The Ingredient Swap Alton Brown Swears By For A Dreamy Cheesecake

Alton Brown wearing blue suit
Alton Brown wearing blue suit - Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

While many types of cakes are fluffy treats made with a liquid mixture, cheesecake is a dense, rich, and creamy alternative. Now, if you're a fan of making classic baked cheesecakes, then your ingredients list probably centers around cream cheese. But Alton Brown swaps this standard for something different: He uses cottage cheese. Brown concedes that this ingredient doesn't sound appealing, conjuring up images of a lumpy, strangely textured dessert. However, as he puts it, "The curds simply dissolve leaving a kind of velvet lightness."

The result is a smooth dessert that packs in the protein. That's reason enough to make it, but the fact that it's also an easy and versatile swap that doesn't require tons of extra steps or other ingredients helps too. Although Brown enjoys his cheesecake plain, you can play around with different toppings and mix-ins just like you would a standard cream cheese cheesecake, to get well-rounded and unique flavor.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

What To Know About Making Cheesecake With Cottage Cheese

Bowl of cottage cheese
Bowl of cottage cheese - Elenaleonova/Getty Images

If you want to try this surprising way to use cottage cheese, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. For starters, it pays to know that you can use either reduced fat or full fat cottage cheese. A reduced fat version will result in a lower calorie cheesecake, but a full fat option may be slightly richer and creamier. Reduced fat and fat free options also tend to be more liquid, which may throw off the consistency of your cheesecake, so bear this in mind if you go that route.

It also pays to know that when making this dessert, you'll beat your cottage cheese in a stand mixer, along with the sugar, for about 5 minutes before adding in the rest of your filling ingredients. You can also use a food processor or blender, which can help break up the chunky consistency of the cheese and may lead to an even creamier dessert. Then stir in the rest of your ingredients, pour it into your prebaked crust, and cook your treat as usual.

Mix-Ins And Upgrades For Your Cottage Cheese Cheesecake

Slice of cheesecake
Slice of cheesecake - Enez Selvi/Shutterstock

Alton Brown suggests a topping for this recipe, although he personally doesn't find it necessary. "A topping of one or two luxardo cherries," he notes, "with a bit of their syrup wouldn't be a bad thing if you happen to have a jar on hand." These cocktail cherries are earthy and nutty and add sweetness to your dessert thanks to the syrup they're packed in. That's just one option, however. Another choice would be to swirl in some of your favorite jam. Sweet strawberry can add a fruity touch, or you can balance out some of the sugars in the dessert by using a tart option, such as raspberry or blackcurrant.

For something a little more refreshing, you can top your cheesecake with fresh fruit, such as blueberries or raspberries. Or, just serve it alongside a hearty dollop of vanilla whipped cream. Whether you enjoy it Brown's way or serve it with your favorite toppings, this is one cheesecake recipe you're sure to fall in love with.

Read the original article on Daily Meal