Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chocolate Chip Italian-Style Cheesecake



My mother-in-law asked me to bring a dessert for Passover next weekend. Seeing as how I am not a dessert person (I mean in cooking, not eating), this was a whole new challenge for me and required a practice run this weekend. Cheesecake seemed to be a very scary attempt but a safe one for the holiday since it can easily be adjusted to accomodate, as the only thing that needs to be altered is the crust.

Cara from Cara's Cravings suggested a crust of ground up macaroons, which proved to be tasty on the final outcome, but I think it needs some work. It came out a little soggy and not quite deep enough, as the lip on the base of the springform pan prevented me from removing the cake from the base. I also think some water from the water bath seeped in, but thats easily prevented next time by better sealing the pan. I think that when I make this for next weekend, I will add more macaroons, not use the butter (as the macaroons are extremely moist as is), and brush some egg white over it when I pre-bake the crust. I will post again if I am successful with that attempt!


Crust
10 Passover chocolate macaroons (about 1" in diameter)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
cooking spray

Filling
1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
1 (8-ounce) block light (50% less fat) cream cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (cake meal for Passover)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Ganache
1/2 cup Splenda
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 (4 oz) bar of semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Place macaroons and cold butter in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Spray a 9" spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray and press macaroom crumbs into base to create an even crust. Place in center of oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven ad set aside.

To prepare filling, place cheeses in a bowl, and beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Add cake meal, sugar, vanilla, and yogurt to cheese mixture; beat until smooth. Add eggs and egg whites and beat in until just mixed (careful not to overbeat).

Wrap the base of the spring form pan tightly with tinfoil. Place in a large roasting pan. Pour filling over crust; gently stir in chocolate chips ensuring they are evenly distributed top to bottom. Fill roasting pan with hot water just enough to cover half the tin foil. Place roasting pan in oven and bake for 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes, turn oven up to 350°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes until set. Remove from water bath and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely until removing the springform pan.

To make the ganache, mix the Splenda, cocoa, and milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a light boil. Remove from heat and stir the entire chocolate bar, broken into pieces. If necessary, add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time as needed to keep the consistency (I had to add about 3). Spread evenly over the cake and chill until serving.

Yields 12 servings.

WW info: To come later

5 comments:

Kayte said...

you're my hero!! i wanted to be able to make a cheesecake for passover! seriously. you've made my day :-)

and i just bought chocolate macaroons when i was out doing my passover shopping today. perfect!

Jigginjessica said...

Mmm, this sounds wonderful! Great job!

Cara said...

Dori it looks delicious!

Kenzie said...

This really makes me want to bake a cheesecake - it looks awesome!

Sophie said...

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