Decadently Healthy Chestnut and Hazelnut Cheesecake… or what I had for breakfast this week!
Can you think of anything better than a nice, thick slice of creamy, silky smooth cheesecake for breakfast?
I don’t think I can. Especially if said cheesecake doesn’t leave me feeling guilty in the least.
Honestly, if you were to ask me what my ultimate favorite dessert is, I think I would have to answer cheesecake. To me, eating cheesecake is more than just about taste. It’s a complete physical and sensory experience. I’d even say that there’s something almost sensual about it.
And frankly, this cheesecake right here is very well worthy of the above description. In fact, I don’t think that I will need to say much at all to convince you that this cheesecake is absolutely decadent.
Just feast your eyes… a picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t that what they say?
What you might have a hard time believing, though, is that it is in fact also good for you!
I even started doubting that myself, so just for the hell of it, I went ahead and analyzed the recipe for a conventional New York Style Cheesecake.
The results absolutely shocked me! So much so, I felt the need to share.
Check this out!
Note that both servings are very similar in size (mine is even a little bit more generous even though both are based on 12 servings per cake)but look at the difference between the 2 of them… it’s plain unbelievable!
You’re talking almost double the amount of calories in the conventional cake: 815 for this guy vs 448 for my healthified version.
Whoa! Wait a minute here and hold the phone, will ya? 815 calories for one single slice and this is supposed to be dessert?!?! As in an actual addition to a meal that’s just been consumed?
Oopsie Doopsie Missis Daisy!
Based on a 2000 calorie diet, that would be 40% of your daily allowance right there. Yikes! Hopefully, the preamble was awfully light… as will be the rest of the nourishment for the day!
As if that alone weren’t enough, take a look at the saturated fat figures: 36.1 grams vs 7.9! Unreal! Just one slice and you’ve busted almost 2 days worth of your daily allowance with the first guy!
Sugar contents is just as insane: 44.4g to 22.8g. That’s, again, twice as much. PLUS, that doesn’t even take into account the fact that all the sugar in my cake comes from natural sources…
Sheesh! At that rate, I’d much rather have 2 slices of mine! 😉
Now if we take a look at the good stuff, you’ll see that my version offers a really decent amount of dietary fiber, which is almost non-existent in the conventional cake, as well as a hefty dose of protein, more than twice as much as the other guy.
And for those of you who are watching their carb intake, note that my healthified cake is much easier on you in that department too!
Now I’m not saying that my cake is the ultimatest healthiestest meal on the planet. I’m saying that I think it’s healthy enough to be had for breakfast, though, and that it WILL satisfy and support you all the way to your next meal!
Granted, it lacks a little bit in the fruits and veggie department, so you can’t really call this a “complete breakfast”, but hey… just make sure you have a little bit more veggies for lunch or dinner, ok?
At least until I find a way to sneak a decent portion of spinach into that cheesecake! 😉
And hey, there’s no rules against having this for dessert either, you know…
Just sayin’ 😉
Decadently Healthy Chestnut and Hazelnut Cheesecake
For the crust
- ¾ cup spelt flour
- ½ cup wheat germ
- 75 g toasted hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
- 75 g roasted and peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup date paste
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
For the Cheese Filling
- 500 g 1% cottage cheese
- 500 g fat free plain Greek Yogurt
- 500 g reduced fat cream cheese, softened (at room temperature)
- 1½ cup unsweetened chestnut puree
- ¼ cup all natural hazelnut butter
- ¾ cup date paste
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup egg whites
- The juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 heaping tablespoons arrowroot flour
For the High Protein Chestnut Frosting
- ¼ cup fat free plain Greek Yogurt
- ¼ cup all natural hazelnut butter
- ¼ cup unsweetened chestnut puree
- ¼ cup date paste
- 2 tbsp pasteurized egg whites
- 3 scoops vanilla flavored whey protein powder
To make the "spider web"
- 2 tbsp fat free plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp milk or pasteurized egg whites
For the crust
- Preheat oven to 325F. Brush a little bit of olive oil on the bottom and sides of a 9” spring form pan.
