Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

I'm going to begin the chocolate extravaganza with one of the easiest recipes I'll be featuring this week. It's not a flashy or rich dessert, but I decided to include it for those of you who will be baking for Valentines who are, or should be, dieting. This is by no means diet food, but the squares are definitely lighter than their full-fat cousins. The recipe was developed by Martha Stewart and it uses reduced fat dairy products and unsweetened cocoa powder to make these light, but rich tasting, squares that taste far more like cheesecake than brownies. While they won't set your world on fire, the brownies are a nice alternative for those of you who are counting fat grams and calories. I've played ever so slightly with the original recipe. The first few times I made these brownies, I used sour cream, but found its tang to be off-putting. I solved that problem by using a low fat creme fraiche in its place. In order to get a richer chocolate flavor I also upgraded the cocoa powder I was using. I switched to Guittard products because that was what was available to me. I'm not touting this brand, but I do want you to know that this is a recipe where it pays to use the best chocolate you can get your hands on. If your ingredients are at room temperature, you can have the brownies in the oven in about 15 minutes. I found mine took a few minutes longer to cook than the recipe had indicated, but they were out of the oven in 45 minutes. I let them cool at room temperature for about an hour and then let them chill for an hour longer before cutting them. I think you'll like these. They are certainly worth a try. Here's the recipe.

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Martha Stewart


Nonstick cooking spray

8 chocolate wafer cookies

1 brick (8-ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1 cup reduced fat creme fraiche

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons corn starch

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 large whole egg plus 1 egg white

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line with two crisscrossed pieces of parchment or wax paper, spraying between the sheets. Spray lined pan and set aside.

2) Process cookies in food processor until finely ground. Gently press crumbs into bottom of prepared pan (it is not necessary to rinse the processor bowl).

3) Blend cream cheese and creme fraiche until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add cocoa, cornstarch, sugar, almond extract, egg and egg white and process until smooth. Pour into pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4) Bake until just set, 35 to 40 minutes (mine took 45 minutes). Cool completely in pan. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Invert onto tray, peel off paper and reinvert crust side down. Cut into 9 squares. Yield: 9 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Bon Appetit Brownies - Cookie Madness

Double Chocolate Walnut Brownies -- Elana's Pantry

Deep, Dark Chocolate Espresso Brownies - Confessions of a Kitchen Witch

The Healthy Brownie - Squirrel Bakes

Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc Brownies - Lawyer Loves Lunch

Hazelnut Brownies - Baking and Boys

The Best Cocoa Brownies - The Sophisticated Gourmet

Nutella Fudge Brownies - Life's a Feast

Nutella Crunchie Brownies - Chow and Chatter

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