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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

74 comments:

Umm Mymoonah said...

Scrumptious looking cake and thank you so much for voting. That's so kind of you :)

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Scrumptious looking squares!! Double C... both are my favourite!

Anna A. said...

oh wow yum. Female situation in full effect. tap in this chocolate cheesecake goodness. Just need to find creme fraiche...

Three-Cookies said...

Nice and simple recipe - chocolate topped with chocolate, whats not to like:)

Alessandra said...

Ciao Mary,

back from my trip, missed blogging :-), good to be back and find chocolate cheesecake squares!

XX
Alessandra

mara said...

My dear Mary looks so delicious !
Have a nice Sunday!

muppy said...

i read chocolate extravaganza and thought i'd better stop reading - i am trying to eat healthy, but then i read on, thanks for sharing a great looking slice that is not as bad for you!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I always enjoy some lower fat treats along with other favorite desserts.

Happy chocolate week, Mary.

Fondly,
Glenda

penny aka jeroxie said...

yay to chocolate!

Jeannie said...

Oh wow! I love this! Chocolates and cheese, what a combination!

Fuat Gencal said...

Merhabalar, ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık. Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görünüyor.

Saygılarımla.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

These look incredible! I love the studs of chocolate in them too.

Carrie said...

Mary, this was perfectly timed! I logged onto facebook this morning to see that a friend requested a chocolate cheesecake recipe, and then logged into blogger to see that you'd just posted one! Talk about luck. ;)

Angie's Recipes said...

wow Mary, those look decadent and I wish I could just grab a few from the screen :-))

Lulu B said...

Omg again another deliciouc post that almost made me dribble!

Clint said...

This is very powerful, addictive stuff. Can I be your Texas distributor? :)

Joanne said...

I am always in the market for delicious lower fat desserts...and if they have chocolate in them - bonus! These sound great!

Jennifer said...

OH MY...these look amazingly delicious! Chocolate & cheesecake...I'm in!

Kim said...

These diet brownies looks good. I did'nt know that low fat creme fraiche was even existing... Not here yet! When I will want a sweet thing without all the calories, I'll think of this recipe. Have a good day Mary!

bellini valli said...

Lighter is definietly good even on Valentines Day for those we love!

Linda... said...

Hi Mary. Thanks for stopping by to view Lindaloves and for your nice comment. I've checked out your blog and you have some GREAT recipes. I'm now following you.

Lori said...

Oh my Mary those squares just beckon!

Chiara said...

Oh Mary what a wonderful squares you made!I like this kind of trick..

C&G said...

wow wow wow what a wonderful looking cheesecake!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

You can never go wrong with chocolate and cheesecake. I like the switches you made to the recipe as well--sounds like a good treat to make to satisfy chocolate cravings :-)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Looks pretty decadent to me! Chocolate and cream cheese - one of those perfect matches!

Leslie said...

Even though they are "lower fat" they still look divine. I would never turn my nose up to chocolate anything.

mike @ made by mike said...

Those look like a little slice of chocolate heaven!

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

Mary - another wonderful recipe. I really do enjoy all of your recipes. Here's a little something for you (no obligation to repost :)
http://the-country-cook.blogspot.com/2011/01/blogger-awards-and-big-thanks-to-you.html

Julie said...

Chocolate and cheesecake, delicious!!! Another beautiful dessert.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

These look decadent!

Pushpa said...

Delicious!!Delicious!!

My Favorite Things said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for visiting my blog at www.wendysfavoriteplace.blogspot.com This cheesecake recipe caught my eye. Love it! I'm a new follower of your blog.

Chele said...

Oh my goodeness!!! I think I've put weight on just looking at that photo. YUM!

Lucie said...

Diet or no diet, these sound great, Mary! I wouldn't mind a little tang with the chocolate!

sally said...

Yum! These certainly look decadent!

aipi said...

What perfect squares. The chocolate chips make them look fabulous :)

US Masala

Pacheco Patty said...

I like this recipe Mary, thanks for sharing a rich looking but lighter brownie recipe. I can think of dozens of places to share a batch of brownies like this. Hope you're having a nice weekend;-)

Ann Minard said...

Wow, those look divine and I will be making these! Thank you for your kind comment on my blog!

Ginny said...

Did you say chocolate extravaganza!!!?? I'm there! Can't wait! These look so good! I think I can almost taste them through the computer!

The Words Crafter said...

These look delicious!!!

Eliana said...

This dessert looks perfect Mary! Wish I had one big 'ol square right now.

Priyanka said...