- Combine all the ingredients for the crust in the bowl of your food processor and process on pulse until well combined. The mixture should hold together when squeezed firmly.
- If you feel a little bit more moisture is needed, add a little bit more applesauce, one tablespoon at a time, until desired texture is achieved.
- Transfer to reserved baking pan and press firmly to the bottom and halfway up the sides to form a crust. Set aside.
For the Chestnut Hazelnut Cheese Filling
- In the bowl of your food processor, add cottage cheese, date paste, hazelnut butter and chestnut puree and process until smooth. Add cream cheese and yogurt and again, process until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, giving the mixture a quick spin between each addition, then add egg whites, lime juice and vanilla extract. Sprinkle arrowroot over batter and resume processing until well blended.
- Pour batter over reserved crust, tap the sides gently to remove any potential air bubbles then delicately place your cake on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 60 minutes.
- When cake is finished baking, turn off the heat, crack the oven door open and leave the cake in to cool for a couple of hours.
- Remove cake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before frosting.
For the High Protein Chestnut Hazelnut Frosting
- Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
- Pour over cake and spread evenly with a spatula all the way to the edge, while trying to avoid as much as possible any contact between the pan and the icing.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix yogurt and milk or pasteurized egg whites until well combined. Transfer that to a small squeeze bottle and with it, draw a nice spiral on top of the icing.
- With a toothpick, trace lines across that spiral going from center to the edge and from the edge to the center, alternating between both directions.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 6 hours but preferably overnight. Carefully remove cake from the pan and garnish with crushed toasted hazelnuts and a beautiful fanned strawberry, if desired.
- For easier cutting, dip your blade in hot water and wipe it dry before each cut.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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Ready for a little bit of porn?
Sorry, couldn’t help it… so here goes!
Press the crust on the bottom and halfway up the side of the pan
Pour the deliciously, thick, rich and yummy batter
Pour, pour, pour…
Pour some more…
All done, it already looks good. Do we really need to bake this?
You need to get your hands on these! They’re such a time (and finger!) saver, and they’re very good too!
Make sure you get the pure, UNSWEETENED Chestnut Puree
All dressed up and ready to go
Direct view from above… OMG, I’m dying!
Breakfast is served!
Quick, gimme a fork…
What a thing of beauty… admiring my breakfast one more time before I dig in…
Creamy enough for you?
Don’t look for me now… I’ve just lost consciousness!
25 Comments on “Decadently Healthy Chestnut and Hazelnut Cheesecake… or what I had for breakfast this week!”
Hey. Looks so great. Going to make it this weekend. One question? How long to cook it in the oven? Can’t find that in the directions. Thanks.
You scared me for a minute, Vanessa… I thought the plugin had eaten my recipe once again! 😉 But no, the baking time is indicated in the instructions. You probably just missed it! You need to bake the cake for 60 minutes, at 325F.
Hope you like it as much as I did! Let me know how it turns out! 🙂
I see now. Thank you. And I will:-)
Sounds absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find chestnuts in the U.S., and I’ve never seen the canned puree. Stores seem to only carry them around November, and when I do find them, I have to peruse the label carefully as many are from China.
What a shame… real sorry to hear that! Guess your only option would be online ordering! I would totally go for that (I’m a bit of a chestnut fanatic…) I think Amazon carries both products, but I’m pretty sure there are many other sources out there…
OMG… thanks sooo much for posting. This looks like the best healthy cheese cake recipe I have ever seen. I WILL be making this for my boyfriend, who’s a cheesecake fiend!!
Thanks Daniela! Glad you like the recipe and hope your boyfriend approves! Boyfriend approvals are just so hard to get, make sure you let me know if I scored one! 🙂
800 calories? Hahaha. That’s CRAZY. If I’m going to eat 800 calories at one meal, it’d better be some really awesome fried chicken.
