Celebrity square meals: Agnes Oaks' ballerina's cheesecake

Makes plenty to share with friends
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This cheesecake is something that I can eat - I came up with the recipe myself. It uses quark, a low-fat cheese that's big in Estonia, where I come from.

I also have a friend who's diabetic, so I often make it with sweetener rather than sugar, bringing the calorie count down even lower. Either way, it's still delicious, and a good recipe to know if you're on a diet.

200g reduced-fat oaty biscuits
60g butter or margarine
4 x 250g tubs of quark
3 large eggs
100g sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
2tsp Cointreau
1 handful of raisins
Half a lemon

Pre-heat oven to 170C/ gas mark 3. Melt the butter and crush the biscuits, then mix together. Take a deep, loose-bottomed cake tin - 20cm across - and press the biscuit on to the bottom to make a flat base. Into a bowl, add the eggs, quark, sugar, vanilla essence, the fruity liqueur and the zest and juice of half a lemon. Beat them until smooth, thick and creamy, then stir in the raisins. Pour on to the base and smooth the top. Bake it for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave it in there for 2 hours, then put it in the fridge overnight. How you top it is up to you. I like it with mangoes or kiwis. And whipped cream.

Agnes Oaks plays Aurora in the English National Ballet's production of 'The Sleeping Beauty', starting on Thursday in Southampton (02380 711811), then Bristol, Oxford, Manchester and Liverpool (visit www.ballet.org.uk)

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