It was Brandon’s birthday yesterday and as is my tradition I wanted to make him a cheesecake since he’s not a fan of regular cake. But, as I mentioned last week, we are supposed to be on a diet and he, especially, didn’t want to ruin the progress we’ve made. Personally, I think you deserve to eat whatever you want on your birthday (a right which also extends to the celebrators of said birthday, ie me), but he was very adamant about staying within our allotted points (we’re doing weight watchers). In fact, he didn’t even want me to make a cake at all, but I just wouldn’t have that. You celebrate your birthday by eating some damn cake, diet or not diet. So to appease him, I said I’d find a light version. This, of course, filled me with dread. I mean, light cheesecake, what’s the point?!? But it was his birthday, not mine, and I’d committed to it so I was just going to have to make the best of it.
As a point of comparison I decided to find out just how bad my favorite cheesecake recipe actually is. Oh. My. God. I plugged in all the ingredients into a recipe analyzer and it turns out that 1/12 of that cheesecake (in other words: a small piece) is 50 grams of fat and almost 800 calories! I try not to curse much on this blog, but OH SHIT. I LOVE that recipe, but it would have definitely undone all our progress, so that made me feel better about making a lighter version even if wouldn’t be as good.
After much googling I found this recipe for Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake from Cooking Light. All the reviews of it were extremely positive (every single person rated it “outstanding”) and I figured the chocolate would help mask any of the ill-effects of having to use low-fat/no-fat ingredients. Now that I’ve made it I have to say that I agree 100% with the other reviewers. This cheesecake is fantastic. If I served it to you, there’s no way you would ever assume it’s supposed to be light. But it is. 1/12 is 10 grams of fat and 260 calories which compared to 50 grams of fat and 800 calories and especially for how good it tastes, is pretty amazing to me. It’s creamy and chocolaty, but it still has that sour tang from the cream cheese. It’s not as pronounced as the regular cheesecake recipe, but that’s to be expected. For me, the chocolate more than enough makes up for it. It’s also softer and less dense than the other recipe, but as long as you keep it chilled in the fridge it’s not a big deal.
The only thing I had issues with was the crust. I actually really liked the taste of the chocolate graham crackers, but with only 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of egg white, they just didn’t stay together very well. I wound up adding about 2 more tablespoons of margarine to help it all stick together, but it was still very crumb-y. If you’re eating this at home with your family, it’s not going to be a big deal, but the crust is a little too messy for a party or nice event. Next time I may forgo trying to get the crust up the sides of the pan and just have it on the bottom. Plus, trying to get it to stay up the sides resulted in it being much thicker at the corners than the bottom. It really would have worked a lot better without sides. That or give up on the low fat aspect of it and just use 5-6 tablespoons of butter like you are supposed to.
adapted from Cooking Light
| Servings: 1 9″ pie (8 servings)
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 40 min | Total time: 1 hour 45 min
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. margarine, melted
- 1 tbsp. egg white
- 1 1/3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full sized crackers)
- 3 tbsp. dark rum (I omitted this)
- 3 (1 oz.) squares semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
- 1 (8 oz.) package nonfat or low fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 (8 oz.) package Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
- Chocolate curls/shavings (optional)
- Raspberries (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Beat sugar, margarine and egg in a small bowl until blended. Add crumbs and stir well. Firmly press mixture into bottom (and 1 inch up sides if you want to attempt it) of an 8-inch or 10-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
- Turn oven down to 300 degrees (F).
- Combine rum (if using) and chocolate squares in the top of a double boiler or over low heat. Cook until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add chocolate syrup, stirring until smooth.
- In a large bowl, beat cheeses with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth. Add chocolate mixture and beat at low speed until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Pour into the crust and bake for 40 minutes or until almost set (it should giggle just a little if you tap the pan). Combine sour cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons cocoa and stir well. Turn oven off and take out the cheesecake. Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake and put back in the still warm (but turned off) oven. Let stand for 45 minutes in the oven with door closed. Remove cheesecake and let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Remove from springform pan and garnish with chocolate curls and raspberries.