We've made it into February, and survived the cold January! Horray! It's time to indulge a little with a dessert for breakfast. This breakfast greek yogurt cheesecake has a crust made from spelt flakes and is topped with grapes and granola. It's flavored with bergamot, the citrusy floral scent in earl grey teas. It's simple, beautiful and delicious.
Bergamot is an interesting citrus fruit that looks like a cross between an orange and a lemon. They are about the size of oranges, but they have yellow peels like lemons. The yellow color, however, isn't bright like many lemons. Instead it is a bit more muted, and the bergamots I picked up also have a little green in the peel and the flesh. You can smell the fragrant and floral scent just by holding a bergamot close to your nose, but once you cut open the bergamot, the strong scents will hit you and the warm citrus undertones come through.
The bergamot cuts through the plain taste of the greek yogurt nicely. Because the strong citrus and floral flavors of the bergamot carry the greek yogurt cheesecake very well, you can use a bit less sugar in the recipe if you would like. I didn't find the recipe too sweet, but I also wanted to indulge a little with it. If you want to adjust the sugar level, you can simply swipe a bit of the greek yogurt cheesecake mixture onto your fingers to taste it as you are beating it. It's a no-bake cheesecake recipe, so everything is ready to eat even as you are making it.
This greek yogurt cheesecake works perfectly as a grab 'n go breakfast too. Make them directly into jars or little tupperware. In the morning, you'll just need to grab a spoon and toss the breakfast cheesecake in your bag to go. I made up a stack of these greek yogurt cheesecake jars over the weekend, and we've been eating them as quick breakfasts this week.
Breakfast Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Bergamot and SpeltPrint Recipe
For the spelt crust
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 4 cups toasted ready-to-eat spelt flakes
- 2 teaspoons flax seeds (linseeds)
- 2 teaspoons sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons honey
For the cheesecake
- 2 teaspoons gelatin
- 1 ½ cup greek yogurt
- 1 ¼ pounds cream cheese (use a light version if you prefer)
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon bergamot juice
- zest of ½ a bergamot (about 1 tablespoon, unpacked)
- 1 vanilla pod
- grapes and granola - for serving
For the crust
- Melt the butter in a medium frying pan on medium to medium-high heat. Add in the linseeds, sliced almonds and spelt flakes. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, making sure to coat everything, until the spelt flakes are a bit more toasted and brown. You can also start smelling the butter brown at that point.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
For the cheesecake
- Place the gelatin in a small bowl with about ½ tablespoon of water. Let it stand for about 5 minutes to allow it to dissolve. Continue with the following steps, and you'll return to the gelatin in step 5 below.
- In a medium bowl, using a mixer, cream together the greek yogurt and cream cheese. Mix in the sugar and salt.
- Stop the mixer and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to allow the sugar and salt to fully dissolve.
- Carefully slice open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the greek yogurt mixture. Add in the bergamot juice and zest. Mix until thoroughly combined. You may want to taste test to check that the sugar is fully dissolved and you don't feel any sugar crystals.
- You'll next dissolve the gelatin. There are two different ways I normally do this, depending on my equipment. First method: place the small bowl with the gelatin into a larger bowl, so there is room to pour hot water into the larger bowl and create a makeshift "double boiler". Pour hot water into the larger bowl, being careful not to get it into the smaller bowl containing the gelatin. Stir the gelatin until it is fully dissolved. Second method: heat about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Set the small bowl with the gelatin into the skillet or saucepan and stir the gelatin until it is dissolved.
- Remove the small bowl with the gelatin in it. Using one hand, hold the mixer and beat the greek yogurt mixture on low speed. Using your other hand, slowly and steadily pour in the gelatin while the mixer is running. Mix until it is well blended.
Prepare the cheesecake
- Evenly divide and spoon the spelt crust into 8 small jars (my jars were 200ml). Using a small cup with a flat bottom that fits into the jar, evenly push down on the spelt flakes to compress them. If any spelt flakes go up the sides of the jar, use a spoon knock them back into the middle of the jar. Push down again with the small cup. Repeat for each jar.
- Evenly divide and spoon the greek yogurt mixture into the jars.
- Cover each jar and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. These breakfast cheesecakes are best made the night before to enjoy in the morning.
- Top with grapes and granola immediately before serving.
VARIATION WITH AGAR FLAKES
- This step should be done once you have finished pressing the crust into the jars and beating together the greek yogurt mixture. The agar mixture needs to be mixed into the greek yogurt mixture immediately after the agar is dissolved so it does not set on its own.
- In a small saucepan, add in one cup of water and sprinkle on 1 ½ teaspoons of agar flakes. Bring to boil without stirring. Turn down the heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes, until the agar flakes are completely dissolved. Make sure the agar doesn't stick to the side or bottom of the pan.
- Immediately continue with step 6 in the recipe above, using the agar mixture instead of gelatin.
The ingredients and spelt flakes for this post were provided by Rude Health.