Wow Mary.....its heaven on a plate....yummy..

EliFla said...

My dear MAry...this cheesecake is faboulus...but today we had a great Sunday thanks to your Maine shrimps chowder.....it's delicious ....very very gooood...thanks MAry...hugs, Flavia

Hester Casey - Alchemy said...

Hi Mary, thanks for visiting my page and for your lovely comment. I am delighted to return the visit. Your sense of humour comes across in your writing and to quote your family ... your food is 'killer' indeed.

Faith said...

You read my mind, Mary! I've been really dying for cheesecake and these look perfect! I'm adding creme fraiche to my grocery list now! :)

That Girl said...

It's nice when easy can also be delicious!

Jen_from_NJ said...

These would make a great Valentine treat! Cheese and chocolate = delicious!

Victor said...

Such a great looking and decadent cheesecake. I wish I can grab one right now.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

OMG those look amazingly delicious!
I alos love your header pic! So colorful and yummy ♥
Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words, they mean a lot to me.
Wishing you a great Superbowl Sunday...with all those outstanding yummies your making I can see why you should have a houseful!
*hugs*deb

Julie said...

Now that's my kind of diet food! Yum :)

Claudia said...

HI! I've just discovered your Blog and it looks so nice! And these bars are delicious...This is my kind of diet! ;-)

teresa said...

oh my goodness, so yummy! i love the chocolate chips on top!

pigpigscorner said...

I like how they are lighter and relatively calorie-friendly =) Looks so moist and fudgy!

xinex said...

Uhm, yum! Thanks for stopping by Mary. Actually it was my hubby who found out and took me to the Polish pottery store and after walking around with me, he sat down patiently with my purse while waiting for me to finish shopping....Christine

briarrose said...

Want them! And I won't have to feel too guilty about eating them. ;)

Karina said...

I am so honored you stopped by my blog - thank you! I have been following you for a while and love your recipes. These chocolate cheesecake squares, they look incredible and I may have just switched up my superbowl lineup! (it's between these and the mexican chocolate brownies, decisions decisions!!)

-Arielle- said...

This looks absolutely delicious! I'm really enjoying scrolling through all your recipes!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Mary - Your family is so fortunate to have you... tell us (me) more about them... when I see your incredible "perfect bites" I wonder how delighted they must be and how you do all that you do so perfectly - truly, so perfectly. A lighter chocolate cheesecake brownie is JUST what the doctor ordered - so I can have TWO pieces!
Kidding!
:)
valerie

~~louise~~ said...

Oh Mary, they look heavenly. I just baked a cheesecake the other day and hemmed and hawed about adding chocolate. Now I wish I had, although, it really did hit the spot.

I was contemplated using reduced fat cream cheese. Perhaps, next time. But, I must admit, not any time soon. I think I'll freeze the rest. I'm afraid I'll eat the whole thing, lol...

Thank you so much for sharing. I'm keeping this for sure!!!

Kathleen said...

OMG they were good!
thanks for coming by my blog to say hi!

kathleen xx

Kankana said...

Yumm yumm yumm Mary! So love all your dishes. Please visit my blog and grab your Stylish Blogger Award:)

Country Dreaming said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!
I was just telling Mr. Ken that I'd
love to have something chocolate!!
Oh Heavens!!!

Melinda

scrambledhenfruit said...

So nice to have a scrumptious treat that's a little bit lighter- perfect for a not-so-guilty treat! :)

Tasha said...

I am way more a fan of cheesecake than brownies, and I'm always for a good-tasting lightened up dessert, so these seem just perfect.

Now Serving said...

Woah! those look wickedly good!!!first time on your blog and loving it!

Elin said...

Mary, these looks chocolatey cheesy rich and I would love to have a bite :) Love them so meanwhile virtual feasting first until I gather the ingredients together :) Thanks Mary for another winner :)
Have a nice day and blessings thru the year ,
Elin

The Red Umbrella said...

You know I'm all for this!

A little bit of everything said...

your chocolate cheesecake squares look and sound amazingly delicious.
thanks for sharing Mary, hope you'll have a wonderful week

Rhonda said...

Absolutely decadent!

My Little Space said...

Oh my, another irresistible dessert! Hmm...mmm... Thanks again.
Kriaty

Jenn said...

Wow..those looks delicious!!

FOODESSA said...

These will definitely hold a place in my 'To make soon list'...Hubby will be thrilled with this treat...and of course...I'm not too far behind. LOL

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Elaine said...

Oh, my...! I really do think I could get lost here.

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