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Deck the halls with decadent desserts

The holiday season is all about decadent desserts. 

The holiday season is all about decadent desserts.


I love the combination of chocolate and cheesecake. These recipes include variations on both these delicious ingredients. The best part is they are all conscious of calories and fat, so you can actually have your cake and eat it too!


Marble Mocha Cheesecake


Coffee and chocolate go so well with this creamy cheese batter. You can double this recipe: bake it in a 10-inch pan and add another 10 minutes to the baking time, baking until the center is still loose.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves twelve


INGREDIENTS:



  • 1 ½ cups chocolate wafer crumbs

  • 2 Tbsp water

  • 2 Tbsp sugar

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 ²/³ cups smooth light ricotta

  • ¹/³ cup softened light cream cheese

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • ¹/³ cup light sour cream or two per cent yogurt

  • 1 ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules

  • 2 tsp hot water

  • 3 Tbsp semi-soft chocolate chips

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil



METHOD


1. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking oil. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.


2. For the crust, combine the crumbs, sugar, water and oil. Mix thoroughly. Press into the bottom and partially up the sides of the prepared springform pan.


3. For the filling, beat the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, egg, sour cream, flour and vanilla in a large bowl or food processor until well blended. Dissolve the coffee granules in the hot water. Add to the batter and mix until incorporated. Pour the batter over the crust and smooth the top.


4. Place the chocolate chips and oil in a small bowl and microwave on medium high for 30 seconds or just until soft. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the batter. Draw a knife or spatula through the batter several times to create a marbled effect.


5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The center will be slightly loose when you jiggle the cake.


6. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before removing the sides of the pan and serving.


•••


Chocolate Sour Cream Cheesecake Squares


Chocolate cheesecake in any way, shape or form is not to be refused. These luscious squares have a brownie-type crust that’s simply mouth-watering. They freeze beautifully and my children love to eat them frozen—they say it tastes like a creamy frozen chocolate bar! To get chocolate chunks, use a sharp knife to shave off pieces from a solid block of chocolate.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves ten


INGREDIENTS


Crust



  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 egg

  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

  • ²/³ cup all-purpose flour


Filling



  • ²/³ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

  • ²/³ cup smooth light ricotta

  • ¼ cup light cream cheese, softened

  • 2 Tbsp low-fat sour cream

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract


Topping


  • 1 oz white or semi-sweet chocolate chunks or 2 Tbsp chocolate chips


METHOD


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking oil.
2. For the crust, combine the sugar, cocoa, oil, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Stir in the flour, mixing just until combined. Pat the mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish.
3. For the filling, combine the sugar, cocoa, flour, ricotta, cream cheese, sour cream, egg and vanilla in a food processor. Purée until the mixture is smooth.
4. Spread it over the crust.
5. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The center will still be slightly loose in the middle when the pan is jiggled.
6. Sprinkle with the chocolate, cool to room temperature on a rack and refrigerate until chilled.

Note: Both recipes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to three days or kept in the freezer for up to two weeks.

 
 
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