Cheesecake is the ultimate “save it for a special occasion” dessert. It’s often too heavy, making it land like an anvil in my stomach. Knowing the caloric content of one tiny slice makes it easy to pass on this most-delicious dessert, and relegate it to a once in awhile indulgence. Except when it comes to Vonda Lee’s California Cheesecake — the treat with all the goodness of a 5-inch tall slice of NYC-style slice in a downright dainty single-serving cup.
Vonda’s uncooked cheesecakes are made without eggs and are much lighter than traditional cheesecakes, but just as satisfying. At the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market, several flavors were available, including Chocolate Fudge, Caramel, English Toffee, Cookies and Cream, plus fruit flavors like Strawberry, Blueberry, and Key Lime. After sampling the Chocolate Fudge and the Cookies and Cream (both excellent!), I settled on the most refreshing flavor of all: Key Lime.
The creamy pot of citrus-flavored cheesecake was perfectly balanced, and satisfied my need for something tart and something sweet at the same time. Unlike traditional cheesecake, which makes me a bit lethargic, Vonda Lee’s cheesecake was refreshing and invigorating.
The best part about this cheesecake is its versatility. I tried it at room temperature, slightly chilled, and frozen. At each temperature, the dessert took on different characteristics, while remaning equally delicious. At room temperature, it’s like a soft, silky cheesecake pudding, without any of the overbearing heaviness of traditional cheesecake. When chilled, it tasted like a light, whipped cheesecake mousse. If you give it time to freeze, it becomes slightly chewy, and a bit like a frozen pudding pop.
All of the cheesecakes keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, or 6 weeks in the freezer — but I’m betting they won’t survive longer than a couple of days.
Vonda Lee’s California Cheesecakes
Available at the Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Hillcrest Farmers’ Markets in San Diego and mail order