Chocolate Cheesecake-all the flavor with less fat.

I used to believe that you could never eat too much chocolate.  But I learned, after making what I thought at the time was the best  chocolate cheesecake ever, that it was simply too rich.  You couldn’t even eat the whole slice.  I have since learned how to get a big chocolate taste without having so many calories that you would explode if you ate it (ha ha).   This cake combines the best of both worlds, great taste without overwhelming you.  When I made it for Thanksgiving, it was gone within a half an hour of cutting it.

By using regular and light cream cheese combined with non fat vanilla greek yogurt and fewer eggs, you still get that wonderful silky texture that you want.  This method can be applied to any flavor of cheesecake you want to make.  We just happen to be big chocolate fans. 🙂

You’ll need:

Crust

4 cups chocolate animal crackers (plain or cinnamon?)

1 Tbs raw sugar

1/2 stick butter, melted (1/4 cup)

Filling

1 pkg (8oz) Neufchatel cheese(lite cream cheese), room temperature

1 pkg (8oz) regular cream cheese, room temperature

16 oz non fat Greek yogurt

3/4 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli works wonderfully)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

4 oz bittersweet chocolate , melted (again Ghirardelli)

2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped

Topping

3/4 cup whipping cream

6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

1 Tbs raw sugar

For crust:

Preheat oven to 350F

Blend animal crackers in a food processor until well ground.  Add sugar and pulse for a few seconds.  Add melted butter and process until well blended.  Press crumbs into the bottom of a 9 in spring-form pan.  Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Remove.  Do not turn oven off.

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For filling:

Melt 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler, set aside to cool.

In a mixer combine both cream cheeses, yogurt, sugar, cocoa, vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time until blended.  Add melted chocolate and chopped chocolate and mix about 1 minute more.  Pour filling over crust and spread evenly.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Turn oven off and open door slightly. Let cheesecake sit for 45 minutes before removing.  Cool for 1 more hour before adding topping.

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For topping:

Note: Making a chocolate ganache for the top is easy, delicious, and will hide any cracks your cheesecake may get during baking. (for other flavor cheesecake, use a ganache made with white chocolate chips, cinnamon, butterscotch…you get the idea.  Try a fresh fruit topping or maybe roasted strawberries!)

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In a double boiler, combine cream, chocolate, and sugar and stir until smooth and shiny.  Cool slightly and spread over top of cheesecake to within 1/4 inch of edge, filling any cracks.  Chill cake until set, about 1 hour.  Cover cake  and keep refrigerated.

Let cake stand for 2 hours at room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

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