If you’re on a New Year’s health kick and you’re getting fed up of drinking smoothies for breakfast and eating salad for dinner then I’ve got the perfect dessert recipe for you that will change your entire outlook on dieting.
Honestly – I’m not teasing you! These deliciously thick and creamy Skinny Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Bars and low in fat and sugar, making them ideal for anyone following a diet. They’re also topped with fruity strawberries for a sweet kick, as well as added vitamins and minerals.
My Official Treat Taster certainly isn’t one for healthy or skinny desserts. Ever since I made this Healthy Deep-Dish Cookie Pie, he assumes that everything that I make which is remotely healthy is packed full of garbanzos and refuses to touch it. But these Skinny Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Bars? They’re a totally different matter altogether – he loved them!
And what’s not to love about them? A crumbly, buttery Graham Cracker (or Digestive, if you’re outside the US) crust, layered with a thick, smooth, creamy and indulgent chocolate cheesecake which has been dolloped with a wonderfully sweet strawberry jam, all topped off with good-for-you strawberries. I would have used fresh strawberries, but at €4.20 ($5.70) for a small punnet of about ten strawberries, it had to be frozen.
Do these Skinny Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Bars scream out “Valentine’s Day Dessert” to anyone else? Light meals – I’m thinking a salad starter followed by a salmon main – are always popular on Valentine’s Day, usually culminating in a rich, decadent chocolate dessert with a hint of pink or red thrown in there somewhere which can be shared.
If you or your special someone are on a diet this year – don’t pass up on the Valentine’s Day dessert! Instead of only having a spoonful of a cream-heavy mousse, or a tiny bite of a buttercream-filled chocolate make, make these Skinny Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Bars and enjoy a whole slice to yourself without feeling guilty!
Skinny Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
- 6-7 Graham Crackers or Digestives
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 8 oz /225g low-fat cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup fat-free yoghurt
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam
- around 12 strawberries sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line an 8x8 baking tin with parchment paper, making sure there's some hanging over the sides.
- To make the crust, crush the the Graham Crackers or Digestives in a food processor or by hand using a Ziplock bag and a rolling pin. Pour them into a bowl with the melted butter and mix until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of the lined tin and bake for around 8 minutes. Set to one side to cool.
- To make the cheesecake, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the cream cheese for 1 minute.
- Add in the yoghurt, egg whites, sugar, flour and cocoa powder and beat for another 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Pour in the lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
- Spread the cheesecake mixture on top of the crust.
- Dollop tablespoon-sized balls of jam on top of the cheesecake mixture and swirl it in until none of it is visible on the top and it's all sunk into the cheesecake.
- Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven and cover the top with the sliced strawberries.
- Return to the oven and bake for a final 5 minutes.
- Leave to cool to room temperature for about an hour, before leaving to cool for at least eight hours in the fridge.
- Cut into bars and serve.
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