Lighter chocolate swirl cheesecake with berry coulis – have your cake and eat it too with this delicious lower calorie cheesecake recipe. Post sponsored by Splenda.
Christmas is a difficult time of year for healthy eating, there is just so much temptation about and it can be impossible to resist. However, with a little bit of effort and a couple of easy swaps it is possible to drastically reduce your sugar intake, and therefore your overall calorie consumption; whilst still being able to enjoy some sweet treats.
It is easy to swap your usual sugar for a low calorie sweetener like Splenda as it is made with sucralose which means that, unlike other low-calorie sweeteners, it’s heat stable up to 232 °C so it can easily be used as a replacement for table sugar in most cakes and bakes! Splenda have got loads of recipes on their website but I chose to make this lighter chocolate swirl cheesecake with berry coulis (the original recipe was redcurrant coulis but I wasn’t able to get hold of any redcurrants so mixed berry it is.).
It is a very easy recipe to make and tastes absolutely delicious, you won’t miss the sugar one bit! It also looks very pretty if you pile it up with fresh berries and pomegranate arils, so it would be a perfect dessert to serve for Christmas or new year.
Lighter Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake With Berry Coulis
Lighter Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake:
- butter or vegetable oil for greasing
- 180 g reduced fat digestive biscuits crushed
- 3 Tbsp runny honey
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- 200 g low fat cream cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp skimmed milk
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 380 g mixed frozen berries
- 6 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated
- fresh berries to serve
Lighter Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake:
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) spring-form tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
Mix together the crushed biscuits and honey and press into the base of the tin and a little way up the sides. Chill until required.
In a large bowl, beat together the ricotta cheese, cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Stir in the SPLENDA® Granulated.
Pour 1/4 of the mixture into a separate bowl. Add the lemon zest to the bowl with the larger amount of mixture in, stir to combine and pour into the tin. Set aside.
Warm the milk over a low heat, remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa until combined. Beat the cocoa mixture into the remaining cheese mixture. Pour into the centre of the plain cheese mixture and using a skewer or sharp knife swirl, making a figure of eight pattern until a marbled appearance is achieved.
Bake for about 40 minutes until just golden and set, with a slight wobble in the centre. Switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for an hour then allow to cool completely before refrigerating overnight.
Place the berries and water in a pan and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the berries are soft. Use a stick blender to puree the mixture, then press it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in the SPLENDA® Granulated. Serve either warm or cold with the cheesecake.
If like me you have a sweet tooth and love baking, then you probably look forward to all of the Christmas sweets and treats; but obviously I don’t want to gain weight over the festive period and as Consultant Dietician Helen Bond explains:
‘Eating, drinking, making merry and splurging on extra helpings of sugar and fat-laden food can cause you to seriously pile on the pounds over the course of a few, short, pastry and party-filled weeks. In fact, on average people gain between one and five lbs (0.5-2.5kg) over the Christmas period. And, you only need to take in 500 additional calories (kcals) a day over five weeks to see the scales register an extra 5lbs.’ – yikes!
With that in mind, here are Helen Bond’s top 10 tips for negotiating festive feasting:
1.Always start the day with a healthy breakfast. It’s easy to miss this important meal, or give in and indulge in fatty croissants to ease that Christmas party hangover. But eating a good breakfast will help kick-start your metabolism and keep you feeling full, making it easier to ignore the inevitable chocolates lying around.
2.Get creative with your advent calendar. Even big kids love opening those little advent calendar doors – but, enjoying 25 days of chocolaty goodness will do your waistline no favours! A little chocolate Xmas character provides around 26 kcals, 1.5g fat, 2.8g sugar – even more if they are truffle or alcoholic filled – that’s an extra 650 kcals, 37.5g fat and 70g sugar over 25 days. Why not get creative with your countdown to Christmas, so you’ve got a daily treat, without the daily guilt.
3.Love seasonal fruit and veg. With the abundance of festive food, it can be easy to forget the basics of eating healthily and achieving the (at least) 5-a-day recommendation. I like to pile the veg on my plate first, rather than last.
4.Make time for exercise. However well you plan, life is going to get hectic over the festive period, so schedule your 2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise into your week now. Exercise is also a fabulous stress buster, as it releases endorphins, making you feel happier and calmer.
5.Don’t skip meals. If you’re going to the office party straight after work, or you’ve got a dinner date with friends, don’t ditch lunch for fear of overdoing your daily calorie intake. You’ll be famished and hungry people tend to make bad food decisions.
6.Try not to burn the candle at both ends. Burning the festive candle at both ends, with parties during the week and weekend hosting duties, can also affect your waistline. Too little sleep can reduce the level of the appetite-controlling hormone leptin and increase the hormone ghrelin, telling the brain you need to eat – and not always the right healthy food choices.
7.Rethink your tea breaks. Cut cutting down on the ‘white stuff’ is a tall order, especially around Christmas. It appears in so many of the traditional festive favourites, that it’s near impossible to keep track of how much you’re eating. An easy win is to rethink your tea breaks; instead of adding sugar to your tea, swap to a low-calorie sweetener, like SPLENDA®. If you drink four cups of tea a day with two teaspoons (8g) of sugar in each cup – that adds up to 128 kcals. Your sweet tea also tots up to nearly one 1kg bag of sugar over the 25 days of December and 3,200 kcals! You, and your Xmas shopping could be a whole lot lighter for a simple sweet swap!
8.Treat sweets as treats. The constant supply of treats from guests and salty savoury snacks at work can be too tempting to avoid. Keep healthier seasonal snacks, like clementines, to hand; a medium clementine has just 25 kcals and will provide you 31% of your daily needs for immune boosting vitamin C and 1g of gut healthy fibre.
9.Wise-up to the buffet. Faced with a buffet, resist the temptation to start filling your plate at one end of the table and continuing to add to it until you reach the other. Before you pick up the plate (and always take the smallest one!), pause for a moment and then prioritise healthy choices; smoked salmon, slices of lean ham and vegetable crudités. Now, step away.
10.Keep in mind portion size. Most of us are over-generous with serving sizes at Christmas and it’s a fact that the bigger your tableware, the more you’ll fill it. Research shows that simply downsizing from a 12 to 10-inch plate could help you eat roughly 22% fewer calories, and you’ll not feel like you are missing out.
This post is sponsored by Splenda, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love – playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.