This baked chocolate ricotta cheesecake is low in fat and sugar, light and fluffy and super easy to make. It’s deliciously moist and creamy, full of flavour and great for easy entertaining.
Even the most indulgent desserts can be made healthier and this chocolate ricotta cake is a good example. The recipe contains a mixture of naturally low in fat ricotta cheese and a bit of tangy cream cheese to balance out the mellow sweetness of the ricotta. The recipe uses only 7 ingredients so it’s very simple and super easy to throw together.
What type of ricotta cheese to use in chocolate ricotta cheesecake
I used full fat (approx. 13% fat per 100 g of product) soft ricotta cheese in this chocolate cake recipe. I do not recommend using reduced fat ricotta as this may produce a less creamy cheesecake.
When you open your ricotta package there might be a little water inside – simply pour it out and use just the ricotta.
What chocolate to use in ricotta cheesecake
I recommend using good quality dark chocolate with 70-75% cocoa solids. You’ll only need 100 g of the chocolate so it’s important it has a high cocoa content. Otherwise your cheesecake won’t taste chocolatey enough. Using good quality dark chocolate will produce a perfectly balanced chocolate flavour – not too ‘dark’. Just right.
I also used a bit of cacao powder in the recipe. It’s perfectly fine to use cacao instead, I simply tend to use cacao as it’s a little healthier. (You might also like this collection of 27 everyday healthy cacao recipes).
How to melt the chocolate
This is quick and easy to do but you must ensure you are using a clean, dry bowl and spatula and no moisture gets inside the bowl as the chocolate is melting.
Break up the chocolate into same sized pieces and place in a heat proof glass bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering shallow water ensuring the water does not touch the bowl. Stir the chocolate as it’s melting and remove the bowl from the pan when the chocolate is almost melted completely. It will finish melting away from the heat.
As you prepare the cheesecake batter the chocolate will have had time to cool. Add it into the batter and combine using an electric mixer. Then fold in the beaten egg whites and bake the cheesecake (see Instructions for more detail).
How to make healthy cheesecake with ricotta
Once you’ve weighed your ingredients and melted the chocolate this simple chocolate cheesecake will take no more than 10 minutes to make. Start by preheating the oven to 350 F/180 C.
Beat together the ricotta, cream cheese and half of the sugar until fluffy, for about a minute. Then gradually add the flour, cocoa and egg yolks and beat until just combined. Pour in the melted chocolate (make sure it’s cooled by then) and continue beating until combined.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks start forming. Then gradually add the remaining sugar beating all the time until the mixture becomes thick and glossy. Gradually add the egg whites mixture into the cheesecake batter (in 4 goes) and fold in using a spatula or large spoon.
Pour the cheesecake batter into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. After 40 minutes you may want to cover the cheesecake loosely with a sheet of baking paper to prevent it browning too quickly.
How to prepare the spring-form pan for baked chocolate cheesecake
You may have your favourite way of doing this but I’ll share mine just in case you haven’t used a spring-form pan before.
Start by placing a sheet of baking paper over the bottom of the pan (the sheet can be square as it will get trimmed later, but ensure it’s larger than the bottom of the pan). You can lightly grease the pan before placing the paper on top to make sure it stays in place.
Put the pan ring on and close the latch to secure it. Trim the paper all the way around so it doesn’t stick out too much. Lightly grease the inside of the ring (I used a knob of butter but you could use oil instead) and dust with a little flour (approx. 1 tsp). Then spread the flour evenly by turning and shaking the pan. Turn the pan upside down to remove any excess flour.
How to safely remove the cake from the pan
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on top of a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Then run a spatula all the way around the cake to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan ring. Open the latch and remove the ring.
Once the cake has cooled completely carefully place a plate over it and turn it upside down. Slowly remove the bottom of the pan together with the paper and place another plate over the cake. Turn over again and remove the first plate you had placed on the cake.
Decorate with dark chocolate shavings (I used a vegetable peeler to make these) and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
More healthy chocolate cheesecake desserts
Chocolate Ricotta Cheesecake (Healthy, Baked)
- 500 g soft ricotta cheese
- 150 g full fat cream cheese I used Philadelphia
- 100 g good quality dark chocolate, approx. 70% cocoa solids broken into same sized pieces, plus more for decorating
- 30 g cocoa/cacao powder
- 50 g flour plus 1 tsp for dusting
- 5 large eggs separated
- 130 g sugar
- Grease and line with baking paper a 23 cm (9 inches) spring-form pan. (I like to line the bottom of the pan and grease the ring and sprinkle with a little flour-see post for more detail). Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C/ gas mark 4.
- Melt the chocolate by placing it in a heat proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water (the water must not touch the bowl). Stir as the chocolate is melting. Remove from the heat when the chocolate has melted almost completely (it will continue melting away from the heat). Set aside.
- In a large bowl beat together the ricotta, cream cheese and half the sugar until fluffy (for about a minute). Gradually add the flour, cocoa and egg yolks until combined. Pour in the melted chocolate (once cooled) and continue beating until just combined.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks start forming. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue beating until glossy, fluffy and thick.
- Gradually add the egg whites mixture (in 4 goes) into the cheesecake batter and fold in using a spatula until just combined. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. After 40 minutes cover loosely with baking paper to prevent the cheesecake browning too quickly.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Run a spatula around the cake, remove the ring and leave to cool completely. (See post for tips on how to safely remove the cheesecake from the pan). Decorate with chocolate shavings (I used a vegetable peeler to make the shavings). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes if possible before serving. Keep refrigerated.