House Works: Chocolate Cheesecake

The perfect meal is not totally perfect unless you have a great dessert to top it all off. In this House Works, we're in the kitchen with Chef Judy making chocolate cheesecake. It just might be the best way to end your dining experience.

Chocolate Cheese Cake
Judy Gilliard
Servings: 12

By replacing most of the cream cheese in a traditional cheesecake with 1 percent cottage cheese and adding cocoa powder and just a touch of melted chocolate, the end result is a silky rich deeply chocolatey dessert.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, chocolate, 8 whole sheets
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, raw sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
24 ounces cottage cheese, low fat
8 ounces Neufchatel cheese
3/4 cup turbinado sugar, raw sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules, espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
cooking spray
Cool Whip Lite®

1. Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Put a small roasting pan on the lower rack and fill about 1/3 full of water. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Crust: Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, water, and melted butter in a medium bowl until moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes, while preparing the filling.
3. Filling: Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium power until soft and melted, about 1 minute, depending on the power of your oven. Stir until smooth. Puree the cottage cheese in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, and flour and continue to puree, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth. Add the egg, egg whites, espresso, and vanilla and puree until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until just combined. Pour over the prepared crust.
4. Put the pan on the upper rack in the oven and bake until just set and the center jiggles slightly, about 50 to 55 minutes. Turn off the oven and let stand in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake to a cooling rack and run a knife around the edge of the pan.
5. Let stand at room temperature until cooled, about 2 hours, and then refrigerate until well chilled, 8 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. For easier serving, slice with a clean hot knife, wiped clean after each slice. Serve each slice with a few fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 235 Calories; 9g Fat (33.6% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 37mg Cholesterol; 375mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.
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