Valentine’s Day is a great reason to use heart healthy cocoa powder in your desserts – since chocolate is almost synonymous with the holiday. It’s also a great opportunity to take advantage of cocoa’s antioxidants (in the form of polyphenols), fiber, and other nutrients, like the minerals iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper.
Cheesecake is one high-calorie dessert that I wouldn’t make for just two people. But using some substitutions and making individual servings creates a reasonable year-round option. My mother makes an incredible chocolate cheesecake recipe from the Joy of Baking website. I combined that recipe with one for individual plain cheesecakes to make the cheesecake below.
- 10 sheets graham crackers
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
- 8 oz. (1 package) fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup fat-free sour cream
- ½ cup fat-free cottage cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
- Combine graham crackers and butter in food processor. Pulse until finely ground and crumbly.
- Press 1 heaping tablespoon of crumb mixture into each liner. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool.
- Combine cheesecake ingredients in the food processor. Blend until well-mixed.
- Divide cheesecake mixture into prepared cups (a little more than ¼ cup per cupcake liner), filling ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until tops are set and no longer shiny. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and chill in refrigerator for at least three hours prior to serving.
- Top with whipped cream, fresh fruit, or melted chocolate as desired.
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.
Approximate nutrition information per one cheesecake serving (without topping):
150 calories, 4 grams fat, 22 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams protein