Healthy Oven Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

  • Serves: Makes one 9-inch springform pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 7023

Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 1999 Sarah Phillips Healthy Oven is a registered trademark of Sarah Phillips

Variation: Healthy Oven Modern New York Cheesecake, vanilla version

This is not a dense cheesecake, but is a creamy and dreamy one from the beaten meringue added to the chocolate cream cheese base set on a chocolate graham cracker crust. This cheesecake does not crack so it does not need a waterbath, but can be overbaked since it does contain egg whites and cream cheese, so watch it carefully. Serve this one with Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Sauce or just plain. It makes a wonderfully light dessert.


Use a springform pan to bake this cake in; I do not recommend baking this is a solid cake pan as it is more delicate than a regular cheesecake and may be difficult to remove.

Chocolate Crust:
1-1/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 9 connected crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder or 2 teaspoons regular instant coffee powder, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces Neufchatel cheese (do not use nonfat cream cheese) or full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature and well softened; I prefer Philadelphia brand

1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-inch nonstick springform pan with oil. Do not reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F.

2. To make the crust, stir the cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in the springform pan. Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set the crust aside.

3. Melt the chocolate. Set it aside and let cool to tepid, but still liquid.

4. In a grease-free medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at low speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks.

5. In another medium bowl, beat the cooled chocolate, cocoa, coffee powder, and vanilla on medium speed until combined. Add the cheese and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula, until smooth. Add the egg whites and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix -- it should take no longer than 10 seconds. Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake until the edges of the cake are slightly puffed and very lightly browned, about 25 minutes. The center will seem somewhat unset, but will firm when chilled. Cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire cake rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

7. Remove the sides of the cheesecake pan. Serve chilled. Cut the cheesecake with a sharp, thin knife dipped into hot water.

Keep refrigerated for about 3 days. It does not freeze well.

Nutritional Analysis: Per serving - About 283 calories (8 percent from protein; 52 percent from carbohydrates; 40 percent from fat), 6 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fat (6 grams saturated fat), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 255 milligrams sodium

The Healthy Oven Baking Book, by Sarah Phillips, Doubleday, 1999