What could be better than a Cheesecake? How about we add a blend of fat-free cream cheese, mascarpone, and hazelnut crust? Sounds elegant, right? Right! Now, let’s start making it!
- 1 cup finely crushed graham crackers (13 to 14 squares)
- ¼ cup coarsely ground toasted hazelnuts
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 2 (8 ounces) packages softened cream cheese
- 1 (8 ounce) package softened mascarpone cheese,
- ⅔ cup of sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 3 lightly beaten egg whites,
- 1 ounce bittersweet or dark chocolate, melted
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Making the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, stir together crushed graham crackers, hazelnuts, and allspice.
- Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan).
- Bake the crust until it sets and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool and decrease the oven temperature to 325°F.
Making the filling:
- Get large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. With an electric mixer on medium speed, add and mix mascarpone cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla until well combined. Add the egg whites. Beat on low speed just until combined (do not overbeat).
- Over the crust in the pan pour the cheese mixture. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).
- Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the crust from the side of the pan with a sharp thin knife and cool for another 30 minutes. Cool the cheesecake completely, cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
Making the topping (Optional):
- Spread the hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted.
- Drizzle top of cooled cheesecake with melted chocolate sauce, garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.