It’s been several years since I made this luscious cheesecake, which tastes just as rich and decadent as my ‘regular’ cheesecake. But egg whites and low-fat cream cheese make all the difference in the amount of fat.
I don’t even remember when or where my original copy of this recipe came from. But, of course, I’ve tinkered with it quite a bit. And the original is old enough that it assumed easy availability of chocolate graham crackers. When my large grocery store didn’t have any, I felt fortunate to find a chocolate version of teddy bear graham crackers. A pleasant ‘side effect’ of using them was the touch of crunch they added to this cheesecake crust.
Making this dessert requires much more kitchen equipment than I remembered. Two mixing bowls, my food processor, a double boiler bowl, two measuring cups, two mixer blades, a spatula, and measuring spoons helped me to pull everything together. Is it worth the cleanup involved? You bet. In fact, this is one of my favorite chocolate recipes. Let me know if you agree.
Reduced Fat Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Makes 12 servings
Safflower or mild olive oil
½ cup walnuts
¾ cup chocolate graham crackers
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 ounce bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
¾ cup sugar
12 ounces low-fat/Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso or coffee powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. To make the crust, combine walnuts, graham crackers, and sugar in a food processor until chopped ultrafine. Add melted butter and combine thoroughly. Press onto the pan bottom to just cover the ‘seam’ at the side.
3. Melt chocolate and set aside to cool. Beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Beat thoroughly.
4. In a grease-free medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add egg whites to other batter ingredients and beat together, without overmixing.
5. Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
6. Bake until the edges of the cheesecake are slightly puffy and browned, about 25 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean. Cool on a rack until it reaches room temperature. Using a knife, carefully separate the filling from the side of the cheesecake pan. Gently remove the pan side and then chill until ready to serve.
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