A few months ago, there was a good-looking recipe for Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup in Bon Appetit magazine.
But I was pretty sure I could make it better.
My first change was to ditch the graham cracker crust, and instead use mashed-up chocolate shortbread cookies. Then, I figured, why not go whole hog and add a layer of melted chocolate between the crust and cheesecake? So basically, the crust is a layer of these Million Dollar Shortbread Bars. Like for the bars, I used Walkers shortbread since I had a bunch of samples.
As for the pomegranate? Well, I'll tell you the truth. I didn't feel like going to the store for a pomegranate, plus, they're kind of expensive and messy. And would it really taste good with the chocolate?
Basically, pomegranate amounted to "too hard". So I opted for toasted almonds on top, instead. And you know what? It tasted fantastic. Zingy and tangy thanks to the yogurt-cream cheese topping, it was mellowed by the dark, rich chocolatey crust, making for an unusual but quite nice flavor complement. Aforementioned crust, along with the toasty nuts on top, gave it a nice crunch. The only tough part was that the chocolate layer on top of the crust made cutting difficult, since the dessert must be chilled. So there may be a little hacking involved to ensure a prompt delivery of this dessert to your mouth.
I'm going to call this one a success. A little goes a long way with the powerful flavors of the dessert--a small slice will do. I think this makes it a perfect post dinner party dessert, for when people are fairly full but still want a decadent bite or four.
So while I really took some liberties with the recipe, I still thank Bon Appetit for planting the idea seedling in my mind for this delicious treat.
Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Chocolate Shortbread Crust
- 1 batch Million Dollar Shortbread Bars, prepared in a 9-inch springform pan and cooled
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- A 9-inch-diameter springform pan
- Prepare crust. Let set until cool.
- Once you're ready to make the filling, place gelatin and 1 1/2 tablespoon cold water in a heatproof bowl. Let stand until softened, 5-10 minutes.
- Pulse cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until completely smooth.
- Pour water to a depth of 1/2-inch into a small skillet over medium heat. Place bowl with gelatin in skillet; stir until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from skillet.
- With processor running, drizzle gelatin into cream cheese mixture; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared crust. Tap pan firmly on the counter to break up any big air bubbles. Smooth top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, toast almonds in 350 degree oven until fragrant. Let cool, and sprinkle on top of the cheesecake before serving.