Dark chocolate is the best tasting antioxidant-rich treat around, so why not indulge a little this holiday season?
Here is a recipe for a delicious, chocolaty, creamy cheesecake. This chocolate truffle cheesecake is made without sugar, using low-glycemic agave nectar instead to sweetened it up naturally. You can also shave off a few calories and fat grams by using neufatchel cheese instead of cream cheese.
It was a huge hit at my family's Christmas party yesterday, but it could also work for an upcoming New Year's celebration.
Admittedly, the crust is made of chocolate wafers, which are almost impossible to find in a non-sugar, but natural variety. I usually buy chocolate cookies with the least amount of evaporated cane juice, such as Nature's Path Organic Deep Chocolate, and turn them into crumbs with my food processor.
Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
Crust: 1-1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs 1/4 cup melted butter
Filling: 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate 1/3 cup heavy cream 3 (8 oz.) softened neufatchel cheese 1-1/4 cup agave nectar 1/3 cup cocoa 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 cup rum (optional)
Ganache: 12 oz. unsweetened chocolate 1/3 cup agave nectar 1/4 cup heavy cream
Crust: Combine chocolate wafer crumbs with melted butter in a small bowl. Press onto bottom of a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.
Filling: In a double boiler, melt chocolate over low heat and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in cream. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese on low until free of lumps. Beat in agave nectar and mix until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and slowly mix. Add cocoa and mix in thoroughly. Mix in vanilla, rum (optional) and chocolate mixture until blended. Pour over crust. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the center has just a very slight jiggle to it when you move the pan. Let the pan cool on rack before placing cheesecake into refrigerator for a couple of hours.
Ganache: While cheesecake is chilling, melt 12 oz of unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler over low heat and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in heavy cream and agave nectar. Spread ganache over cheesecake and then refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Serving: Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a knife or metal spatchula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Serves about 12.