Friday 6 December 2019
  • :
  • :
What She Said! with Christine Bentley & Kate Wheeler

Festive Dessert Recipe Ideas with Charmaine Broughton

Gay Lea Nordica Smooth (like silk) Plain Cottage Cheese, is a blank canvas for many of your holiday kitchen creations. Bonus: Nordica smooth cottage cheese is low in calories, fat, sugar, and packed with protein (15 grams per ½ cup (125 g) serving).  From candy cane brownies to a decadent cheesecake – I’ve got your festive sweet treats covered.  Follow along and share your recipes/creations on social media using the hashtag #NothingPlainAboutIt.

Click here to learn more about the health benefits of Gay Lea Nordica Smooth Plain Cottage Cheese.

Rum and Eggnog Cheesecake

A classic holiday sip in dessert form.


2 cups (500 mL) shortbread cookie crumbs *or graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup (60 mL) Gay Lea butter, melted


1 (450 g) tub Gay Lea Nordica Smooth plain cottage cheese

½ cup (125 mL) prepared eggnog

3/4 cup (175 mL) sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks + 1 egg

3 tbsp (45 mL) dark rum *optional

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg

Garnish: melted white chocolate and silver & gold sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C).

Stir together shortbread crumbs and butter. Press evenly on to bottom of a well greased 10-inch springform pan.

Bake in centre of oven for about 10 minutes (or until edges are light brown). Remove from oven and cool completely.  

Meanwhile, whisk together all cheesecake ingredients until well combined. Pour mixture onto prepared crust.  Bake in center of oven for about 45 minutes (or until edges are firm and centre of cake is slightly jiggly).  

When finished baking, turn oven off.  Open oven door slightly and let cake cool in oven for 15 minutes (with door open) before removing. Remove from oven and cool completely.  

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, drizzle with melted white chocolate and garnish with sprinkles. Makes 8 servings.            

Black Bean Brownies with Candy Cane Cheesecake Swirl

A decadent and fibre rich holiday inspired indulgence – I’ll take two!!  


1 (540 mL) can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 eggs

1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) quality cocoa powder

1/2 cup (125 mL) softened Gay Lea butter

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped 70% dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp (1 mL) quality ground coffee

1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda

Candy Cane Cheesecake Swirl

¾ cup (175 mL) Gay Lea Nordica smooth plain cottage cheese

5 tbsp (75 mL) granulated sugar

1 tsp (5 mL) peppermint extract

½ tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract

1 egg, whisked

Garnish: 2 oz (60 g) melted dark chocolate & crushed candy canes (*note: bulk food stores sell pre-crushed candy canes – take my word, do not attempt crushing your own candy canes!!)   

Preheat oven to 350 F (160 C). Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (on bottom and up the sides) and set aside.  

Place beans in food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until very finely chopped.  Add remaining brownie ingredients and pulse until very well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl when needed.

Measure out ½ cup (125 mL) of the brownie batter and set  aside.

Pour remaining batter into prepared pan.

Stir together ingredients for cheesecake swirl until well combined.

Gently fold cheesecake mixture into reserved (½ cup (125 mL)) brownie batter – just enough to resemble a swirl look.

Pour cheese/brownie mixture on top of brownie in pan.    

Place brownies in centre of preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes (or until edges are set and centre is slightly jiggly).   

Remove from oven and cool completely.  

Cut into 16 brownies.  

Garnish: Drizzle each brownie with melted dark chocolate and sprinkle evenly crushed candy canes.

Gingerbread Fruit Dip

If you’re hosting a festive brunch or luncheon – this fruit dip with-a-twist, makes a healthy and delicious dessert option.

½ cup (125 mL) Gay Lea Nordica Smooth Plain Cottage

½ cup (125 mL) Gay Lea Premium Gold sour cream

2 tbsp (30 mL) fancy molasses

1 tbsp (15 mL) Canadian maple syrup

1 tsp (10 mL) finely grated orange zest

2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg, allspice and cardamom

Garnish: very finely chopped candied ginger  

Stir together all ingredients and place in serving dish.  Garnish with candied ginger.  Serve with fresh fruit skewers and cubed pound cake.

Food Styling & photography credit: Meagan Broughton – @eattrainadventure

Join What She Said and receive Exclusive behind the scenes Videos, Interviews & Performances -not to mention great giveaways from our guests :)

You have Successfully Subscribed!