I have no idea what chestnuts taste like. I had no idea that you could bake with them! Actually, I know absolutely nothing about them. I’m trying to think of what to replace the chestnut puree with (just because we most definitely have that here) and my mind is running wild. Can’t wait to try! Oh wait. I still want to make the coffee version. Now that I have the ingredients for. 🙂
That’s a tough one, Erin… especially if you don’t even know what chestnuts taste or “feel” like. (you don’t know what you’re missing, by the way! These things are GOOD!) Chestnuts have a very distinctive taste and texture, they are subtly sweet and very soft and “pasty”… I’ll try and rack my brains as to what you could use instead. In the meantime, you should definitely give the Moka version a try. It’s just as good, if not better! 😉
And really? Fried chicken? Meh… I’m not a big fan. At least, not anymore. Lucky me, I guess! I would save my 800 calories for something much better. Like cheesecake! 😀
Sonia this looks and sounds amazing! Its just gorgeous first of all! Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts too – having this for breakfast sounds like the start of the best day ever! Nom nom nom….
Then I guess I’ve had the best week ever, Mellissa, for I had this cheesecake for breakfast EVERY single day of the week this week. 😉 Thanks for the kind words, I truly appreciate them!
I love the nutrition label comparison, I can’t believe the difference. The original recipe has 36g of saturated fat, zero fiber and nearly 1/4 cup of sugar.
I love the design on top of your cheesecake, this doesn’t look healthy one bit, I can’t believe it is!
Jessica! You changed your website! I guess that explains why I haven’t been receiving any email updates from you in a while… I’ll make sure to subscribe to your new blog, I wouldn’t want to miss out on your gorgeous, mouth watering dessert recipes!
Glad you like my cheesecake, it’s always an honor! 😀
Wow, wow, wow!!! Gorgeous! I could frame that photo of cream cheese filling pouring into the pan and look at it all day :-). Unfortunately, it would probably not satisfy the cravings ;-).
I am baking cheesecake with cottage cheese all the time, I think it makes for lighter, airier cheesecakes and tastes better. And, as you are so clearly demonstrating, the calories are much much lower. The last couple of times I made all nut crusts, which was also really good. Does not get soggy, and supposedly healthier.
I am now very curious to try these chestnuts and the chestnut paste. I maybe ate chestnuts once or twice in Europe and I have to admit, I was not super impressed. But I think they might taste really good in a cake like this.
p.s. You should also make a Nutella cheesecake. I made one in December and it was heavenly with a hazelnut crust. And with your homemade Nutella it would probably be even better.
Oohhhh, a Nutella Cheesecake. How decadent! Now there’s an idea. I’m definitely writing that one down! LOVE IT! 🙂 Have you ever tried using Greek yogurt in cheesecakes? I think that too, contributes to making them super nice and creamy. Plus, it also helps in lowering calorie and fat content, as well as boost the protein quite a bit. Really, it’s a big winner! 🙂 As for the all nut crust, as yummy as they may sound, I don’t think I would ever go for that myself. Nuts, while they are very good for you, are also extremely calorie dense and high in fat, so it would send the calorie count and fat content of a cheesecake way, way high! Then I would have to have only a tiny measly little slice, and that would make me miserable! 😉
Oh, and thank you much for the super kind words on the cream cheese pouring action picture. If you’re anything like me, though, I think you better not hang that on your wall: you’ll only end up wanting to eat cheesecake every minute of every hour of every day! 😀
I don’t want to make it, I want to buy it, Now.
HAHA! You’re too funny, Janice! I really wish I could sell you one now! Maybe I should consider opening a “healthy bakery”… 😉
Sonia, this looks amazing! Your pictures are always stand-outs on Foodgawker! 🙂
Really? I mean, really??!! Wow… thank you so much Lauren, you so just made my day! 😀
Had to let you know I made this for the Superbowl and it was delicious, a lot of work, but totally worth it! I love all the photos, all your recipes look amazing. For those in the US I found the chestnut puree and whole chestnuts at Whole Foods I’m the baking aisle.
AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for letting me know, Cambrey. I’m real happy to hear that you loved the cake, too!
And thanks a lot for the kind words, I truly appreciate them! 🙂
This is the first protein cheesecake I’ve had that left me with a feeling of eating something decadent. Between the nut-studded crust and rich topping, I was quite pleased with this recipe! I like firmer and less tall cheesecakes, so I will probably halve the filling next time. Yummy!
Glad to hear it was to your liking, Vanessa! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, I greatly appreciate that! 🙂