Confession time. I don’t like cheesecake. It’s yucky.
Let that sink in a minute.
I know, I know. The horror! I just find it too. . . .rich, cream cheesy, dense, cloying. I could go on. Something about cream cheese in sweet stuff that I can’t get behind. Occasionally I run into a cream cheesy dessert or pastry that’s edible but usually not. (Actually there is one cheesecake I did like and I had it years ago. It was a pumpkin version that my girlfriend, R, made. And surprisingly, she doesn’t like cheesecake either!)
Don’t get me wrong, I love cream cheese. I could open a block and just take a bite of it! Slathered thick on a toasted everything bagel? Yes, please. Whipped into potatoes? Yup. Shoved in celery? Mmmm hmmm! See, cream cheese is a savory food to me. Not a sweet food.
And as far as cheesecake being too rich for me. . I’m not sure why that is because I can polish off a pint of the richest ice cream you can find with no effort what so ever. Cheesecake? I can’t get through half a slice. Must be the cheese. Cheese is not for cake. Or pie, Grandpa. It’s to melt on a burger or pizza.
And yet I made a cheesecake this weekend. You know there had to be a good reason. There was. It’s my mother-in-law’s birthday! Happy Birthday!! Not that she is a huge cheesecake connoisseur. Tim asked her for her dessert preference and she said “anything chocolate”. That left it wide open for me! So I went out on a limb and piled on the chocolate for a super rich cheesecake.
Sugar free baking is new to me, too. I opted to make this sugar free to accommodate the birthday girl.
I chocolated (yes-it’s a word to me) it up even more by stirring cocoa powder into sugar free Cool Whip to garnish and adding just a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips. (Which are a staple in my house, by the way!) (The chocolate chips were the only part that was not sugar free. You can leave them off if you like.)
I had never really made a cheesecake before. I winged this one based on some reading and comparing I did. I was worried about the consistency because the batter was very thick. It didn’t seem like the batter I thought it should be. I even thinned it a little bit with some water. It might be because of the Splenda.
The crust of the cake was made with sugar free chocolate sandwich cookies. Very yummy. I used an off brand cookie but Oreo makes a sugar free sandwich cookie that would be perfect.
The finished product came out very good. It is seriously dense and so rich you’ll be hard pressed to eat a whole slice. I used an 8″ springform pan and cut this into 8 slices. In hindsight it really could make 12 slices easily. A little richness goes a LONG way.
Neither my mother-in-law nor I got through our whole slice. Of course, in fairness, we had just finished a large dinner of salad, grilled fish, coconut quinoa and sauteed zucchini. Lots and lots of food.
All in all, the cake was good. And that’s saying A LOT coming from me. Not terribly sweet. You could certainly add about a half cup more Splenda if you like it sweeter. Plus, it’s lighter than you’re average cheesecake (at least in the fat and calorie department) given that it’s sugar free and I used light cream cheese. I think you could successfully use fat free cream cheese instead, though.
By the way, my coffee mug is from one of my very favorite coffee chains ever, Barnie’s Coffee and Tea Company. Unfortunately, the coffee was not Barnie’s. They are a Florida chain that I only get to indulge in on occassion these days. And even though I don’t usually go for flavored coffees, they have one called Santa’s White Christmas that screams “HOLIDAY SEASON” to me. If you ever get a chance to try it, I recommend it!
Hope you have a great birthday today, D!
Sugar Free Chocolate Cheesecake
4 Tbsp Butter, melted
6.5 – 7oz chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed
Mix cookie crumbs and butter together and press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 8″ springform pan. Set aside while you make the filling.
2 8oz blocks of Neufchatel cheese (light cream cheese), room temp
4 blocks of unsweetened Baker’s chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup plain fat free greek yogurt
1/8 cup water
1 cup baking Splenda (the kind specifically for baking!!)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Beat together cheese, eggs, yogurt, melted chocolate, water. Add the Splenda, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla. The filling will be thick. Spread it evenly into the springform pan, on top of the cookie crust.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temp. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Serve with Cool Whip or whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate chips if you like.
I stirred a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder into the sugar free Cool Whip to make it nice and chocolatey. Unnecessary, of course. Some fruit would be good with this, too. Fresh cherries maybe?