Sunday, 13 April 2014

Weight Watchers Friendly Toffee Crisp and Raspberry Cheesecake

Since returning from South Africa (where I gorged myself on meat and cake) I have been trying to lose weight with Weight Watchers. I lost some weight with them a few years ago, but since having J the pounds have been piling on. The leader in my class is lovely, when I went for my first weigh in I was shocked by what the scales said, she was very reassuring and told me it was baby weight and not to be hard on myself, that it was perfectly normal.

The truth (that I didn't tell her!) is its biscuit weight, not baby weight. Because I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum while pregnant with J I actually weighed less the day after giving birth then I did before I got pregnant. The weight I put on was completely biscuit (and crisps, chocolate, cake and brioche rolls) related.

I was so careful about making sure J ate three proper meals a day but I was completely neglecting myself and instead of meals I was snacking on junk all day. I think we can all agree that in the long term that was going to do neither of us any good.  Plus when I was breastfeeding I got an even worse sweet tooth than I normally have and was eating like a mothertrucker - when I stopped breastfeeding at 5 months I just kept on eating as if I was still burning those calories.

So, I've lost about 9 pounds in 5 weeks with another few pounds to go until my goal weight which I'm very happy with. I feel so much better in myself, my clothes fit better and when I look in the mirror I don't feel the need to suck in my tummy (as much). I had just tipped into the overweight category for my height (using the bmi) so it's good to have nipped it in the bud before I put more weight on. Also, I feel ten times better for eating proper, healthy meals again.

Anyway, the one thing I find hard on a diet is satisfying my sweet tooth. I love me some chocolate and cake and desserts of any kind. Today we had our Easter Sunday lunch with my family (as my parents are away for Easter). I was in charge of cooking dinner and wanted to make a dessert I could eat. I did a little bit of research online and then winged my own version of a baked cheesecake, a low fat version. It was actually very nice.

If you are using the Simple Start plan, I've worked out that the entire cheesecake is around 23 Propoints (the eggs, quark, cottage cheese, vanilla essence, milk and raspberries are on the list of foods you can eat without counting points). If you divide the cheesecake by 8 it is about 3 points per slice.

Low Fat Toffee Crisp and Raspberry Cheesecake


250g Cottage Cheese

300g Quark

110g Caster Sugar (if you want to make it more WW friendly you can use artifical sweetener but in my experience it doesn't taste very nice baked and I don't like to eat too much of it anyway)

4 eggs

4 Toffee Crisp Biscuits. I  used these as I had them in the cupboard. One biscuit is 3 WW points so it is 12 points in total for the recipe. You could also use 2 normal toffee crisp bars which are 6 points each (from my quick look online earlier anyway)

Splash of milk

Vanilla Essence

Small punnet of raspberries

Ingredients - but without the raspberries as I realised I had them to use during the creative process!

Grease the sides and bottom of a Springform Cake Tin. I also put baking paper on the bottom of the tin to stop the cheesecake from sticking.

Crush three of the Toffee Crisp bars and sprinkle this on the bottom of the cake tin. This makes a kind of crunchy bottom, but without using the usual cheesecake base of crushed digestives and lots of butter.

Separate the eggs.

In a bowl mix the quark, cottage cheese, egg yolks, sugar, splash of milk and vanilla essence. Use a hand blender to smooth out any lumps from the cottage cheese.

In a separate bowl mix the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then fold this into the mixture in the other bowl. This is important. I made this at my parents house and sadly, did not have my mixer with me. I found it difficult to whip the egg whites right and ended up throwing them in while they were still very funny. This meant the cheesecake mixture was not as fluffy or risen as I would have liked. Make sure you have access to a good mixer! 

Pour the combined mixture over the crushed toffee crisp in the tin. The tap the cake tin on a hard surface a few times (until you don't see any more bubbles rise to the surface). This will prevent any pockets of air forming in your cheesecake.

Push the raspberries into the mixture - you can do a pretty pattern if you like!

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 30 - 35 minutes. Check the cheesecake is solid all the way through by placing a skewer in the centre. If it comes out clean, it's done.

Chop the fourth toffee crisp biscuits and sprinkle over the top


The last photo was taken in a bit of a rush. I was getting strange looks from my family for photographing my food, plus I really wanted to try it!

It was actually very nice. It has a different taste to regular cheesecake, the quark gives it much more of a tang. but I really liked this. In Austria quark is called topfen and they make a lovely dessert there called Topfenstrudel and this reminded me a bit of that. It got the thumbs up from the non dieting members of my family anyway.

I think if I were to make it again. I would leave out the raspberries  and instead of sprinkling the fourth Toffee Crisp biscuit on top, as a bit of sweetness next to the sharpness of the quark would be nice I would mix it into the cheesecake mixture, kind of like chocolate chips.

Other options for a cheesecake like this is to use crushed oreos, or jaffa cakes as your base. It's definitely worth a try!


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If anyone is out there I would love to hear any thoughts you have after reading this blog!