Reduced-fat ingredients create a light, creamy cake
Heat oven to 350˚. Toast almonds on a small baking sheet for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven; reduce heat to 325˚. Coat an 8″ springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan in foil to prevent seepage. Process chocolate wafers and almonds in a food processor until fine crumbs. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsp crumbs onto bottom of pan (just enough to coat bottom lightly). Shake pan to distribute evenly. Reserve remaining crumbs.
Puree ricotta in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Add cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, egg, egg whites, almond extract, flour and salt; puree until smooth. Whisk amaretto, if desired (or same amount of hot water), 2 tbsp hot water, cocoa powder and espresso powder in a bowl until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Stir 1 cup plain filling into chocolate mixture. Set aside.
Pour remaining plain filling into prepared pan. Drizzle chocolate filling in a circular pattern over plain filling. Using a knife, make circular strokes to create swirls in the plain filling. Add 1 inch hot water to a shallow baking pan; place springform pan in baking pan. Bake until cheesecake is firm around the edge and slightly soft in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan. Remove foil; let cool on a rack. Chill 6 hours or overnight before removing sides of pan. Press reserved crumbs onto side of cheesecake.
223 calories per serving, 9.7 g fat* (5.4 g saturated), 26.2 g carbs, 0.9 g fiber, 8.4 g protein
*This dish is slightly more than 30 percent fat but is still a healthy dessert option when part of an overall lowfat diet. Reference: self.com/January 2008