One Mini Gluten-Free Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake with Fresh Berries has just 194 calories. This would make an elegant finish to any meal – you’ll love the chocolate crust, creamy filling and fresh berry topping. Sponsored by The Hershey Company.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love cheesecake. The only problem is that it’s usually loaded with fat and calories. You really only need a few bites to satisfy your cheesecake craving, but it’s hard to resist when you have an entire slice in front of you.
So, I have the perfect solution! What about a mini cheesecake that tastes like what you’d expect in a cheesecake, but on the light side – one that has less than 200 calories? It’s something anyone can enjoy.
I created this Mini Gluten-Free Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake with Fresh Berries just for you and me so we can indulge in something that tastes super rich and decadent, but is so much lighter than the traditional cheesecake. I think chocolate and strawberries or raspberries make a great combination, so I’ve incorporated these into this mini cheesecake too.
So, what makes this cheesecake light? The secret ingredient is low-fat cottage cheese. I’ve used cottage cheese in place of cream cheese to lighten up all sorts of recipes, both sweet and savory, and it works wonders. The trick is to blend the cottage cheese up really well and remove as much moisture as possible.
These are really like a three layer cheesecake, with a chocolate crust, a light creamy cheesecake filling, and a fresh berry sauce on top.
While you’re enjoying a bite of this mini chocolate-crusted cheesecake, let me share a few cool things that I learned about Hershey’s cocoa sustainability strategy during my visit to The Hershey Company last summer. I was really impressed by several of the company’s programs that have been helping raise living standards for cocoa farmers and their families (primarily in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana).
In particular, CocoaLink and Hershey Learn to Grow are two innovative programs that help provide farmers with educational and community resources, and information on best practices in sustainable cocoa farming. Hershey is also committed to sourcing 100% certified cocoa for all chocolate products by 2020. Certified cocoa ensures the highest international standards for labor, environmental and farming practices. Hershey-supported sustainability and certification programs will benefit more than 750,000 farmers by 2017. I think that’s very impactful and impressive.
Watch this video Our Story of Cocoa and other videos to learn more.
Now let’s eat cheesecake! I’ve served these to my kids and to guests and everyone raved about them – they had no idea that the little cheesecake they ate was actually on the light side.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 4 tablespoons HERSHEY'S unsweetened Cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons organic brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, melted, cooled
- 2 cups (16 ounces) low-fat cottage cheese, strained
- ⅓ cup organic sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups fresh organic strawberries or raspberries
- 2 tablespoons organic sugar
- fresh organic raspberries
- organic powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almond flour, cocoa powder and brown sugar in food processor and process until there are no more lumps. Add melted butter and process a few seconds until just combined.
- Line muffin tins with paper liners. Divide crust mixture among 12 muffin tins. Use fingers to press down on crust.
- Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
- Place strained cottage cheese in food processor (be sure to wash out after mixing the chocolate crust) and puree until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and process until just mixed through. Add eggs and process until just mixed through. Pour into muffin tins (I used a liquid measuring cup with a spout for less mess).
- Bake for 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven, cool, then refrigerate for 1½ - 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make berry topping by placing strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes. Let cool; place in food processor and process until smooth; put through strainer if you want to get rid of seeds.
- Gently remove paper liners from cheesecakes and place on serving tray. Spoon berry topping on top of each mini cheesecake. Decorate with a few fresh raspberries and sift a little powdered sugar on top.
Disclosure: This blog post and my trip to Hershey, PA were sponsored by The Hershey Company as part of my participation in their Food Ambassador program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.