North Fork Baker Offers Healthier Sweets

Low-fat, low-cholesterol brownies and cheesecakes – that actually taste good? You’re thinking no way, right? Well, Keith Orenstein, founder of Crumb DeLites, is on a mission to prove otherwise with his delectable array of low cholesterol, low fat cheesecakes and brownies.

“I started by baking for ‘bring your favorite food’ holiday parties where I work and everyone wanted the recipes,” says Orenstein. “I was also bringing trays of cheesecakes and brownies to the staff at the North Fork vineyards when going for wine tastings and they were very well received.”

Crumb DeLites was born about a year ago, when Orenstein’s passion for baked goods led him on a mission to make the same treats he liked to eat himself, but to make them healthier.

“I wanted to take the recipes that I was working with and create desserts that were a little more healthy and could be eaten with less ‘guilt’,” says Orenstein. “I’d spend time in the kitchen having some wine, listening to jazz and then a lot of trial and error using egg whites, lower fat and trans fat free products along with feedback from my ‘taste testing’ friends. I chose to bake cheesecakes since my dad would always look forward to having a good cheesecake for dessert when I was growing up.”

Orenstein has set up his shop right at the entrance to the beautiful Raphael Vineyard, and he offers free samples of his baked goods to lucky wine tasters. I stopped by Raphael last Sunday afternoon and had the chance to meet Orenstein and sample some of (ok, ALL of) his baked goods. My favorite brownie, hands down, was the Fudge Brownie with Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Streusel. A layer of fudgy brownie topped with a layer of chocolate chip cookie goodness – it was decadent and heavenly, and I couldn’t believe it was low fat and low cholesterol! His other brownie flavors include Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownie with Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Streusel, and Fudge Brownie with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Streusel.

On to the cheesecakes…After trying them all, I couldn’t quite pinpoint my favorite, because they are all so delicious for different reasons. The Blueberry Cheesecake was topped with fresh blueberry compote, and it was sweet and creamy, and the crust was so good! The Cappuccino Chocolate Cheesecake blew me away with its rich coffee flavor entwined so delightfully with chocolate, and the chocolate streusel top – which Orenstein uses on many of his baked goods – is out of this world tasty! You won’t miss ANY of the fat, trust me! Finally, the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Fudge Brownie and the Streusel Crumb topping is a must try. Cheesecake paired with a fudge brownie – and it’s a healthier version? Wow! It was so good, so creamy and full of decadent chocolate flavor and the light crunch of the streusel matches perfectly, creating quite the symphony for your senses.

Orenstein was kind enough to give me a bunch of samples to take to the Dan’s Papers offices in Southampton, so that the whole staff could have a sampling. It’s no secret that we here at Dan’s Papers like to eat, but the cheesecakes and brownies from Crumb DeLites disappeared within an hour. Everyone commented on how good they were, many of them asking where they could buy these delicious – and healthy! – treats.

For now, you can go visit Crumb DeLites and Keith Orenstein at Raphael Vineyards Thursday nights and Sundays August 12 & 26 in the afternoon. Orenstein will be there every Sunday afternoon in the fall. In the future, Orenstein hopes to market his baked goods in the food service industry, and he plans to continue to evolve his recipes to be even lower in calories.

If you stop by Raphael Vineyards for a taste and decide you want more, Orenstein will sell you cheesecake by the slice for $5 a piece, and his brownies are $3 each. Whole Cheesecakes are $40, and must be ordered in advance. Raphael Vineyards, 39390 Route 25, Peconic.

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