I have been waiting until Autumn to try my hand at Cheesecake. Cheesecake is a fantastic, rich, and yummy dessert – a dessert meant for cooler months. Maybe it is just me – in the Spring/Summer I want light things like salad and sorbet and in the Fall/Winter I want soup and cheesecake. There are (of course) exceptions to my rules – Jen’s prerogative.
I haven’t made a Cheesecake from scratch in some time, and when I did it cracked or was somewhat gelatinous in the middle (uck!) – typical rookie Cheesecake mistakes (from what I have read online). This time I was ready – I studied all the tips in regards to Cheesecake baking – I will not be outsmarted by a Cheesecake (at least that is what I told myself)!
Perusing the cheesecake recipes that I had in my binders – I have binders of recipes that I have collected over a long period time – deciding to keep it simple I chose Chocolate Cheesecake. I love all things Chocolate – have not met a piece of Chocolate that I haven’t liked. Even with my Mom telling me Chocolate was the source of my acne problems during the teen years and few adult years, I refuse to give up the chocolate. Quite simply, chocolate makes me happy and that is always a good thing!
Truly this is a simple recipe and I attempted to make it lower in calories by substituting Neufchâtel cheese for Cream Cheese and Reduced Fat Sour Cream for regular sour cream and that’s where the substitutions ended. These changes do not compromise the taste in my honest opinion; just makes me feel a little less guilty for indulging. The end result should be a creamy dense chocolate concoction that you may or may not want to share! There is always Cheesecake Pops with what you can’t finish!
Until Next Time,
Adapted from Nabisco World’s Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake
38 Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
5 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
5 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate)
1 package – 8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese
½ cup of sugar
½ cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
½ teaspoon of espresso *
Preheat your oven to 325F (300F if using a dark nonstick Springform pan). Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom of the Springform pan.
Crush 24 cookies, finely with a food processor. Mix the crushed cookies and butter together and press into a 9 inch springform pan. Stand the remainder cookies around the inside edge of the springform pan, press them firmly into the cookie crust; set aside.
Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds on 50% Power; since every microwave is different adjust accordingly. Set melted chocolate aside.
Beat Neufchâtel cheese and sugar until blended well. Add sour cream, eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, and espresso to the mixture and mix well. Add melted chocolate to mixture and mix well.
Pour mixture over the crust, you will then set the Springform pan with unbaked cheesecake in a larger baking pan/dish. Place cheesecake in the oven and before closing pour hot water in the baking pan/dish so it surrounds the cheesecake. Bake cheesecake for 40 to 45 minutes.
Cool Cheesecake until its cool; approximately 1 hour and a half. Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 4 hours. Garnish with your favorite accoutrements – whip cream, chocolate curls, chocolate drizzle, fresh berries, mint … and serve!
* Espresso ~ ½ teaspoon of instant Espresso powder and ½ teaspoon of hot water; mixed. Coffee is also suitable. *