This healthy black forest cheesecake tart recipe is a luxurious make ahead dessert, perfect for a special occasion. It contains a moderate amount of sugar and is super easy to make!
I don’t often make indulgent desserts, but as it’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow I decided to mark the occasion with something a little more special. I chose to make a healthy black forest cheesecake tart recipe.
Cheesecake is one of the most unhealthy desserts ever invented, but I believe it deserves a kinder reputation. I like to use less sugar and fat than most cheesecake recipes call for and the result is still creamy and sweet.
The filling mixture in this black forest cheesecake tart recipe is a little unconventional as it contains a good amount of cashew nuts. Cashews are naturally quite sweet and make a great thickening ingredient, so as a result I was able to use less sugar and less cheese. They add a lovely nutty flavour to this chocolate cheesecake tart as well as quite a bit of protein.
Black forest cheesecake tart
Whenever I think of cherries I also think of chocolate. I find the combination of sweet and tangy cherries and rich dark chocolate extremely appealing. If you share this view you may like my dairy free chocolate cherry coconut cake I made a while ago. I even used these flavours together in a breakfast recipe – see my cherry cocoa overnight oats. And it was the perfect flavour pairing to use in my healthy chocolate cherry cheesecake.
The crust in this cheesecake tart recipe is a mixture of digestive biscuits and cashews. I’ve used a little butter and maple syrup to bind the mixture, though it will still be a bit crumbly as you are pressing it into your tart dish. It will solidify and get a little crunchy after 12 minutes in the oven.
You can make the crust as well as the filling ahead (even the night before). Either assemble the tart straight away (and refrigerate overnight) or add the cheesecake/cherry filling an hour before serving.
Regular biscuits versus reduced fat biscuits
I considered going down the reduced fat route but in the end decided against it. Turns out the reduced fat biscuits contain marginally less fat but more sugar than the classic biscuits!
The cherry drizzle
The cherry mixture is super easy to make. I used a few prunes for a richer flavour but also to help make the mixture sticky and jam like. This is a trick I have used in my Polish rogaliki (rugelach) recipe as well as my easy blackberry cake. I promise you will NOT taste the prunes!
Cook the mixture until the fruit is soft (and you can squash it with the back of a spoon), and the juice has reduced. Leave some of the juice in the pan, the mixture will thicken as it stands. Once cooled puree the mixture and set aside.
The chocolate cheesecake filling
This bit is so easy to do! Simply combine all the filling ingredients and blend in a food processor until smooth. Because this chocolate tart filling contains nuts you’ll need to use a powerful food processor in order to make the mixture silky smooth. I used my Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender to make sure I get the best results. (See Readers Offer below and read my Review of this blender).
Pour the cheesecake mixture into your tart dish and smooth out using a spatula. Drop spoonfuls of the cherry puree and make swirls using a knife. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Decorate with chocolate shavings (dark and/or white) or a bit of glitter for a more glamorous finish!
I used a combination of full fat cream cheese and ricotta in this black forest cheesecake. Ricotta is naturally low in fat (only 6% per 100g) and it has the added advantage of having a mild, slightly sweet flavour. Perfect to offset the tanginess of the cream cheese. I used full fat rather than reduced fat cream cheese as I find it smoother and less acidic than the lower fat variety.
More healthy cheesecake desserts
Check out also this collection of 27 everyday healthy cacao recipes!
Healthy Black Forest Cheesecake Tart Recipe
- 8 classic digestive biscuits, crushed
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts, blitzed until fine
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
The Cheesecake filling
- 220 g cream cheese I used full fat Philadelphia
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- 5 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
- 7 tbsp icing sugar
The Cherry Mixture
- 140 g frozen cherries
- 2 prunes pitted, chopped
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180 F/ 350/ gas mark 4. You will need a 23 cm tart dish.
- Blitz together the crust ingredients until well combined and slightly sticky. Press the mixture into the tart dish. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- To make the cherry mixture place the cherries, prunes and maple syrup in a pan and fry over a fairly high heat for several minutes, stirring often, until the fruit is soft and the juice starts reducing. Mash the fruit with the back of the spoon as it cooks. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. It will thicken as it cools. Puree until smooth.
- To make the cheese filling in a food processor blend all the ingredients until silky smooth (but do not overblend). Spoon the mixture into the tart dish and smooth out with the back of the spoon. Drop spoonfuls of the cherry puree over the top and make swirls using a knife. Spray with gold dust if you like or leave as it is. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Keep refrigerated.
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