sugar
For the sour cream layer:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup roughly chopped raw pistachios
1. Preheat the oven to 320F (160C). Line a 7”x11” (18cm x 28cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. Cut the apricots into small cubes (easier with scissors), place in a small bowl, add 1 Tbs of the cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and mix. Add the sugar and corn starch and mix until smooth. Add the dried apricots and mix again. Transfer the mixture into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mix the sour cream with the sugar in a small bowl.
5. Take the pan out of the oven and carefully spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cake. Scatter the pistachios over and place back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Place the cake over a rack and bring to room temperature, before placing it in the fridge. When the cake is chilled, cover it with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, before cutting.
7. To cut: holding the baking paper, transfer the cake to a large cutting board. With a large, sharp knife, cut into 20 squares. The squares will keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to a week.