As the holidays are rapidly approaching, I thought I'd share a little gem that I discovered recently—high protein cheesecake! Now if you're like me, you've likely had some bad experiences with various protein concoctions in the past. I've suffered through horrible cottage cheese filled "protein pancakes" and cauliflower-crust "pizzas," but let me assure you, this cheesecake is the real deal!
First things first, I must admit I cannot take credit for this amazing recipe; in fact, I'm not sure I was supposed to even know about it. Let me explain...
You see, at my gym there's this legend of sorts. The details are vague and seem to change each time it's told, but there's this guy who shows up from time to time: he deadlifts 600+ for reps, does chinups with 100 pounds strapped to his waist...
Some say it's the spirit of Martin Berkhan, others, a demon...the reality is no one knows for sure. Anyway, about a month ago I got to the gym a little later than usual. It was dark out and most people had already left for the night.
After warming up I headed over to the squat rack, but something was amiss...the bar was bent, almost as if it had been loaded with so much weight it couldn't bear the force. I touched the bar and it was red hot! Only then did I realize I had just missed an encounter with this wayward spirit.
As I turned to leave I noticed a small piece of paper crumpled up on the floor. I stooped down and smoothed out the worn sheet of paper...it was blank... Not giving it much thought, I pocketed it, finished my workout, and headed home.
When I arrived at my house, a strange thing happened. The paper that had once been blank was now full of thin, spidery handwriting! At the top of the paper was the title The Ultimate High Protein Cheesecake. As I happened to have the ingredients on hand, I made the cheesecake that night.
It changed my life.
After some careful research I was able to ascertain the origins of this mythic compound. Created by a man with a name reminiscent of a Star Wars astromech droid (thank you gp79!), the original recipe along with its many variations can be found here if you're interested.
But enough of that. Without further adieu...
Directions: All ingredients should be room temperature (important)
Whole cake: 953 calories, 128g protein, 68g carbs, 11g fat
Per slice (1/4): 238 calories, 32g protein, 17g carbs, 3g fat
It's important to use a small pan for this. I use a 7" springform pan and it turns out fine, but any bigger than that and you'll need to adjust the recipe because the cake will be too thin. You may need to play with the temp/cooking time as well: my oven temperature runs high so I had to adjust the temperature down and reduce the cooking time a tad. Shoot for about 155 degrees in the center when it's done. When you take it out it should be a little jiggly in the center and not totally cooked (it'll finish cooking as it cools and will firm up in the fridge).
The recipe listed above is for a plain New York style cheesecake, but it's very easy to play with the recipe a bit to get different flavors. For the lemon cheesecake pictured at the top of the page I just replaced the milk with lemon juice and the vanilla extract with lemon extract (plus the zest from one lemon).
For the dark chocolate cheesecake pictured directly above I added a few tablespoons of special dark cocoa powder and replaced the milk with coffee.
If you're not too concerned about the calorie count, then I highly suggest trying a peanut butter version. Just add 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter and 4 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter to the original recipe. Adds a lot of calories but tastes amazing! Normally I wouldn't recommend being the guy who shows up to a family get-together with a "healthy" version of a dessert that no ones going to like, but I'd say this recipe is definitely an exception to that rule.
It's that good.
So good, in fact, that my wife (who normally won't touch any of my protein powder creations) keeps eating it before I can. Not cool...
Anyway, as you start cooking for the holidays, I highly suggest giving this recipe a shot if you're in need of a macro-friendly dessert.