For a recent get-together I decided to make cheesecake. There were two problems with that idea though: most recipes for cheesecake require multiple blocks of cream cheese and I'm trying to eat and cook lighter. So I found this recipe for a lighter cheesecake and spiked it with some vanilla extract and orange zest for extra flavour. It was a tangy cake that wasn't rich but tasty all the same.
First you make the base with graham cracker crumbs and/or shortcake biscuit crumbs and butter. This isn't terribly light but you can pick and choose the kinds of biscuit you use and the butter or margarine you mix it with. Use as much as you like because everyone has their own preference on consistency or thickness of cake bases. Whiz it in the food processor until it becomes a little crumbly and then pat and press it into the bottom of a 10" springform pan.
Alternatively you could not use a crumb base. Just grease the springform pan and pour the cheesecake batter directly into the pan to bake.
The cheesecake part is done like this:
4 cups Ricotta cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind (zest)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Cooking spray (for non-crust option)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition. Pour the batter into the pan on top of the cooled crust or on its own. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around the outside edge of cheesecake. Cool slightly; remove outer ring from pan. I decorated this cheesecake with orange and starfruit slices to make it pretty.