Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reduced-Fat Dark Chocolate Cheesecake - Chocolate Week 5

Despite my love of creating new chocolate dishes, sometimes there's no substitute for an existing recipe. Such is the case with this dessert, which a now-forgotten magazine printed from The Healthy Oven Baking Book, by Sarah Phillips.

I think I'd add another word to the title - decadent. Deep, dark chocolate flavor and smooth, creamy texture rule, with minimal guilt. In fact, here are the nutritional stats: 240 calories per serving, 31 carbs, 10 fat grams and 6 grams of protein. ENJOY!

Reduced-Fat Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Serves 12

Chocolate crust
1 1/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
4 large egg whites, room temperature
12 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese (do not use nonfat cream cheese), well-softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder or 2 teaspoons regular instant coffee powder
(VOE: I don't keep espresso/instant coffee powder on hand. So I made ultra-strong brewed coffee and added one teaspoon, instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For crust: In a medium bowl, stir the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until well combined. Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch, springform pan, lightly coated with canola oil spray. Set crust aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
In a grease-free medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Increase the speed and beat until stiff peaks begin to form. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Beat in the cooled chocolate, cocoa, coffee powder and vanilla, until combined.
Add the egg whites and beat until combined - do not overmix. Turn mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until the edges of the cake are slightly puffed and very lightly browned, 25 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve chilled.

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