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HEALTHY MAKEOVER: Cheesecake

It’s the UK’s favourite pud, but creating a lighter one that delivers on favour is tricky. We’ve cracked it with this lower calorie, lower fat, lower sugar (but still “mmm”) version

Lighter banana cheesecake

SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, PLUS AT LEAST 12 HOURS CHILLING

HOW WE DID IT A good cheesecake should have a satisfying crunchy base with a topping that strikes a balance between creamy, sweet, tangy and rich. By adding ground almonds to light rich tea biscuits and mixing with a little coconut oil and water, you get crunch with a nutty flavour. Using bananas in the topping means it doesn’t need lots of added sugar and the sweetness is offset by the tanginess of two different soft cheeses.

MAKE AHEAD Make the cheesecake up to 24 hours in advance, then keep in a sealed box in the fridge or covered in cling film in a cake tin. Don’t keep longer, as the banana topping can become sour.

FOR THE BASE

• 100g ground almonds

• 150g light rich tea biscuits

• 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing

FOR THE TOPPING

• 3 ripe bananas

• 2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

• 375g fat-free quark

• 270g light cream cheese (we used Philadelphia)

• 3 gelatine leaves (we used Costa Fine Leaf, from Waitrose and Ocado)

• Cocoa powder to dust

1. In a food processor, whizz the almonds, biscuits and 2 tbsp melted coconut oil with 60ml water until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Lightly oil a 20cm loosebottomed cake tin, then press the biscuit mixture evenly into the bottom to form the base. Chill in the fridge while you make the banana topping.

2. Whizz the bananas, agave nectar or maple syrup, vanilla paste, quark and cream cheese in a food processor.

3. Put the gelatine leaves and 50ml cold water in a small saucepan and gently dissolve the gelatine over a very low heat, being careful not to boil the water.

4. Pour the dissolved gelatine and water mixture into the cream cheese filling, mix well, then pour onto the biscuit base. Return to the fridge and chill for at least 12 hours, ideally overnight. Sift over a generous dusting of cocoa powder just before serving.

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About delicious. Magazine

Ottolenghi is back! Find his new recipes in our October issue, along with the best things to eat this autumn including Hugh F-W’s cheesy gratin, Atul Kochhar's home cooking and easy one-pot meals. There’s also a Mexican chilli cook-off, proper bao buns and a foolproof beef wellington. On the sweet side, get stuck into John Whaite's rich chocolate cake, a frangipane crumble and our ultimate biscuit collection – better put the kettle on…