Do you have a favourite dessert that is not particularly healthy? These mascarpone cheesecakes were a little like that for us. I’ve made a version of these before which was delicious but, between the sugar in the chocolate biscuits, added sugar both in the base and cheesecake layers as well as the addition of cream, they were not particularly good for us.
So I decided to come up with a lighter, healthier version. And so this is it, folks, and it’s genuinely delightful. The texture of this cheesecake mousse layer is so smooth and luxurious, you’d never know it’s half made of yoghurt!
Cheesecake or mousse
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I like recipes that you can adapt and vary, in case you’re missing an ingredient that particular time or you’re after a variation of a familiar taste, to spruce up your diet without alarming your family too much.
These mascarpone cheesecakes are perfect that way. You can eat them as cheesecakes – with a base cookie layer and a cheesecake mousse layer; or you can just make the mascarpone cheesecake mousse layer and have it by itself. This is a particularly good choice if you’re not keen on the cookies crumbled in the base, you don’t have any, or you’re feeling like having a very light dessert. This is why I’ve made the base layer optional in the recipe below.
How else could I vary this recipe?
The other change which you could make to this recipe is around the ingredients in the base layer. While I’ve taken out the additional sugar or sweetener, I’ve kept in the dark chocolate digestive biscuits (because we like the taste and there is not a great amount of sugar in them), you could substitute the biscuits for other ingredients which suit your tastes better – for example, sugar free biscuits, or even crushed nuts or granola. I haven’t tried out all these variations yet so play around with the textures and the amount of coconut oil or butter if need be, to make sure that the mixture is wet but not overly runny.
It is also particularly lovely to add a little bit of spice into the base. You can add cinnamon if you like but I really enjoy the smell and taste of the speculaas spice mix, which you can make at home – recipe here. (Alternatively, you could use speculatius cookies in the base layer – Aldi sell really lovely ones.)
Easy delicious cheesecakes
I also love that this recipe comes together really easily and quickly. Whether you have unexpected guests coming over or you want to treat your family, you just whiz these two (or one!) layers in a food processor and you can dig in. That’s it – no pre-heating the oven, no mixing, cleaning multiple bowls, no waiting for your baked dessert to cool down.
Plus, you probably already have all the ingredients at home. Except mascarpone – so don’t forget to buy some on your next grocery shopping trip (they last a little while in the fridge so when the need for this mascarpone cheesecake or mousse strikes you, and I know it will, you will be ready).
Finally, I love that everyone gets their own little cheesecake (or mousse) to devour. No cutting or fighting necessary. (You will be so pleased about this, I guarantee it.)
This recipe gives you 4 adult servings but I’ve been able to stretch this amount to 5 and even 6, if absolutely necessary. I hope you enjoy these little beauties!
This recipe makes 4 large servings but you will be able to stretch it to 5 or even 6, if you like.
The base layer is optional but delicious.
Healthier individual mascarpone cheesecakes or mousse
- Food processor
Cheesecake base (optional)
Cheesecake mousse layer
- 1 cup natural Greek yoghurt (I like the Tamar Valley one)
- 250 g mascarpone
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 – 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice (or zest and juice from 1 lemon)
- If making the base layer, blitz both ingredients together in a food processor until you have a crumbly mixture which looks like wet sand. Don't over-process.
- Separate equal amounts of the mixture into 4 glasses and press down gently with the back of the spoon. Set the glasses aside while you make the cheesecake layer. (I rinse the food processor at this point, to make sure I don't get crumbs in the cheesecake layer but feel free to proceed without rinsing.)
Cheesecake mousse layer
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz for a few short moments, until everything is well combined and looks fluffy and gorgeous.
- Spoon equal amounts of cheesecake mousse into 4 glasses (I find this is about 3 heaped tbsp each), on top of the base layer, if using.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to eat, or eat straight away.
- Just before serving, top with some cut up berries, if desired.