Friday, August 12, 2011
From my mama's kitchen...
I consider my mom to be a good cook (Are you reading this mom?). She always makes relatively healthy meals and does a great job entertaining a crowd when all the kids, spouses and grandkids come to their house for special occasions.
A few weeks ago, we went to my mom's house to have a joint summer birthday party. My dad was turning 60 and we were celebrating the 3rd birthday of my niece and an early 1st birthday for Finley. She wanted a special cake and asked a friend for her "Strawberry Cheesecake Torte" recipe. Turns out it is an old Pampered Chef recipe - you know, the kind that tries to convince you to buy all their special items. Well, even without the special items it turned out delicious. I couldn't find the original recipe on the Pampered Chef website but there were several ways to make this a bit healthier.
Strawberry Cheesecake Torte
1 package (16 oz) pound cake mix (plus ingredients to make cake, low fat version)
1/2 cup water
1 package sugar free strawberry gelatin
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup cold skim milk
1 container (12 oz) lite frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg (3.4 oz) cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling
1 kiwi, peeled, sliced and halved
1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Prepare cake mix to low fat package directions (usually using egg whites, decreasing oil, etc). Pour into pan, spreading evenly. Bake 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean: Cool 10 minutes. Carefully lift cake out of pan and onto cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
In a microwave safe container, microwave water on high for 1-2 minutes or until boiling. Add sugar free gelatin; stir until dissolved. Add jam; whisk until smooth. Invert cake onto large cutting board. Prick cake at 1/2 inch intervals with a toothpick or fork. Brush cake evenly with all but 2 Tbsp of the gelatin mixture. Trim 1/4 inch around edge of cake and discard edges. Cut cake crosswise into 3 equal layers.
Zest lemon; set zest aside. Juice lemon to measure 2 Tbsp juice. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and lemon juice; whisk until smooth. Add milk; whisk until smooth. Spoon whipped topping over cream cheese mixture (Do not mix). Sprinkle with pudding mix: mix well (Mixture will be thick).
Place one layer of the cake onto serving platter. Place a little less than half of the cream mixture on cake layer and spread evenly. Top with second cake layer and repeat cream mixture leaving behind enough cream mixture to pipe a border. Top with third layer, pipe a decorative border around edge. Spread any remaining filling down center.
Arrange kiwi on top of cake. Place strawberries and reserved gelatin mixture in small bowl. Mix gently. Spoon berries over top of cake and sprinkle with remaining lemon zest.