Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Paddington Bear, Marmalade, Kumquats, Yogurt & Cheesecake

Winnie The Pooh is my favorite bear, but Paddingon Bear is a close second. He doesn't have all the friends that Pooh has, but he does have marmalade, which I prefer, vastly, to honey. Not that they compare directly, but on a slice of buttered toast, marmalade is the clear winner.

I love marmalade's bitter sweet taste. Growing up, I might have been the only kid to prefer it to other types of jams and jellies. I'm sure it was the bear that encouraged me to keep trying it until I was hooked, but hooked I was. ...and am, to this day. In fact, I just polished off a big bowl of homemade yogurt with a heaping spoonful of marmalade stirred in. Oh my God good!

Marmalade Yogurt

1 cup 2% yogurt
1-2 tbsp marmalade, fruit sweetened

Nutrition (w/2 tbsp marmalade) -- 210 Calories, 5g Fat, 33g Carbs, .5g Fiber, 10g Protein

I've weened myself off of sweetened yogurt. I like it plain. Mine's homemade, but you can use any good plain yogurt from the store. Try it with a spoonful or two of marmalade on top.

If you like plain yogurt (me) and you like marmalade (my hand's up again), you'll like this.

By the way, here's the marmalade that's my current favorite.

A blurry shot of my St. Dalfour Kumquat Marmalade
I got it at Whole Foods, and it's amazing. It's about the same cost as the other, lesser marmalades, too. I don't really care about the 100% fruit part. In this case, that just means grape juice instead of sugar. I like that it's not HFCS, just out of principal, but other than that sugar (juice) is sugar (cane). 
If you like orange marmalade, I suggest you step outside the marmalade comfort zone and see what's out there. Try a Seville Orange Marmalade, a Grapefruit Marmalade, or something like this kumquat version. You might think "I don't like kumquats, so I'll pass..." That would be a mistake. You don't like kumquats because you don't like to eat that skin or the bitter insides? Well, that's the basis of marmalade, buddy, just sweetened up a tad. You probably don't eat the skin of your oranges, either, right? ...and it's $3. You may not love it, but if you like marmalade, the odds are on your side.
Back to my ramble... 

...and onto the cheesecake.
About a month ago, I thought, over a bowl of marmalade yogurt, how good cheesecake could be with marmalade over the top. It took me a while, especially in diet mode, to get up the guts to try it. A cheesecake in the house is not safe with me, so rather than make one that I have to count as a splurge or cheat, I made one that almost counts as plain ol' food.

Mmm... food...

Kumquat Marmalade Cheesecake

Makes 8 servings

15 oz ricotta cheese (this was the whole container, in my case)
16 oz light cream cheese (neufchatel)
4 eggs
8 servings of sweetener (your choice, but I used 4 stevia and 4 Splenda)
4 oz golden raisins (black is fine if it's what you've got)
4 oz almonds (raw, blanched, slivered, whatever)
8 tbsp good marmalade

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bring the cheeses to room temperature on the counter. In a large mixing bowl, cream the neufchatel cheese with a fork, so that it's pretty creamy. Stir in the ricotta and continue to mix and cream until they are well combined.

Beat the eggs and sweeteners together. This is important, because stevia, especially, mixes best with a liquid before combining with a solid. Combine the egg and sweetener mixture with the cheeses, thoroughly combining.

In a food processor or blender, blend the almonds and raisins. They will never fully combine and become smooth, so just get them ground to a sandy texture by pulsing the processor as you go.

Spray a spring form pan (or four tiny spring form pans) with cooking spray. Spread the raisin and almond mixture around the bottom of the pan. It will not fully cover the bottom, so just spread it as evenly as possible.

Carefully drop spoonfulls of the filling over the crust. If you just pour it, the crust will flood out and mix in with the filling. That's bad. Once you've actually covered the crust, you can slowly pour it in without fear.

Put the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, cooking for 30 minutes longer. At this point, check for done by inserting a knife into the middle. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, give it another 15 and recheck. Repeat until it's done. If your cheesecake is getting too dark, you can cover it with a sheet of loose foil.

Let it cool for 30 minutes, then cover it with foil and refrigerate until overnight or until chilled.

When serving, top each slice with a tablespoon of marmalade, garnish with a few kumquats, halved or whole.

Nutrition (1/8th of cheesecake) -- 350 Calories, 22g Fat, 22g Carbs, 1.5g Fiber, 17g Protein


1. 350 calories of cheese, eggs, nuts and raisins is a healthy part of a balanced meal.  I'm not worried about 40 calories of marmalade, and I'll have a salad for dinner and take care of the veggies!

2. This cheesecake is not particularly sweet. I like it that way. If you really don't like artificial sweetener, go ahead and use sugar. Each packet of sweetener should be replaced with about 2 teaspoons of sugar.

3. Here are the mini spring form pans I use.

They came in a pack of four at Williams Sonoma.  They make great pans for fritattas, too.

4.  Enough Pooh and Paddington posts.  Something with manliness up next.  I think.

5.  F***ing Blogger!  Change one picture around and it messes up the line spacing for half the blog.  Frustrating...



  1. May I suggest more manly marmalade, like one made from green tomatoes or whole baby walnuts. If you cannot find them, then you can order them with me and I will make sure you get them :)

  2. Roland,
    I'm with you on marmalade. It definitely an acquired taste but one I prefered growing up and still today.

    The combo with yogurt has me intrigued...


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